2010 Year In Review

I do find it hard to believe that 2010 is over. Time seemed to stand still at some points, and then during other seasons I'd blink and the month would be past.

This year was a mix of growth and setbacks. Joy and sorrow. Hope/success and failure. As I look back to what I wanted to accomplish (see
here for details) this is what my rear-view mirror shows.

JOY/SORROW: I have to say that this year I think I have done a better job at walking in joy. Daily. In the midst of the mundane. I certainly wasn't always successful {ask Jack or my kids} but I do feel like I made good strides in this area. Still room for improvement but overall, a feeling of success in this desire of mine to be content and live in joy. I think the contrasting sorrow I have felt this year has been actually very deep and wide, for many people in my circle of friends that are hurting. Desperately hurting. This perhaps goes down in history as the year that I cried more tears for others than I thought possible.

HOPE/SUCCESS: I lost 23 pounds. That is HOPE at its best. And while I didn't lose the 40-50 pounds I wanted to lose, and I fell way short of my goal, I come into this year, 2011, with HOPE that if I lost 23 last year, I can lose that much this year. And slowly, my weight can reflect a life of healthiness. That's my goal. A healthy life. Better choices. Healthier choices all the way around.

FRIENDSHIPS: As I reflect on 2010 I have to say that I have been given such joy through my friendships. And I don't think I've necessarily taken that for granted over the years, but I have seen this year the rich value in deep friendships. I have loved getting to know newer friends better; a true highlight of my year. I have loved developing friendships that I've made in recent years, taking those friendships to the next level. And of course, I have loved time together with friends that have been with me for the long haul. Inevitably, I cross paths with people from time to time that are lonely for friendships and it's then that I quietly, to myself, think, "Lord, you have blessed me in AMAZING ways by giving me so many dear friends."

DREAM REALIZED: I recently sat across the breakfast table from my dear, decades-old friend Naomi, and she excitedly said, "So tell me EVERYTHING about your photography business." {She lives far away and we don't get to visit very often.} And I wanted to burst into happy tears. You see, Naomi has been with me from the very, very, very beginning of my 'entrepreneurial' dreams. She's heard it all. We've dreamed alongside each other for a long time. Every single idea of what I could maybe do; sometimes around a campfire in the middle of a state park in Oregon ... sometimes driving down the freeway in a Mustang convertible ... sometimes sitting in a Barnes and Noble ... many times over a breakfast from here to Tennessee and back again. And before I could even mention some of those former ideas, we laughed together as she said, "Remember when you thought you might try such and such?" {Side note: Isn't it SO wonderful to be known. And remembered. I loved my couple of hours with Nay. She knows me and understands me so well.}

So this past spring brought on the beginning of an exciting career in photography. People believed in me and gave me a chance to capture their family's stories. Stories through picture. And I saw growth and progress in my pictures. And that felt so good. I think sometimes as a mom I've felt stagnant. But this year I felt alive in the challenge of learning a new skill. Of risking. Of swan diving off the cliff and watching my dreams take flight. Of continuing to dream BIG dreams, of what God could do with my business. Because here's the bottom line. It's all HIS. What I make, I intend to use for HIS kingdom. I want to do this business to be able to give more.

I can hardly wait for this week to start so that I can hunker down and develop my website and philosophy and pricing and all those other things that go along with starting a business. I can hardly wait to do the hard work of learning more and developing my business. I can hardly wait to meet more people and give them the gift of capturing their stories.

GOD'S FINGERPRINTS: This year I've seen God's fingerprints all over the place. Why just this past week I was talking with a friend and she mentioned how God had answered a very specific request of hers. She (and I, and others) were praying something for her for a long, long time, and over the past month God answered that prayer. And THAT summed up the word HOPE for me. That was God showing up in her life in a HUGE way. And as a result, I was totally encouraged. Because if God could do that for her, then God can do that for me. And you. God IS in the business of doing the impossible. Things that seem absolutely impossible to us. And then HE intervenes. I saw that this year. A lot. Probably more so than any year prior to this one.

If I have to sum up this year in a few verses it'd be these: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness... for when I am weak, then I am strong."

It's true. There were countless times this year where I felt so weak and unable to do what I needed to do. What God called me to do. And then HE would show up. I remember very specifically walking into one situation where the whole way there I said, "Lord, I absolutely cannot do this. I have no idea what to say. How to comfort. How to help. You're gonna have to show up and give me the words to say because I am completely incapable." And you know what, He did. It was perhaps one of the most obvious ways He's worked through me this past year. I can honestly say that it wasn't me ... it was HIM.

I look back on 2010 and am so thankful for the blessings from the Lord this year. I'm thankful for the growth. I'm thankful for my amazing husband and beautiful children. I'm thankful for my friends. I'm thankful for my church. I'm thankful for my family.

Just a few favorite pictures from this year:

{I could have posted so many more but I think this gives you just a flavor of the blessings in our lives this year!}

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

{James 1:17}


Grayson said…
beautiful post!! i adore that pic of jack and his lil man. and the one of that handsome filipino irish boy hanging w his buddy aint bad either! luv u

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