A year in retrospect: A year in Focus

2011 is a year of endless possibilities. I will not let this year come, happen, and leave without allowing it to significantly impact me and the life of others. I am entering the end of the 2010 year and holiday season knowing that a huge and meaningful chapter to my life was written this year and I am expecting nothing but great, God sized things in 2011. 2010 was one of the first years that I actually stuck to several of my New Year’s Resolutions and I am exiting that year glad that my yesterday’s were the today’s that we always put off until tomorrow. Starting a diet is always easier “tomorrow”, being vigilant in prayer and bible reading is always best put off until “tomorrow”, and making life altering decisions are usually put on that proverbial back burner of “tomorrow” as well. What if my “tomorrow” never happened?
In 2010, most of you that follow my Facebook, Twitter, and Blog know that I ran my first ever half marathon. 13.1 miles with 15,000 strangers is nothing to sneeze at for a girl that couldn’t even run 2 miles one year ago. I turned 30; I lost 45 pounds, and, most importantly, saw the vision and calling of God turn from a gestational sized dream into a budding fetus. The dream and calling of the Bridge Church being planted in the Cleveland Metro Area is in full blown pregnancy, excited about its “Grand Opening” birth this spring. We are in our Pre-Launch phase and have seen God perform many miracles and change many lives. I am beyond excited for 2011.
That being said, I’ve evaluated myself and my plans and came up with some goals/resolutions for 2011. If I don’t reach and achieve each and every one, it’s ok, but I am always striving to better myself. In 2010 I read my bible through cover to cover 2 times. In 2011, I am going to devour and eat my bible. Rather than just consuming the word and nibbling on it cover to cover, I am going to journal my way through the New Testament. This means that every day, I will not just be marinating over and reading the Word, but I am going to chew and digest it. I am going to use the SOAP model of journaling that we are doing in our Life Groups to accomplish this. (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer).
In 2010 I began praying Luke 10:2 twice a day. (He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. NIV) Every Christian should be a harvester. We are asking God to raise up disciple makers in the Bridge Church and for God to send us people that we can make disciples who in turn make disciples that make disciples. I am prompted to do this by my cell phone alarm. I have it set to go off at 10:02 Am and 10:02 PM every day. Doing this has changed my perspective, prayer life, and caused some major changes in the Spirit World in my area. If you are reading these random thoughts and are not a Christian or are just a casual God believer and want to know more, please contact me. I assure you that the power of the Word of God and Prayer in your life in 2011 will change your circumstance for the better. In 2011, I have made my “Scripture of the Year” Ephesians 6:18-6:19 inspired by one of Pastor Jonathan’s wonderful sermons. (18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.NIV)
I have now added an alarm to my phone to go off at 6:18 PM daily to remind me. I want to be a mystery revealer in 2011. I do not want to settle for ordinary. I know that the only way I will see the supernatural in my life, my family’s life, and the life of the Bridge Church is to pray without ceasing. These little “alarm clock” prayers are not my only conversations with heaven, but they assure that I am calling to my heavenly Father at all points throughout the day. I know that the amazing things God is wanting to do in the Western Cleveland suburbs will be through the hard work of “elbow grease”, but cannot and will not happen through just human hard work and effort alone. God wants all the glory and I will assure that He and He alone gets it.
On a personal level, I’d like to lose about 9 more pounds. However, if I don’t, I am healthier now than I have been in a decade and will be happy to maintain what I achieved in 2010. I’d also like to take that half marathon and turn it into a marathon. Jonathan and I have decided we are going to sign up for and run the Akron Marathon in September. A full glorious 26.2 miles awaits me. I am just amazed that I am even typing this. I’ve never been an athlete but have felt like one for the first time in my life in 2010. I cannot reiterate enough to you the power and importance of exercise in your life. I feel like a changed person. Much of the stress and frustration that we carry around can be dealt with and eliminated through taking care of your body. After all, if you are a Christian reading this, you know your body is the temple of God. Don’t pollute the temple! If you aren’t a Christian, know that carrying around mountains of fat never helped anyone. I am not some health guru, health evangelist, or personal trainer person. I still eat copious amounts of ice cream, skittles, and Five Guys. I’m not perfect. I do, however, value my health.
I would resolve to blog and write more, but I did that in 2010 and failed miserably. I love writing. The cathartic experience of putting thoughts out in the universe for others to read is second to none. However, the reality of having 2 small children, starting a church, holding numerous positions and responsibilities at the church, taking care of my physical health, taking care of my husband, volunteering at the school and in the community, and living life with Missional Purpose and Intent is too great. If I do a lot of writing, then I’ll do it. If I can’t, I can’t. I know one day I won’t wake up at 6 AM daily to 2 snuggly, yet demanding and loud boys and instead, I’ll find the sadness and solitude of silence, and then I can write. By then people may actually listen to what I have to say too because I’ll be full of years.
In 2010, I hit the milestone of turning the big 3-0! In 2011, I hit the milestone of celebrating 10 years of marriage with the love of my life and my best friend, Jonathan. It has been an amazing ride. We have been through things in our marriage that few young people ever have to deal with and have come out victorious. We have encountered some of the most major life stressors that people deal with in an entire lifetime, condensed in just a few short years. I’m so thankful that God saw fit to put us together for the wild, crazy, fun, stressful, invigorating ride of life.
In 2011 both of my boys will be in school. My oldest, Reese, is already in Kindergarten and will enter first grade. My youngest, Gentry, will start pre-school in the fall. The pre-school is just a 2 day program, but puts the speed of life into perspective. I always dreamt of being a mother and having babies and I’ve had 2 and they aren’t babies anymore!! That being said, I’m going to start focusing on the plight of mothers and infants in the US and around the world. I want to give more, do more, and help more. I have been blessed beyond belief and it’s time for me to crank up the level of blessing that I dole out to others. I already feel like Jonathan and I are givers, but you can’t out give God. I would like to every year take on a new project or cause that will outlive us.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Truth be told, this was more for my own good. I learned long ago that if you don’t put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and outline your goals and plans, they will never come to fruition in your life.

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