Thursday, January 12, 2012


I have a fancy iPhone.
One of the many perks of said phone is that I can set ANY picture I so desire as my background. So, every time I check the time, the phone rings, I get a text message, someone comments on something on one of my many Social Networking pages, I see this picture. It's safe to say that I see this picture rather frequently. I would say, on average, over 100 times a day. Now, you may be wondering why I'm sharing this seemingly unimportant information with you... the reason is this: Every time I see this picture, it reminds me to pray. You see, the picture I have as my background is frequently different, but always has one thing in common: children. It's not always the same children, but there is always a child of some shape or size in that picture. It reminds me to pray. To pray for the children in my life. The ones I know well, the ones I know not so well, the ones I see on Sundays, the ones I see on other days of the week. It reminds me to pray for their identity, to pray for their hearts, to pray for their innocence, to pray for their futures, to pray for their relationships with God. It reminds me that I have an incredible opportunity to shape a generation for a life with God. It reminds me that my time with them is precious, and that I should pray often for them.

Sof's face is the current face on my background. She's my reminder. I see her sweet face, and I'm reminded to pray.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2011 love

I'm really excited about this post.
My first post in 2012.
I love new beginnings.
Birthdays, New Years, the start of seasons.
There's something so beautiful about new beginnings.
A few days before January 1, 2012, I found a fresh, clean piece of paper, and settled into a table at Starbucks with a steaming cup of coffee, and began to make my "list".
I'm a list-making fool.
I love a good list.
This list was special to me. It wasn't a "to-do" list, it wasn't a work list, it wasn't a grocery list... it was my list for 2012.
All of the things I plan on doing in this new, special, lovely year.
The day before, we had our weekly staff meeting, and Dan shared some great insight. He talked about reflecting on the past year. Writing down some of our accomplishments, some of the things we'd watched God do in our lives, some of the significant moments of 2011. Then he talked about making NEW goals for this next year. And about being thoughtful with our lists. Really searching our hearts for the things we wanted to do with this next year. Immediately my mind started racing.
"What do I want to do? What do I want to see God do? What are some goals? Some resolutions?" I couldn't wait to get a quiet moment, and begin making my list.

So, when I sat down, I fully intended on making a wonderful, long, thoughtful list. Instead, I began looking back at the past year. The things God had done. The ways I had changed. The challenges I had overcome. The many accomplishments of the past year.

Last year I:
-Turned 27
-Ran my second 1/2 marathon
-Helped move an entire church into a brand new building (kind of a big deal)
-Helped outfit and equip 5 brand new classrooms in our brand new building (kind of another big deal)
-Figured out a brand new check-in system and trained people on this system
-Walked through an incredibly difficult, painful and healing season
-Lead two life groups
-Saw 4 amazing bands in concert
-Celebrated the birth of DOZENS of new, wonderful, amazing babies

The list could continue. But here's my point: Before we get so wrapped up in the promise of the new year, we should take a minute and celebrate. This is a HUGE theme in my life: Celebrate. Take a minute, thank God for where we are, for what we've come through, for the ways he's changed our lives, the lives of our family, the lives of the ones we love. Take a minute and remember and reflect on the past year. So many times I hear people say "I just can't believe it's 2012 already! Where did 2011 go??" My answer? I know EXACTLY where 2011 went! I lead a full, busy, excellent year. It was a challenging, stretching, amazing year of growth. I'm so thankful for past year. I'm in an amazing place, with an amazing job, living an amazing life, serving an amazing God, with so much love and joy. That's something to celebrate.
Where did your year go? What are the things you're celebrating and reflecting on?

Maybe the next post will be my goals for 2012, but this one is dedicated to 2011 :) Happy New Year.
Images by Freepik