This is post #7 in my 12 blogs of Christmas. Wednesday I posted about my 'top 10' favorite things about Christmas. In keeping with my top 10 theme, I thought I would highlight my top 10 moments from 2012. But first, let me share a Christmas card with you.
So 2012 was a good year. As I look back on the year, there was a lot of things that happened.
These are listed in no particular order. I couldn't rank the moments. They were all great moments.
10) Watching (from afar) my daughter fall in love with a great guy. In February of 2012 Sarah started talking about a Ukrainian man who she was starting to spend time with. We laughed at his 'introduction line.' He approached the new English teacher from America and wanted to meet for coffee to 'practice his English.' Ha! I sensed right away that he was interested in spending time with my beautiful daughter, not simply to improve his English and time proved me correct. Within a few weeks their relationship moved from a purely platonic relationship to a romantic relationship. Ivan has been great for Sarah (and hopefully Sarah is also great for Ivan.) He seems to genuinely care about Sarah and desire her best interests. He has really helped her deal with her homesickness and loneliness (note - be careful what you pray for, my small group and prayed for Sarah to get over her homesickness all through January and look how God answered that prayer!) We had the pleasure of meeting this intelligent, handsome and loving young man over the summer. If you want to read about Ivan in Sarah's own words, click the words 'the boyfriend' below. That will take you to Sarah's blog from earlier this year.
9) Celebrating my son's successful graduation from high school. This includes so many things; watching him excel in sports during his senior year. He had a fantastic baseball season where he was named MVP. He succeeded in getting good marks on some tough advanced placement classes (which helped him go directly into advanced calculus in college.) We had a fabulous celebration (with lobster) in June including a fun visit from cousin Nor and girls, and generally watching him mature and become confident as a young man.
8) Spending 2 fabulous days in Kyoto Japan - exploring this fascinating ancient city full of culture, history and intrigue. I have been to Tokyo Japan several times, but had never had the chance to venture beyond the city. In late May I was able to spend a weekend in Japan and I got to take the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto and spend Saturday and Sunday in Kyoto. Want to see and hear more about Kyoto? click Kyoto below and that will take you to my blog post on my visit.
kyoto 1 Kyoto 2 Kyoto 3
7) Learning to love exercise. In February I reluctantly started jogging. My first 'run' was basically jog for a minute, walk for a minute - for 20 minutes. I thought I was going to die, but I kept at it. Today I went for a nice relaxing 3 mile run and running a few times a week has become a regular habit. As I've become stronger I've added several activities into my life include spin classes, zumba classes and hot yoga.
6) Going shopping and buying size 10 pants and shirts in a size medium. I lost 20 pounds from January-November and as such I had to get all new pants. It was a great feeling to be finding pants in size 10 that fit great instead of last year trying on size 14's only to find them too small.
4) Hearing the sound of the hotel door open in Budapest Hungary as my daughter Sarah arrived after an overnight bus trip to meet us. I hadn't seen her in a long while and it was so nice to finally get to hug her and spend a week with her in Hungary and her village in Ukraine. Want to hear more about our trip? click Budapest below:
3) Hearing my son Eric say with firm determination that he had decided to go to Clemson to study engineering. He had several options of schools that had accepted him but in April he finally committed to Clemson. Then a similar happy moment was having him come home at Thanksgiving time and tell us he was very interested in Bio Systems Engineering and that he loved school. Another related happy moment was watching him facebook stalk his new roommate and finding a very nice young man with a bible verse on his facebook page. That was definitely an answer to prayer and it's been really nice knowing that Eric and Brent get along well and help each other out.
2) Having one of my cards published in my favorite crafting magazine 'Cards.' The issue came out in June and it really is a thrill to open a well done publication and see one of your own creations in print.
1) My Tuesday Evening Bible Study group. I love these ladies. I love 'doing life' with these ladies, encouraging these ladies and seeing God do wonderful things in their lives. I met Bridget through this group and I really was thrilled to hear her share how God helped her through he second round of cancer treatments with a real answer to prayer when she didn't need surgery. This summer one of the ladies (Yvonne) took a next step and got baptized and my friend Lois is looking to serve in the Tues Eve study in the winter. I love all the ladies on Tues (the new ones and the ones who have been part of it since it started 3 years ago.) Rick Warren, the lead pastor of the very famous church Saddleback, says we were created for a purpose. I believe one of my main purposes is to lead women's bible studies and I am very content when I'm doing that.
So here is something funny about my top 10. Yes, these are the moments that come to mind when I think about memorable moments, but I really love my life. I didn't even list all my 'day to day' moments that I love. Such as reading a devotional in the morning and praying. And having my doggies greet me every time I come home with wagging tails and excitment. And having my dear husband to enjoy the evenings and weekends with. The phone calls to my daughter to hear about her challenges and joys. The text messages with Eric (no, he's not nearly so much of a chatterbox, but that's normal.) I also checking my ipad every morning for facebook updates, e-mail and of course my blogs. Working - while not always a joy - is good. I have some great people I work with and my work is interesting and never boring. And catching up with my mom on my way to work Monday mornings. So, even my not so memorable moments are good. I really try to focus on 'counting my blessings' and lately I am very aware of how blessed I am.
Thanks for journeying along with me as I remembered back through the year. I am in awe of God's provision to me this year. Hope you have a great day.
'Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.' Psalm 118: 1