Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy New Year! (And a 2011 Recap)

Thirteen days into 2012, is it too late to do an end of 2011 survey? I just saw this on Rage Against the Minivan and thought it was such a great idea. Thanks, Kristen.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?

Plant a church!

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

There was one big one that I really failed out. The other one was to stop freaking out. I at least made some headway on that one. I don't have any major resolutions this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My sister-in-law, Lindsay, had a baby girl named Ava - my one and only niece! She's a doll.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No one truly close to me died. My great-uncle passed the week Jackson started kindergarten, and while I didn't know him well, his life had a very big impact on everyone in our family.

5. What countries did you visit?

I got to visit Ecuador with Compassion and some friends I met on the Internet. I fell in love with that beautiful country and its people. Los Angeles is technically not a different country, but in August I spent several days serving at the Dream Center with an amazing group of women. I would love to go back with a team from our church.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

I can't really think of anything. 2011 was kind to me. On second thought, I would like more patience with my kids.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 26 was the night we hosted a dinner for a group of friends to share our vision for Bayou City Fellowship.

September 11 was the day our church launched publicly.

8. What was your biggest achievement for the year?

Sending Jackson to kindergarten and adjusting to life with a kid in school every day. I also started a new habit of waking up at 6 AM on weekdays to have my quiet time. This has been an amazing change in my life.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I wasted a lot of time messing around on the computer.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I struggled with anxiety but I'm dealing with it effectively now. Thank You, Jesus.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Two baseball gloves.

12. Where did most of your money go?

My Jeep kicked the bucket and we bought a new (to me) car.

13. What did you get really excited about?

My friends Angela and Alicia moving to Houston to help us start BCF.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?

"Overcome" by New Life Worship.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
-Happier or sadder?


-Thinner or fatter?

My goal for 2012 is to find balance here. I was at different times thinner and fatter than I needed to be in 2011.

-Richer or poorer?


16. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Cook dinner for my family.

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Hold grudges.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

On Christmas Eve our church held an outdoor service. We knew the building we meet in wasn't going to have power due to construction going on over the holidays, so we decided to have it outside. It ended up being very cold and wet that night, but we stayed (mostly) dry under an overhang. Everything about it was inconvenient for us, but so was everything that happened in the Christmas story. Hello, Mary gave birth in a stable. As Curtis said, we may never do it that way again, but we will always remember it. It was a very sweet night and I'll never forget this:

We had Christmas Eve dinner with our dear friends, the Steffens. Christmas morning was at our home and we spent the rest of the day at my parents' house. That night we packed up for our trip to Missouri.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

We got rid of cable about a year and a half ago and use Netflix, but I really miss 20/20, as dorky as that sounds. If I had a favorite show (not an endorsement) it would be Parks and Recreation.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis 

21. What was your favorite music this year?

Hillsong, Hillsong United, Passion 2011

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

The Help, Sherlock Holmes

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 32 in October. The night of my birthday, my mom cooked dinner for me and we had a little fiesta at her house.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Being with Jesus.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Ha! I guess you could say I plunged deeply into the equestrian look with my tall brown boots and a green velvet blazer I got from Banana Republic like 7 years ago.

26. What kept you sane?

See number 10. Also, LOTS of people praying for us.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

When someone says something to me out of their flesh or lack of faith, I can choose to stay in the spirit and continue believing God. I don't have to descend into a pit. I got to practice this a lot. :)


Shelli Littleton said...

I like your #27 ... I need to print that out!

Kimberly said...

Amanda, your response to #27 was like words to my heart straight from The Father ... "When someone says something to me out of their flesh or lack of faith, I can choose to stay in the spirit and continue believing God. I don't have to descend into a pit. I got to practice this a lot" ... thank you sweet lady for sharing this :)

Leah said...

I got Kisses from Katie book for Christmas! I never heard of Katie Davis but my sister did and knew I would love reading her book especially after I went on a mission trip last year to South Africa! I'm so excited to read it and planning to start reading this weekend!

Kim said...

You said that you started getting up at 6:00 a.m. for your quiet time and that it made a difference. Would you mind elaborating a little?


Brian and Nicole said...

Wow, what a great wrap up! I have missed your posts! I found your blog a few years ago before you had AB, and have followed it since. I have a daughter 5 going on 6 on Feb. 6, and a son who will be 3 on April 3, so a lot of time what you share I feel you are speaking to my heart, or you are the fly in my house seeing all the craziness! Thanks for always speaking from your heart. I hope it is okay if I borrow this for my blog, thanks!

Unknown said...

#27 was profound for me. Huge. Thank you :)

Maryellen said...

