Reflecting Back on 2010
I honestly haven't talked to anyone who told me that they would miss 2010. Many of my friends really struggled over the course of the year and all of them were ready to turn the page from 2010 to the new possibilities of 2011. I find myself optimistically joining them, all the while remembering that while we only get to celebrate a new year once a year, God's mercies are new every morning.
Reflecting back on the year that was, I have to acknowledge some highlights. During Lent, I undertook a challenge to read the entire Bible. I had read the whole Bible in a year, but this was time I was reading it in forty days! It was challenging, but it was absolutely worth it. I read, I listened to it on my iPod. I was always in the scriptures, reading around thirty chapters every day. There were times I struggled through (and I found that I paid better attention to some genres by listening to them, while others were better read). I most enjoyed the connection of reading the Bible in its entirety - how many Old Testament references had I never gotten or understood when reading the New Testament (because I hadn't just read them)? This was one of the best challenges I have done.
Following this wonderful challenge was the best vacation my family has ever taken. After Easter, we took off for Florida for a three week vacation (I blogged about the trip here, here, and here). It was great to relax (we had no agenda and the only time we even paid attention to the time was on Sundays when we wanted to make it to church). I was a little worried how life would be for the kids without toys and how life would be for all of us sharing a tent... and it was great. We came back recharged and rejuvenated.
The Summer of 2010 was unlike any summer we have experienced. Just before the 4th of July, we brought two foster sons into our house. They stayed four months, and it was difficult. God tells His people to seek out the least and the lost, to care for the orphan and the widow, which sounds all well and good, but in practice it is difficult. Especially when the orphan has been abused and neglected. It was great to see some fantastic members of our church step up and help take care of them, to invite them to sit with them on Sunday mornings, to pray with us and for us, even coming to our house and praying against the generational curses that plagued these little boys. We were glad to see them come a long, long way in those four months. They've still got a long way to go, and their new foster parents (which will hopefully be their adoptive parents) need your prayers as well.
This August marked my 20 year high school reunion. In one way it doesn't seem like it has been 20 years since I graduated high school, but in another way, it was completely another world ago. I didn't recognize more people than I did recognize (why did all those old people come to my reunion anyway). I was glad I went, but the next time I'd probably rather call up the friends I went to school with and have an informal get-together instead of going to a bar.
After my last marathon I had decided I was content to have run two - I would focus on shorter distances. I had enjoyed running 5K races and half marathons, tossing in some long runs, but not having any desire to run more. But this summer, largely because of the motivation I received from my new friends on Dailymile, I got the bug again. In October I ran the Columbus Marathon, smashing my old personal record by 38 minutes! I even ended up having my picture being the main picture on the Columbus marathon website!
After the two boys left our home and our family went back to a family of four, we decided we needed another break together. We took (most of) a week and went to Tennessee. We stayed in a fantastic cabin up in the mountains (with a really scary driveway, which I mastered after three days). The cabin had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a really cool spiral stairway, and an outdoor hot tub! We loved hiking (our boys made it all the way up to the top of the Chimney Tops despite the ice and snow). Gatlinburg had a fantastic Christmas parade, and the trip was amazing.
December came, and with it came our new foster baby. But unlike all of the other foster kids we've had, when we've only had an hour to prepare our house for them, he's in the NICU and didn't make it home in 2010 (so he'll probably make my "highlights of 2011" blog).
In many ways it was a challenging year, but God is good and His mercies are new every morning!