2011 has come and gone! It doesn't seem like it's time for a new year, but it is! Looking back over 2011 I realized how blessed I am! God has blessed me abundantly with friends, safety, food, education, church, etc, and I am so thankful!
Here are 11 highlights of the year 2011:
1). I got my braces off right at the beginning of January! I was thrilled to be able to chew and talk normally again, and SO thankful to Grandma for paying for my braces. They were definitely a blessing and it has been nice to have straight teeth.
2). God's protection and power seen in the frenzy of storms that hit Covenant College this year. We tried to start off Spring semester on time, but ended up delayed a week because of the snow storms. I'm not complaining though. The snow was stunning and it was great to be at school with no work to do and just get to hang out with friends. (It was also fun to see how southerners responded to snow… we saw one man with a leaf blower trying to blow away the snow!)
We ended the semester with another storm. A day of tornado warnings kept us huddled down in basements across campus. It was scary and I'm thankful that God protected us. (it was nice to have no exams to end the school year with!)
3). The family left in early march. That was definitely something that I was not looking forward to in 2011. But God has been faithful! Damarise, Micah, and I went up to Missouri in late February to say goodbye to the family. It was great to be there as the church said their goodbyes to our family as well. It's always encouraging to know that many people and churches are praying for them. It was also fun for Micah to come along, and help us on the long drive back to Georgia.
4). The first week after the family went to Africa. I thought it would be rough, and don't get me wrong it definitely was hard! It was hard to know that I couldn't pick up the phone and call them at any time since we were both in the States. But God has abundantly blessed Damarise and me! So many people emailed, wrote, or told us face to face that they were praying for us – even people who we didn't know were telling us that they were praying for us! The Schreiner family welcomed us into their home many times that first week. Everything was just a huge blessing and such a great reminder that God has placed wonderful people in our lives!
5). Budapest! It's crazy to think that that happened this year– it seems so long ago! God provided the funds for me to be able to go on a college trip to student teach in a missionary school in Budapest, Hungary. To be honest, I have always been scared out of my wits to get up in front of a classroom and teach. I feel like there are billion other people who are much better suited to do this. But God used that month at ICSB to show me that this is what He has called me to. The teacher that I was placed with was so encouraging and let me teach her class as often as I could. It was such a blessing! I learned SO much and loved being back in a missionary community.
6). B.E.S.T! No one knows what those initials stand for, but that is the name of the cleaning facilities at Covenant College and my job for the Summer. Again, I am blessed! This job, though disgusting at times, was wonderful! I worked eight hours a day 5 days a week with fellow students. We talked, laughed, worked, and just had a great time. I loved living in an apartment, cooking meals and shopping for food with Damarise and Micah, and hanging out with friends who were also working at Covenant over the Summer. It was definitely one of the best summers of my life!
7). The infamous road trip. The one where we lost two transmissions in one day and had to be rescued by the Schreiners… yah. That one will forever be a memorable road trip. It made and still makes quite the tale!
8). Changing my major. That sounds drastic, but it isn't as drastic as it sounds. I changed my major from Middle Grades Education to Early Childhood Education. It's a few extra classes, but definitely an age group that I want to work with. I'm still not sure where I want to teach or what I want to do when I graduate, but I'm praying about it and trusting God… changing my major to early childhood is just one step to whatever God has for me.
9). Driving! I'd like to have posted that in 2011 I got my driver's license, but alas that may come in the 2012 update. I did however get my driver's permit and become a resident of a state! It was exciting! I had a lot of help getting my driver's permit (Thank you Damarise and Micah). And I have been practicing driving. Damarise is a good teacher and I'm blessed with her patience in letting me drive (even when I drive terribly sometimes).
10). Seeing old friends, meeting new ones. It was great to catch up with old friends like the Woodrows and Ruth this year! They are wonderful friends and it was nice to see them and hear what is going on in their lives. It was also nice to meet Janessa's family, meet some people at church, and meet some new friends on our plane trip to Zambia. …Which brings me to my last point…
11). Family! Zambia! Christmas! New Years! God provided the money for Damarise and me to fly over the ocean to Zambia! And I am praising God for His provision! He knew that it was hard knowing we wouldn't be seeing the family 'til 2013 and He allowed Damarise and me to see the family in their new home. It has been wonderful! Zambia is a beautiful country with friendly people and it has been good to meet Dad, Mom, Sarah, Ian, and Andrew's friends. It has been an encouraging and fun visit! I'm just SO thankful!
I am blessed and thankful! I'm thankful for all God has done in 2011 and can't wait to see what He has in store for 2012!
Happy New Year!