These are a few of my favorite things...

I've come to realize my blogs have been a bit heavy, so here are some of my favorite things from 2008. 1. Our 10th anniversary trip to Leavenworth, WA (3 days of Brian all to myself, great hotel, great restaurants [mmm, pear crepes], and I scored two fabulous purses in the village!) 2. Finding out we're having a baby (this of course tops the list) 3. Brian's loving accomplishment of some huge projects (hardwood floors, new molding, sprinkler system, garage organizational system, the repainting of our main living area, baby room, etc) 4. Another vacation week at Wannacut Lake with the Ogle clan (despite morning sickness, there still isn't much better than a week of floating on the lake and eating "The Aunt's" delicious treats) 5. A week at IHOP (this has nothing to do with pancakes) in January. (great time with Jesus, friends, a tour of a chicken farm and tasting root beer flavored milk for the first time) 6. Shopping for our quickly coming baby girl with Brian (each time it feels like a dream...thank You for Your goodness Lord) 7. A super cool valentine's date at this tiny restaurant in SE (Brian rocks at making great special dates) 8. Seeing Brian break his marathon PR TWICE! (Yay, baby!) 9. Going to the pumpkin patch with Ty, Kristy and the kids (Caden was very careful to find the roundest one possible) 10. The miracle of docs discovering my IC in time to keep our baby safe (God can use anyone for a miracle, even radiologist students) 11. Getting to be with Maudi, Malachi and the rest of the fam almost every Monday night (man, I'm gonna miss the Roscoe's while they're in Africa) 12. The Thanksgiving drive around Walla walla with Brian just before turkey dinner (the combo of Christmas lights and families eating dinner together in windows was beautiful) 13. God's awesome provision of our SUV (thanks Ron and Jill) 14. A relaxing and beautiful WHITE Christmas with my family (even though I'm convinced Dad cheats at Scrabble and Brian is sneaky when playing Life) and the snow days before and after 15. The first felt movements of Elliana (she's an acrobat now) Well, naturally this doesn't cover all of the great things that happened in 2008, but these are definitely moments that are close to my heart. I'm so thankful for all Jesus has given me.


What will the New Year bring?

Unlike my goal-oriented husband, I'm not one to normally set up specific resolutions or goals for the new year. I'm usually more the type who has an idea of what I want to change or see happen and then move (quite slowly I hate to admit) towards it. This year, however, is different. Everything is different, actually. Right now I feel like my life direction, friendships and pastoral perspectives are all being stretched and pulled in a way that's causing a mixture of uncertainty and anticipation. I desperately want this year to be a huge step into the purpose and position God has for me and my family. What this seems to require, however, is much bigger and scarier than I thought. First, I want God to truly be my obsession, my deepest desire. We sang a song this morning about giving our every heartbeat for the glory of God. I want to live and breath like that. The question then must be answered, am I truly willing to let go of self, of pre-concieved ideas, of plans, of my fears, my time? Am I willing to embrace new directions and new roles? Second, I want to be an godly influencer far beyond what I am now. This year that will begin with our soon to be born baby girl. Do I have the type of relationship with Jesus that I desire for her to model after? Will I be willing and able to push aside other's opinions and raise her in the way God wants us to? My dream is to love Jesus so much that He is real to her from the moment she's born, that the practice of prayer and worship and communing with the Holy Spirit is as practical and necessary as eating and sleeping. I also want to influence and pastor others with a new measure of wisdom and grace. I want to know when to speak and when to pray. I want to know in the depths of my heart God's way verses man's opinion. I want to be able to discern when to cover another and when to step back. My heart aches with sorrow for all of the mistakes I've made in this area. This year I MUST grow in this realm! For this to happen, some will probably think I'm being too "tolerant" and others will think I'm being too "involved". How far am I willing to dive into this? How much of my own "wisdom" am I willing to leave behind? Third, I want to have true friendship once again. I want to have a kindred spirit. My husband, without a doubt is my best friend and always will be, he is the greatest gift of grace God has ever given me. Like most girls, however, I desire a girl friend. I want a friend that I can be working side by side to build God's kingdom and having a blast while doing it. I want to celebrate life's joys with someone and cry with when disappointment comes. I want the privilidge to cheer someone else on in their endeavors. This past year has definitely been filled with many lonely and isolated moments and I do not want to continue in such a manner. I want to BE a friend as much as I WANT a friend. I haven't done a very good job at being a friend lately. I've allowed myself to accept isolation and even self-pity. The question is what do I do now? Do I repair old relationships or move forward toward others? What needs to change in me to be a good friend? So, with all of that, as the new year rings in, I'm going to write down some specific goals and resolutions. There's too much at stake for me to allow my life to ramble aimlessly into 2009. I desire to please God and to walk in such a way that brings glory to Him. The only way to do that is to make a change...or a lot of them. I know I won't find all the answers right away, but if I don't start looking I won't find them at all. Lord, help me! Lead me and guide my steps. Your word says you'll order our ways, please do so. Help me to yeild to you and to make changes accordingly. Give me the courage to follow the burning desires you've placed in my heart. I love you. Thank you for all you have given us this past year and all you're going to do this coming year. In Jesus Name, Amen.


On a winter's night

As this week is coming to a close I'm listening to crinkling sound of icy snow hit our windows while basking in the golden light of our 12'+ wild Christmas tree. Throughout this past week we've been semi-housebound due to "severe" weather conditions and I've been loving every minute of it. It's a rare treat for me to be able to stay home and work on little home projects without the nag of guilt that tells me there must be something else I should be doing or taking care of, so the mandatory home time was more than welcome. This week we've (my husband and sister and I) officially finished cleaning out the soon to be baby's room, organized all of my craft stuff, categorized and stored the already growing pile of baby items, organized and filed our tax papers and receipts from the past 7 years, switched our hall linen closet to decor storage, moved our linens to more convenient locations throughout the house, reclaimed my husband's office as a real functioning room rather than a storage space, reorganized our bill filing system and completed our main Christmas shopping. Whew! Needless to say, our snow days have not been wasted! In between working on projects and staring out at the beautiful white snow I repeatedly thought about how much I love home. I love how safe and warm and loved I feel all snuggled up with Brian in a Christmas lit room. I love the smells of cooking that hang in the air in the evening. I love the current excitement and anticipation that fills each day as we prepare room for our new little one. I love the cuddles from our dogs and their trusting eyes. I guess you could say that this past week at home as simply reminded me of how much I have that's wrapped up within these walls. I am truly blessed and thankful for a marriage and home that reminds me of Jesus' love for me.