Saturday, December 31, 2011

Recap of 2011

Goodbye 2011. While you have been a good year, I highly anticipate 2012. A lot of good has come from 2011. A new job at Liberty University that has helped me grow as an individual, become more extroverted, and been much more enjoyable than the old; lengthy vacations to see both Matt and my families; the official adoption of my niece, Brooklyn- she had been a foster child in my sister's home for the past 2 years; a new niece, Waverly, who was the first of that generation on the Iveson side; and of course, the conception of my son, Jackson Matthew.

Below, the bolded text is copied from my New Years post on January 1. It holds my focal verse for hte year and my resolutions from last year. The normal text is my response looking back over the entire year.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

This verse will suit my growth needs for 2011 in numerous ways. Trials I expect to face in 2011 include work strain, Matthew entering the Marines later in the year and the admission process until that point, and our plans to increase our little family. This verse will remind me that all things happen in the Lord's time and sometimes His answer is no. I must continue on steadfastly, though, through all things. For God has rained down His promises on me, His child, and I am to trust and follow always.

This was my focal verse for 2011. I admit, I chose it due to the "crown of life". I was hoping (and was not disappointed) that our crown of life would be a little bundle of joy. At the beginning of the year, it had been half a year since we had begun trying for a baby. I was already fairly frustrated that no baby had yet graced my womb, but I figured I was still within the regular timeframe for conception. Another 7 months of waiting and finally we got that positive test. One full year (almost to the day) of waiting. God certainly was testing my attitude, patience, and endurance. Of course, baby Jackson will come at the best time with work/the possibility of the military/ etc. God knows best. Also, God chose that Matthew would not be one of the few and the proud. We are still hopeful for the possibility of the U.S. Army. It has been difficult waiting and not knowing what the future holds, but for now we know that God has us right where He wants us. That is an encouraging thought.

For resolutions (or goals as I prefer to call them), again, keeping it simple and sweet this year.

1) Grow in my prayer life. Not only bringing everything to the Lord in prayer, but also to increase the faith that goes behind the prayers. So often I think of Matt. 17:20 (look it up!) and wonder if my prayers are not being answered as quickly as I wish or how I wish because in my heart I doubt.

Of course, still need work on this one. Always will.

2) Be a supportive wife in all circumstances. This does not always mean that I have to agree with what Matthew is saying or doing. But I support him as a person and what his goals are. We may have disagreements, but I will always stand by him and love him unconditionally. Support is especially important as he enters the Marines. I know he will do wonderfully as an officer and I know that there will be times when I may hate the lifestyle we are pursuing. But Matt does not need to hear my complaints. He needs to hear my faith.

I have tried to follow the motto of "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all". While I am not always the most positive of people, I hope I have been supportive of Matthew through the highs and lows. That is for him to decide, however. Still, always room for growth.

3) Finish my Master's program. I should be able to accomplish this with no problem. I may have miscalculated my total credit hours for my Continuing Education so Matthew and I may need to pay for one class ourselves, which shouldn't be an issue. I could take half a semester off and take the additional class later... but I'd prefer to just continue going through the program back to back and finish it. I would like to maintain my GPA of 4.0 throughout the entire program.

Finished. I did skip the August-October class session as that was my peak travel season. Being gone every single weekend did not seem to work well with taking a graduate level class, plus being in the first trimester of pregnancy! I still was able to finish in 2011. We did not have to pay for any of the classes. I was able to maintain a GPA of 4.0, I'm probably a little too proud of that (more to be said on my New Years post tomorrow). It is nice being done. I have so much free time!

4) Be more kind. Be less judgmental. Of myself and others.

This is an interesting one. My original meaning for this resolution was directed as specific people I had not been kind too. Towards those individuals, I have succeeded. Again, much room for constant improvement. But... with my traveling I have become slightly more cynical towards humanity in general. Not going into the sins of humanity, I am merely referring to the general stupidity of humankind. Traveling around the U.S. has taught me how unintelligent the general public is. I am blessed to live in Lynchburg where many have advanced degrees (since many settled here due to Liberty University), most are well-spoken, and it is a relatively Christian community. So, obviously, this area could use some work.

5) Make the most of every opportunity. This has several meanings. In 2012 if I recap once again I will explain more in detail. But this is a way to state my last goal/ resolution publicly without going into too many details. Make the most of every opportunity.

So... this is embarrassing... but I don't honestly remember what this is in reference too! I tried to look through my other journals to figure out what it might have meant... but nothing. The overall idea is positive of course. I think I wanted to build relationships with others. If that is the case, I haven't made much headway. If it has to do with baby, then we've succeeded (ahem). I don't know why I wouldn't have mentioned these before, though. Oh well.

So all in all, 2011 was not a disappointment. I eagerly anticipate 2012. Does that surprise anyone?

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