Oh Amanda I love your #27 - I am going to remember that ! That will be a huge help in life. At my job and personal life. Thank you for your honesty and sharing.
I pray you and your dear family has a abundantly blessed 2012 !

Julie said...

I also loved #27 so much that I made it into a screensaver on my laptop. Thank you!

Unknown said...

It was equally exciting to come! Thanks again for the invite! Love you sister.

Sandi said...

Amanda, Christmas Eve at BCF will always be in my heart. As the song says, "A night to remember...".

Kate in Austin said...

Your life lesson is wonderful and I need to remember that as I head into this year. Thank you!!

Annie said...

I love this, Amanda! I loved The Help and Sherlock Holmes, too - and actually saw them both in theatres! I'm not a huge moviegoing person, so that's a record for the year.

Amy said...

Amanda, I always feel a little "strange" commenting on a blog when I don't actually KNOW the person. However, I feel like I know you because I've done your mom's studies for the past 15 years I guess. So, while I'm only 6 years older than you, I feel like I sort of watched you grow up. :)

Just found your blog, and I really love seeing pictures of the people I've heard stories about for years. I think I'll be stopping in periodically (again... see I feel a little stalkerish). But, I love that you share in such a real and genuine way reminding us that God does amazing things through very real and very normal families.

I pray 2012 is a wonderful year for your family.

Amy Rogers

Dionna said...

A very honest way to revisit the year! I like it. :) (And I need to freak out less also. )

Anonymous said...

I love #27. My husband and I are praying about church planting this year (he's a worship leader - we would be partnering with a friend of ours who is a teaching/lead pastor). I have loved every word you have shared about your journey, the encouragement and the tough truth.

amirwin said...

I love #27 also. It is a profound thought. I enjoyed all your responses but #27 caught me up short and I had to stop and re-read it to try to absorb it. I'm going to print it out and save it.

Denice said...

I love "Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon"! I use it with my classes at school. And The Help...awesome!

Jodi said...

Hi Amanda--thankful for your blog and relate to SO MUCH of what you share. I'm a mom at home raising 2 and 4 year old daughters. The Help and Parks and Rec are on my fave list as well :)

ml said...

I was roaming around from blog to blog, wasting time on the computer...or so I thought. I read through your post and the Lord really spoke to my heart. I too have been the recipient of "words spoken in the flesh." What an incredible insight. I thank you for your boldness in printing that truth. We must remain in the Spirit regardless of what gets thrown our way. Praying for you today that you will experience the peace that passes understanding.

tigerchick said...

Amanda, would you like any suggestions about cooking more? If so, I have a few. Basically, it is about meal planning ahead of time. Perhaps sometime over the weekend, you can sketch out a plan for the coming week. Make it simple--like tacos one night, hamburgers on the grill another night, etc. If you want to use a dish that has a recipe, go ahead and have that recipe really handy and available for when you plan to use it. Make it a simple, uncomplicated recipe. (My fave is one with ground beef, Rotel, raw macaroni, shredded cheese, and sour cream. It is so easy, one pan, etc. that I have it memorized and almost always have all or most of the ingredients on hand.)
Unless you are a stockpiler/couponer like me, go to the grocery store just one time with your list. When you have planned well, the plan actually works well, and you save time, money, and effort. Just thought I'd share.

Ali said...

I LOVE your # 27! I need to grow in that area! Thanks for putting my feeling and thoughts into words!

I'm going to start praying for #27 in my life this year!

I too struggle with anxiety! Although I've just recently realized it! Any tips or books that you suggest that might help God grow me in this struggle!?!

~ Ali

connorcolesmom said...

Sweet Amanda - I love your honesty!
I too have suffered from anxiety (and I also have suffered from panic attacks)
It is so hard to admit that to other b/c some people judge it as a lack of faith - love your #27
You are a blessing!

annalee said...

I love this post, your heart and living life alongside. Happy new year to you too friend!

katiegfromtennessee said...

"I can choose to stay in the spirit and continue believing God. I don't have to descend into a pit. I got to practice this a lot. :)" Amen, sister, I understand. Me too. He is so good to us.

Holly B. said...

Hi Amanda,
I would love to hear about how you're effectively dealing with anxiety. It's a struggle for me. Thanks!

Shellie Paparazzo said...

I love your answer to the last question! I need to do this more! Of course, I have a hard time deciding what is lack of faith and just being practical when I'm not at ALL! That would be why I'm reading so many books on boundaries, right? Yes, I think so. Need to learn where my responsibility begins and ends. Getting there. Learning lots. I'd do this also, but I think February is definitely too late!!!!!