2010: Thank-yous, Praises, and Memories

Every year Vision Forum sends out a note with things that are good to do at the close of a New Year. Here is my application of some of that…

In the last two weeks of December I spent some time writing short notes of thanks to people who have encouraged and blessed me in the past year – Mr. Haynes, Mr. Stith, Mikhal, Ezra, James, Brian, Carolyn, Angela, Emily R, the Neals, the Ms, the Cs, Sarah H., Sarah T., Anna, Teresa…

Praises: To list them all would fill a book. But my greatest praise is for His steadfast love and faithfulness, and His goodness and protection. And for the way He continues to work in our family and community.

Here are some memories:

January: Running around SkiDubai, legally breaking all the rules, for Hannah’s birthday, camping in the desert after the rains, writing out convictions, prayer, re-orienting my schedule, reading Horatius Bonar, a new piano student, staying the night at the Neals while mommy and daddy were gone, the Oasis campout – volleyball, evangelism, exhilarating games of Capture the Flag, worship, building on Christ, playing on guitar, accompanied by Sarah on Violin… The earthquake in Haiti, my heart breaks.

February: Praying and saving for Haiti. Studying Principles of Orchestration. Sweet Bethan’s birth. Joel’s family came to visit – late nights, tourism, and laughter; a crazy night of games – Cow club, Empires, and puzzles, the beginning of a reformation one night at the Neals.

March: Teaching a dear friend how to crochet while fellowshipping, Mr. Hinkson died, lots of prayer followed again. Our trip to Lebanon – laughter, jokes, fellowship, Roamin’ over Roman ruins, family worship, late nights, exploration, history, castles and forts, walks, heartache. “Nike – pay a lot of money for a little bit of clothes.” … “There are some toasters that can be bigger than toasters.”

April: YOME 2010 – evangelism, playing with notation software, Homeschool prayer group, accompanying for Cait, Joel and Cait engaged.

May: Graduation – oh my heart, be still. Holding Sweet Bethan for hours on end, following the faith and freedom tour, fellowship with the M’s.

June: a late night at the beach, playing volleyball with my South African brothers. Our ride was late getting there, and everyone else had left. They helped me with my serves until I was too tired, then we played 3 on 3, and you made sure I felt comfortable when an Arab man joined us, and almost made me stop playing when my wrist hurt, then walked with me to get ice cold water on it. You take better care of me than I take care of myself.

Finally finishing my quilt, “A Tale of the Sea.” Waiting for summer. First music recital as a teacher and with oboe. Growing up. Reading about Adoniram Judson. Playing Settlers with family until very late. Immense blessings before I left for Csehy. Arrival at Csehy.

July: Csehy days – laughter, encouragement, tears, sanctification, composing, Frisbee, sunburn, prayer, burdens. Lying under the stars with Sarah and spurring one another toward Christ. Frisbee barefoot and in the rain.

Washington – shopping, Starbucks with Grampa. treasures of old music. Thrifting with Hannah, running, goofiness.

August: Quiet days in Michigan, Washington, Seabrook. Reunions, reminiscing, family history, mist, prayer, music, family. Dancing the Virginia Reel barefoot at dusk.

September: Flurries of preparation for the wedding – trips to Satwa, sewing, gluing… piano tuning. Late nights with Cait, Joel, and Arielle. Watching Sunny play fetch. A hot day in the desert. Mozart, Mozart, Mozart!

October: Moving Joel and Cait, a breaking heart {Psalm 119:136), Texas.

November: Football, gardening, piano tuning difficulties. Musings on the word ‘noble.’ The King and I.

December: Our English country dancing ball – a wonderful evening of dancing, fairy lights, food, music, fellowship, and laughter. Cooking at Desert Challenge. New Years with the M’s. Wanting only Christ. What better way could I end the year?

Elena’s  sweet post the other day inspired me to link to the blogs I have been most encouraged by this year, so here we go…
Breezy Brookshire @A Bowl of Moss and Pebbles
Cultivating Home
Daniel Osborne @Pressing on Toward the Goal!
Cait @In Company With Sparkles
James @Jimmy Boone
Ezra @Shadow and Glory
Jasmine @Joyfully Home (she’s no longer blogging, but the archives are worth the read!)
Mr. Phillips’s blog
On Just a Couple of Acres
Passionate Homemaking
Kate @Shirley Goodness and Mayhem
Josh @Speak Deal Live Truly
The Marqueses @The Pickwick Portfolio
Mrs. MacDonald @Your Sacred Calling<br />
… and many more, some that are so delightful to read (like Anna‘s) or cute (like Cakies).

The best of the books I read…
Outside Hollywood (Isaac Botkin)
The Little Boy Down the Road (Doug Phillips)
The Duggars – 20 and Counting
When You Rise Up – R.C. Sproul, Jr.
The Life and Campaigns of Lieut-Gen. T.J. “Stonewall” Jackson
The Pursuit of God – A.W. Tozer
The Rent Veil – Horatius Bonar
The Law – Bastiat
In Defense of Food – Michael Pollan
The Homeschool Journey – Michael Card
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
A Practical View of Christianity – William Wilberforce
Biblical Economics – R.C. Sproul
The 1,000 Year War – Richard Maybury
I’ll Take My Stand
The Mouse That Roared
The Pleasures of God – John Piper
Passionate Housewives Desperate for God – Jenny Chancey and Stacy MacDonald
Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God – Noel Piper
Stepping Heavenward – E. Prentiss
Guns of Providence – Douglas Bond
Glory, Duty, and the Gold Dome – Nathaniel Darnell
Let Me Be a Woman – Elisabeth Elliot
Joyfully at Home – Jasmine Baucham
The Bronze ladder – Malcolm Lyon
Saint’s Everlasting Rest – Richard Baxter
Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns – T. David Gordon

We spent a fabulous last day of 2010 gathering with the body of UCCD for worship and teaching, then went to the M’s for an afternoon/evening/night/morning of Mongolian barbecue, games (Scum), stargazing (I learned a new constellation and a star cluster!), marshmallows, walking, Divided, Cheaper by the Dozen (the real one), laughter, tea, fellowship, and fireworks.
I loved standing outside in the nippy (alright, low 60’s) air, just after Nate and Andrew counted down and we all quietly said “Oh, it’s 2011 now.” And then I prayed the first prayers of 2011. It was beautiful. I prayed and hummed “Jesus, Priceless Treasure,” all the way home. Everything was so fresh and beautiful, and quiet and lovely and full of Him.
The first hymn we sang as a family in 2011 was “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.”
I spent the morning in a sun-filled garden, praying and weeding (more on that later), and sitting and reading scripture. I ran for a bit, singing the first hymns of 2011, “How Great Thou Art,” “Be Still, My Soul,” “O The Deep Deep Love of Jesus,” “Rock of Ages,” and “O Sacred Head Now Wounded.”
2010 was such a wonderful year, from the bang of fireworks on the L’s roof that brought it in to the quiet (maybe that’s not the right word with all the laughter, movie-quoting, teasing, and discussion that was going on. But quiet in the contented “mmm” sort of way) at the M’s.
But opening it with the freshness of new prayers and old hymns and sweet fellowship says something for the coming year. I can’t wait.
(there’s another post on 2011 coming. But it was organized, not spontaneous, so it won’t be quite the same).

Blessings upon your 2011,
– Kyleigh

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