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The Obligatory New Years Post?

You know, the resolution post that has fifteen things I will do and fifteen things I won't do, and every single one of them will be broken by the end of January? Yeah, that post. I'm not doing it. Who needs the discouragement? I did find this list of questions on (In)Courage and thought I'd answer them. Keep in mind, it's early, I'm answering them off the top of my head without a ton of thought, and once again, I woke up with a headache. (And, for once, I'm aiming for a snark/sarcasm free post ... let's see if that's even possible.) (Evidently not.)

(I went through and added some things here and there ... the things in italics are my edits.)

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
The kids, particularly Gabbi, really stepping up around here. I have been so proud of her - all of them really - for just being able to realize when I'm at the breaking point, and just helping out. What an enormous blessing!
Also, the fact that my brother is still here, and doing pretty well. That was completely unexpected after this summer!

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
hm ... let's see ... racking my brain ...

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
My friends! They anticipated my needs, listened to me cry and whine, prayed for me, made me laugh ... my friends who are reading this - you have no idea the blessing you have been to me over this year!

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Feeling that I wasn't handling things well enough; I wasn't supportive enough, I wasn't kind enough, that no matter how I did things, it wasn't enough. Really, my main goal for the year was just to survive it (sorry, I know how dramatic that sounds). Doing it well wasn't really my goal. When I was reminded that I wasn't doing it well, that was a huge obstacle. And well, I'll just leave it at that.

5. Pick three words to describe 2009.
CHALLENGING!! sleepless, different

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2009 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).
CHALLENGING!! (And well, he hasn't SEEN me in six months! Who knows how he would describe it?)

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2009 (again, without asking).
CHALLENGING!! lonely, busy

8. What were the best books you read this year?
Same Kind of Different As Me (just finished that and LOVED IT!) Crazy Love (haven't exactly finished this one yet, but I really love what I've read of it.)

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
my friends. To the one who asked one day "What simple thing would make life easier for you right now?" AND THEN JUST DID IT ... oh my, how I thank the Lord for you!
All of my friends ... and the thing is, I'm a big "repayer of favors" usually, and there is just no way I can do that (which is something that has been an interesting challenge for me!) I am so blessed!
Also my relationship with my husband ... it's been a little weird this year; go figure that. I'm anxious to see what 2010 is going to look like for my marriage.

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
I think realizing that I am way more capable than I ever gave myself credit for. And that it's okay to be a little needy from time to time. I've had to let go of some pride issues, which has been tough, but necessary.
Anticipating the changes that are going to have to be made when Jim gets back ... well, that should be interesting. I'm pretty good at doing what I want to do when I want to do it, and I'd be lying if I didn't say that being mostly in control has worked for me. In some areas, I'll very happily give up that control. In others ... well, it might be a challenge. I'm betting he's going to have his own challenges to deal with when he gets back too. Might be interesting around here!

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
Maybe I've gotten a little better at trying to figure out what's really important, and realizing it's not whether there's a mess under the girls' beds. (A little better is all ... still had a fit about that the other day.) I've given myself permission to be emotional sometimes, and permission to avoid situations if I choose to not be emotional sometimes.

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
I can see the Lord changing me even now ... the pride and the "what's really important?" issues ...
Also, I've seen the Lord really meet some very plain old basic needs, even as I whined about having those needs.

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
I'm blaming nabisco for that. Darn Oreos.

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
(wow, these are tough questions ... and now that I'm at the end of the list, I'm kind of questioning the wisdom of putting this all "out there!")
I've relied on others in places that I probably normally would not have. There are a very small few who have been "privileged" to see lots of the ugliness that lives in me ... which takes a huge amount of trust.

15. What was the most enjoyable area of managing your home?
haha ... my mom got me an electric broom for Christmas. OH MY WORD, I'm in love with that thing. I hate sweeping the floors, hate the dustpan, and usually my floors are in desperate need of help. This little thing is awesome! And the best part? It's lightweight enough that even my 8 year old can do it! Now that's enjoyable! (Do I sound like an infomercial?)

16. What was your most challenging area of home management?
just getting it all done. I get overwhelmed so easily, and I'm pretty much incapable of anything when that happens, so I went to great lengths to avoid that. Doing all of the laundry, then realizing that half the contents of the girls' closets was crammed under their beds, or the boy had shoved dirty clothes into his toybox ... yikes!

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
oh yikes. I'm going to just say facebook. I do enjoy it, and it's been great connecting with people I haven't talked to in years, but I also wasted a great amount of time there.

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
This year I made a loose schedule and stuck to it. It has been great! I've done basically a month at a time, kept up with a calendar, and it's been so nice!

19. What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?
The Lord can take even what seems insurmountable and bring you through it. That's actually a prayer of faith, because I'm certainly not through it yet.

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2009 for you.
This is certainly not my phrase or statement, but I'm claiming it, for 2009 and forever.
Lamentations 3:22-24 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

So, let me challenge you to grab these questions and answer them for yourself. A little end of the year introspection is a good thing!

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