More First Year Reflections

I spent the morning at Middle School Schedule pickup.  It was an amazing reminder of how far God has brought me in the last year.  This time last year, two somewhat timid middle schoolers and their very nervous mom stood in long lines and filled out forms, knowing no one, missing old friends and unsure of what our new community and new school would hold.

Today we spent the entire morning at the school confidently talking to other nervous parents and new students about their schedules and what a great experience the last year had been for us.

As I continue to reflect back on this last year, I see God’s hand working in our lives almost everywhere.  My goal this year is to continue to remain disciplined to staying as close to God as possible.  But even the simple distractions of everyday life can pull me away from that.  The house is not clean enough, the bills need to be paid, pick up the drycleaning and the kids and make sure dinner is planned. My personal goal of training for a half marathon has required hours a week of walking and running.  And then there is social networking (which I really need to give up this year) and blogging, which I love.  It is my creative outlet.

The fun part about blogging is that I have absolutely no idea who reads what I write.  I don’t pay for the sophisticated tracking programs, so my blog stats just come in the form of numbers.  40 views.  That means 40 page views, not even unique visits.  Occasionally, someone will send comment or a note and it usually surprises me to find out who is actually reading what I write.  I was also surprised to look back on my year to find out I had posted almost 50 blogs since last August.  Granted some of them were just reposts of the good writing of others, but it has been a rewarding experience to write through all the things that God is doing in my life.  And my prayer is that He also uses this blog to touch the lives of others along the way.

This past year I’ve read some great books:

Character Makeover by Katie Brazelton

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver

Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro

Primal:  A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity by Mark Batterson

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars by Mark Batterson

Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Show Up the Way You Thought He Would by Pete Wilson

Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

The Real Deal: Becoming More Authentic in Life and Leadership by Dan Webster

For someone who has not picked up a book for pleasure reading since college, I have really enjoyed the renewed love of reading God has given me this year.

As for the next year, I want to leave it flexible enough to be open to what God holds.  And for those of you who know about my addiction to volunteering, I have done better in Florida.  I am serving as president of the Band Parents Organization as well as teaching at church (an 8th girls Lifegroup (otherwise known as Sunday School) and a class of 3 year olds on Sunday mornings).  Luckily, our church has 7 services, so teaching 2 hours still give me a chance to attend any one of the other 5 and not working 40-60 hours a week, gives me plenty of time to rest up.

My books on the “to read” list for this year include:

Love at Last Sight: Thirty Days to Grow and Deepen Your Closest Relationships by Kerry and Chris Shook

Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible by Steve Furtick

Water into Wine: Hope for the Miraculous in the Struggle of the Mundane by Kelly Minter

At least one other Francine Rivers novel

At least one book by Andy Stanley

Increasing Your Personal Impact by Dan Webster

I have a few other personal goals for the year that involve spending time with my family traveling, continuing to enjoy my long walks/runs, yoga classes and making it to Costa Rica at least three times this year to help support the work of the Brook Ministries (http://www.thebrookministries.org/).  I just love the work that they are doing for pastors in both the US and South America.

This year has been a year of regaining perspective.  Sometimes we work so hard and so long (often driven by the examples we’ve had set for us by others for most of our lives) that we lose perspective of the life that God has for us.  It has been such a blessing to have this last year to regain at least some of that perspective.  I imagine that it will take many more years of focused time with God to get even close to where He wants me to be, but I have to admit that it has been an enriching journey.

Frisco has been tough to let go of.  Much tougher than I anticipated.  I loved my life and my friends in Texas and often when old work or community projects surface that I was incredibly passionate about, I get pretty emotional about not being able to be there to help “steer the ship.”  But I am learning (slowly) that I need to let go of the old and trust that God is in control and He is much more capable then I am of taking care of all the projects and friends that He gave me such a heart for in the first place.

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3 responses to “More First Year Reflections

  1. Isabel P Sem

    JMac, another awesome post. I am at a point in my life that I simply get up each morning and wait to see what God has in store for me. Sometimes I clean, sometimes I exercise and quite often I visit those God puts before me that need a visit.

    I am enjoying the Beth Moore Bible studies and will start another in early September. I also love planning project and visiting with my Silver Sombrero Sisters.

    In the morning I am having breakfast with James Nunn. I will greet him for you.

    We in Frisco are having a hard time letting you go as well. You touched us and made such a difference in our lives.

    Love you my friend.
    Isabel

  2. Steve Lucas

    Love your reflections! And I’m going to hold you to three trips. Can’t wait to get you down here, serving with us!

  3. Beautifully written, Janet, obviously from the heart with divine inspiration. Just in the last week, I’ve seen example after example that puts on display the awesome choreographer that our God is! Praying for you on your journey… Kevin

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