Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Top Ten of 2010

The myriad of lists recapping the year are my favorite distraction between Christmas and New Years. They're everywhere, all shapes and sizes, and I get sucked in every time. :)
So to end the year, I decided to make my own list, of:
Things That Inspired Me In 2010
Here we go. :)
1. Blog reading-What a treasure trove of goodness is waiting to be uncovered in the blogworld. I'm so happy I've found it. Reading my favorites is what I most look forward to in the long hours I have to rest my back. And I almost always leave either being inspired, feeling more hopeful, or having just plain old laughed out loud. And I must add that it's helped me get over myself too. :) I started out secretly judgmental of those who had "no life other than to comment to bloggers they don't even know." But the more I read the more I realized that being too cool to engage in some of the conversations, I was only hurting myself-- and that my "too cool to comment-ness" was also giving in to my tendency to worry what others think of me. So, I've stopped that. And comment if I want to comment. As a result, I'm getting to know some really great people. How silly to behave otherwise.
2. Blog writing-I'm not a great writer. I'm much more gifted in other areas. But the discipline of writing consistently has made me better at it, and it is nice to see that progress. I'm also thinking, THINKING about telling more people I write here. Because I'm trying to be more brave like that. But we'll have to see about that one.
*side note-now that I've gone on about blogs, will you allow me to share some of my favorites?
--enjoying the small things-everyone should read the touching birth story of Nella Cordelia. Beautiful.
--A Love Like This-Mike and Dana Ritter bravely chat about their first year of marriage. Dana also works at the White House an shares fascinating tidbits. These two are deeply in love, funny, and not afraid to be real about the tough stuff.
--From Harlot to Handmaiden-my friend's Katie's posts are thought-provoking and from the heart.
--Stuff Christians Like-hilarious. Just plain hilarious.
--The Lettered Cottage-fabulous, cost-effective decorating tips.
3. Get Out of that Pit- This Beth Moore book was a crucial turning-point. It placed tools in my hand to help me really and truly get out of the pit that crippling disappointment had thrown me in. It reassured that in Christ, pain has a plan and it doesn't have to destroy me. It also showed me the power of praying Scripture.
4. Christ in me-I know this one sounds strange, but let me explain. I am the biggest scardey-cat I know. Always have been. Since I was a kid I've stood in awe of the naturally thick-skinned. Because I'm so not. I'm usually the one melting down when things get tough. Not so great under pressure. And I've always feared the day when something really horrible would crash into my life, because I didn't think I could handle it. But it's been three years since something really horrible did crash into my life. And I didn't fall apart. It didn't crush me. I survived and proved that I'm stronger than I ever dreamed. I've had my struggles, yes. But I'm still here. God and I have wrestled, it's true. But I'm still trusting Him. And I'm utterly amazed. Or I should say I'm amazed at the God in me that has made me more than I am. And I'm not as fearful anymore. Because I know now that with God, even if the worst happens....I'll be alright.
5. SaraRose-there is something magic her smile, and in her sweet childhood need for me. On the mornings when I think I absolutely can not do it, I see her little head at the kitchen table and know that somehow, I absolutely can.
6. Weight Watchers-Gave me some power back. My 20 pound weight gain seemed to be the physical proof that all the freaking pain was winning. I felt defeated without the option of being active. But Weight Watchers was my whispered answer to prayer. And I'm so thankful.
...AND I'm starting up again Jan 1 (wink :).
7. Aunt Carol-my super cool aunt lives in LA and has her own fair share of back problems (runs in the family). She has been my #1 encourager. She faithfully writes me handwritten letters, sends gifts and has amazingly shipped a movie and a funny card every. single. WEEK since my last surgery! Count it! That's 2o movies. Amazing. Such a smile inducer!
8. Books-I loooooove to read. And while blogs took over a bit of reading time this year, books continue to be my happy place. Because of them, I'm rarely bored, and am continually inspired.
*And I might as well share books I read this year too ;)
--Little Women (after you read it, you'll understand why it's so cherished.)
--Get Out of that Pit (nuff said :)
--The Harry Potter series (Do it. Just do it.)
--Hugh Sidey's Portraits of the Presidents (surprisingly the most inspirational book of the whole year)
9. Joni Erickson Tada- since Jr. High she's been my greatest living hero. And this year, on top everything, faced breast cancer. She is a warrior and I love her. Here's her blog too. Can't wait to hug her neck in heaven someday.
10. Talks with Andrew-My health problems are a burden on him too. But he has never once complained or made me feel guilty. As panic attack as I can be, he's as equally level-headed. When my fears reach a breaking point, he always seems to know what to say to put me at ease. I always leave our talks with a burden lifted. Thanks, honey.

Well, that's it, folks.
2010, it's been real. You've brought much goodness, but I'm not sad to see you go! Even so, thanks for the things I've learned. I'll never be the same.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Christmas

I just said "Happy Christmas" to sound a little British. Because ever since my 6th grade report on it, I love all things England. I'm definitely one of the ones getting up at 3:00am April 29th to watch the Royal wedding.

But that is neither here nor there. ;)

I really just wanted to post our Christmas picture and say thanks for sticking around and reading my silly thoughts and tear-stained posts this year. It's nice knowing you're here.

Hope you have a beautiful Christmas!