The end of the year usually finds me cleaning–files, corners, Christmas decorations, photos on my phone. . . and as I cleaned today, I was so thankful for the many blessings of the year. Maybe you will find yourself on this list–or at least in one of the “usies!”
Visiting Friends and Friends Visiting: Friends from all over the world stopped by for a cup of coffee, an omelet, or a quick tour of CHF–only about a quarter of those visits are represented below. I was also able to visit friends in 15 states over the year. Crazy lot of time in airports, but so worth it! And yes, I really am as tired as some of these photos look! Sometime, ask me about the 24-hour turn-around from Florida to Atlanta to Los Angles to Fairbanks.
Creativity: Getting craftsy is almost as fun as chopping vegetables. I discovered polymer clay this year and enjoyed feeling things come into shape in my fingers. Yes, I am easily amused!
Speaking and Writing. There is nothing I like more than to open the Scriptures with people eager to study together. Although gatherings were still limited compared to 2019 levels, a few women’s retreats, podcasts, and teas happened along the way. This blog readership continues to grow.
Children’s Hunger Fund: I have enjoyed life at CHF this year as we continue to walk together to Deliver Hope to suffering children by supporting local churches around the world. We launched a new Food Pak, celebrated our President’s Birthday month, and began a round of departmental assessments. We moved our Dallas Distribution Center to Frisco and enjoyed a lovely group of interns in Sylmar and Dallas. (Anybody for Summer 2022? Let me know!) Our staff has grown professionally and numerically, and we are excited to see what the Lord will do in the year ahead.
Local Friends. We celebrated the Olympics, picked blueberries, and enjoyed so much life together. There was a murder mystery in there, games, food, art, Hamilton, more food, and a trip to Catalina. My friend Jenn moved in with me in July and will be headed to serve in Dubai in February.
Grace Baptist Church. The pastors, the thoughtful shepherding, my Adult Bible Fellowship led by 30-year friend Todd Bolen, the Outreach team, a small group of 20-somethings, and even the Fall Festival were simply a joy.
Chariots of Fire: My favorite movie celebrated 40 years since its release, and a group of my dearest friends gathered to enjoy it with (read: “humor”) me.
Blueberries: Really! What a kind gift they are from the Creator! It looks like the crop will be ready in late January–let me know if you want to go picking.
My parents moved to Florida. After several visits and years of discussion, my parents relocated from North Carolina to Advent Christian Village in Dowling Park, Florida in August. I have visited them three times and love seeing them grow in relationships and enjoyment of the precious community around them. Sun, sand, humidity, new cell phones, a golf-cart, and fascinating people.
This shoeshine. Simply amazing!
Music. After years of listening to Sovereign Grace Music, I flew to Louisville to be a part of a live recording of a new album of music from the Psalms. What a joy it was to worship together with friends–both the ones on stage and the ones around me! You can preorder the album here, and if you look hard, you can pick me out on the album cover. . .
Bosco. He loves me, and the feeling is mutual.
Beauty. Rich Mullins’ voice rings often in my head: “There’s so much beauty around us and just two eyes to see.” Whether it was the three clutches of sparrows in my shower window, trees in Florida with their roots in the river, or simple reflections on the countertop, God’s fingers shaping the world around me often takes my breath away.
Life is hard some days, but glimpses of the better Day to come are abundant! I’m glad I get to wait with you!
Blessed New Year to you all! Here is a song to remind you that All of our tomorrows are in His hand!
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. (Rev 22)