A New Thing

The start of a new year is a time for remembering — for looking back at your year and reflecting on your experiences. In honor of 2011, here are the things that come to mind:

  1. The death of my grandfather in January. Beyond the regular reasons we mourn for people, this is a man who pursued me — who wanted to know me as his granddaughter despite the havoc that divorce wreaked on my family. He wanted a relationship and sought me out. And I know from the bottom of my heart that he was a good and godly man.
  2. Completing the first year of an intense master’s degree program was a major accomplishment. Then, in December, I completed the third semester. As of this post, only four months and three days until I graduate!
  3. Traveling to Italy with my love — Ian — and some folks from my graduate cohort in May. It was 10 days of much-needed R&R, and we experienced the beauty, the joy and the history that is Italy. It was an awesome time.
  4. I can’t forget the University of Idaho! A special memory was wrapping up the final legs of the president’s leadership tour, which reinforced the goodwill we had established with the first tour in 2009.
  5. Our college students in Moscow. I have so many memories, but I will note two here. First, the anti-paparazzi Nazi’s at the jazz festival. These students wanted to help me manage the media at the university’s Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Dressed in black (to blend in with the curtain and the stage), and armed with radios, they were empowered to stop flashing cameras and make media “toe the line.” They also got to go to the after-hours party with me.
  6. The other special memory with our college students is the final shooting event we organized in April. We would go out to the home of two of our students (way out in the country), set up targets and shoot lots of ammo. This one was made special by an awesome pig roast (with a donated pig!) and the addition of bow-and-arrow shooting.
  7. Forever I will remember the day I helped an intern do a job search — only to come across the job posting that would change our path. I went home and applied that night, had my first call the next morning, second call the following week, and was hired at Communique PR in Seattle shortly thereafter.
  8. The time that I gained with my family through our move. Despite having crazier schedules due to commutes, I feel that we have more down time with the kids. This fall, we enjoyed exploring parks, beaches and neighborhoods; playing games; trying out different restaurants; and growing together as a family.
  9. My brother’s wedding in October. We gained a sister and a niece, enjoyed the beauty on my dad’s land as the backdrop to their simple wedding, saw Ian marry them (which made it even more special), and just enjoyed family.
  10. Our end-of-year trip to the San Francisco Bay Area to see Ian’s folks. We hadn’t spent Christmas down there since 2001 (10 years!), and it was good to make memories with family while remembering our special time there.
  11. It should be first, but it’s first and last and in the middle. I remember this year as the year God taught me to be content. Whether it was in Moscow in the midst of a chaos we loved, driving back and forth across Washington on the weekends in August, settling into new everything this fall, or simply wondering what was in store for us, He has proven faithful. I may not always understand why or what is in store, but when I realize and remember that God is bigger than it all and has it in control, I really have no choice but to surrender it to him.

There. Eleven memories from 2011. And now I declare it done. 2011 is forever gone. And I encourage you to do the same. Be done with the old and embrace the new.

Do not remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it?” ~Isaiah 43:18-19

“I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.” ~Philippians 3:13-14

Don’t live in regret and the way things used to be. Life is before you. A new thing! Grasp it and enjoy!

My quick gratitude list:

  1. A puzzle, of all things, that is allowing me to spend some crazy time with my husband.
  2. A new schedule for the kids that gives them some freedom and responsibility.
  3. Feeling ahead of the curve (for now!) with my school work.
  4. A short week due to the holiday, a short week next week due to class, and a short week the week after due to another holiday. It helps me transition after the Christmas and New Year’s vacations.
  5. A mysterious God, who keeps us own our toes.


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