My 2011 Year in Review

I can hardly believe that it is this time of year again!

I look forward to the end of December & beginning of January when I can take a few minutes to pause and reflect on the past 12 months. Needless to say, last year was quite memorable, challenging, and very interesting!

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
I traveled quite a bit in 2011 and two of my destinations, Grand Rapids and Las Vegas, were first time visits. Also, I drove a U-Haul for the first time and served on my first criminal jury panel.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and did you make more for 2012?
I didn’t have a flawless record, but by God’s grace, I did endeavor to keep the one resolution I made, which was to listen to Scripture while working alone. To be honest, in January, I thought this would be the LONGEST year of my life, just because it was such a hard habit to break of listening to other things or watching tennis or TV. But now, 12 months later, I can’t imagine not having my spirit and mind blessed by hearing the Word of God all day long. I definitely plan to continue this in 2012.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
YES!!! My dear friend Kristin welcomed a new baby girl into the world. (I so love getting to be an honorary aunt to my friends’ kiddos!)

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, and although these were sad goodbyes, I look forward to seeing them again in Heaven.

5. What places did you visit?
I traveled quite a bit in 2011 . . . Louisiana (x4), Oklahoma (x2), Grand Rapids, other parts of Texas (x2), Las Vegas.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A deeper fellowship with my Lord and Savior, a more real understanding of His constant presence, and a continual sense of always finding my security and worth in Him.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory?
I look back on a lot of dates with very distinct memories! Just to list a few . . . seeing my sister come to a personal relationship with God, spending a weekend in Michigan for a very special wedding, helping lead three out-of-town ministry trips with the young people of our church, coordinating a beautiful wedding at a gorgeous bed and breakfast in Brenham, a couple of always fun trips with Melanie, getting to speak at Microsoft’s RLX event in Las Vegas, and so SO many more!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
In and of myself, I didn’t have a greatest achievement on my own. But praise the Lord, this year had so many God-moments. . . those times when you just have to stand back in awe and give Him all the praise and glory. It continually boggles my brain that He would love and trust me enough to give me a chance to have a role to play as part of His master plan.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not trusting God enough and letting my anxious brain dictate my thoughts, words, and actions.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Other than a real bad sinus infection (and the ongoing trial of food allergies), I was pretty healthy in 2011! Praise the Lord for good health!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hmmm. This is a tough one. If you had asked me that a week ago, I could probably tell you. But right now, my brain’s drawn a blank.

12. Where did most of your money go?
The US Government. (OH, and *sheepish look*, Chipotle).

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Oh, I get really, really, really, REALLY excited on a regular basis, so this one’s tough. Normally, I get excited when I stumble across a project or a cause that I can really, really, REALLY sink my teeth into. This year, I was thrilled to help lead three short-term ministry trips with young people from our church, which is always a joy and delight. I was also really excited about getting to do more work with Microsoft & Office 2010. Plus, a few DP projects were so much fun to work on, especially Final Approach.

14. What song/album will always remind you of 2011?
Well, because of #2, I didn’t have time to listen to a third of as much music as I have in the past. However, I did have a chance to do a lot of reading. So, I’ll list the books that stood out to me this year: the Bible books of Joshua & Nehemiah, So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore, The Little Red Book of Wisdom by Mark DeMoss, and Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier/sadder,thinner/heavier,richer/poorer?
I’m definitely happier, but it is not just happiness, rather joy that isn’t based on my circumstances, rather my everlasting relationship with God. I’m not as thin, which I personally consider to be a good thing, cause my life’s slowed down enough to actually give me time to eat. Though, I’m probably poorer, considering I had just sold OTB this time last year. But that’s only applicable to actual monetary currency, cause I feel like the richest gal in the world on the inside because my future is secure in God’s hands!

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I’d spent more time with God, had more patience, spent more time with my family, saved more money and been more compassionate and merciful.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I wish I’d spent less time wasted on insecure worrying.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
We had our big Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, so I spent the day relaxing, playing games, eating delicious leftovers, and watching Hallmark movies.

19. How many trips did you take in 2011?
A lot! See #5.

20. What was your favorite TV program?
Now that it is back in syndication, I’ve really enjoyed watching Sue Thomas: FB EYE again!

21. What was the best book(s) you read?
The book of Nehemiah. God kept me in this book of the Bible most of the year and showed me some AMAZING insights on leadership.

22. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Can’t quite pin it down to just one song! I listened to some amazing new music in 2011!

23. What did you want and get?
I got to travel a lot, which was wonderful! Plus, God blessed me with a new laptop and a gorgeous new work desk.

24. What did you want and not get?
A couple of things, big and little. But I know God will provide them all in HIS perfect timing.

25. What were your favorite films of this year?
None that came to mind. I watched a bunch, but none that made me rave.

26. What did you do on your birthday?
I spent the day at NASA with my family, along with dinner at Chipotle! I had a grand time seeing the old Mission Control, the astronaut training facilities and investigating a Saturn V up close and personal.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Pink was in for me during 2011, along with the ever present greens and blues.

28. What kept you sane?
Moments of escape into the “secret place” with my Lord. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1. I wouldn’t stay sane without these reassuring moments of attitude readjustments, comfort, and peace.

29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
They aren’t still alive, but I continue to be impressed by a duet from the World War II era, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Winston Churchill.

30. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
The road I have traveled has sometimes been steep
Through wild jagged places of life
Sometimes I’ve stumbled and fallen so hard
That the stones cut my soul like a knife
But the staff of my Shepherd would reach out for me
And lift me to cool pastures green
With oil of the spirit anointing my wounds
There I’d rest by the clear healing stream

Oh but now more than ever
I cherish the cross
More than ever I sit at His feet
All the miles of my journey have proved my Lord true
And He is so precious to me

Is love’s old sweet story too good to be true?
Do you find all this hard to believe?
Has the cruel world we live in so battered your heart
That the hurt child inside you can’t grieve?
I can’t say I blame you I’ve been where you are
But all I can say is, “It’s true.”
You’re wanted, you’re precious, you’re the love of his heart.
And the old rugged cross was for you

Oh but now more than ever
I cherish the cross
More than ever I sit at His feet
All the miles of my journey have proved my Lord true
And He is so precious to me
– More Than Ever

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  • Marianna January 17, 2012   Reply →

    You sure had a wonderful and adventurous year! I hope you blossom just as much in 2012!

    I so appreciate your challenge to listen to God’s Word while you work… after you shared that with me, I have been challenged to listen to God’s Word more too! Thank you!!

  • Aaress January 18, 2012   Reply →

    Oh, I’m so glad God used that to encourage you, my friend!!! Enjoy a wonderful year of learning more from God’s heart!!!

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