I'm so behind this year, I'm not doing Christmas cards nor am I doing my cheating way of "New Year's" cards. It has been an incredibly busy Christmas season and I just let time fly by too quickly.
This has been a year of new things and facing how fast time has quickly passed. I think I will try to do this in the best way or orderly fashion that I know how to do...let's try to start at the beginning of 2008.
January - My friends once again rang in the new year together. I really enjoy this time of being with friends saying by to the old year and seeing what the new year is going to bring. This year, the friends also decided to join together and lose weight. It worked for about 10 weeks I think. LOL!!! I don't know what it is sometimes, but we will try to do it again.
February - I made a decision to step out of my comfort zone and enter a singing competition. This was the first time I completed the application process. It was funny because once I finished submitting my packet, I found out the competition would be the same week as VBS at church. Pastor and I had discussed the possibility of changing weeks for VBS, but I said, "God will work this out if I'm to be here to help with VBS."
April - The girls from the gang went to our annual Women of Faith weekend. This is a trip we really enjoy because we get to learn more about God and get to know each other better. This year we got to see not only Natalie Grant, but also Nicole C. Mullen, this is like the third or fourth time for me to see Nicole, but it was the first time seeing her after hearing the song "One Touch."
May - May was a pretty emotional for me, but jammed packed towards the end of the month. On Thursday, May 22nd, my dad came into my room between 4 and 5 in the morning. He was telling me that my mom wasn't feeling well and thought she may want to go to the hospital. It took me a little time to realize what he wanted, but when I finally got up, I went to talk to momma. She was in the bathroom and I asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital. She said she didn't know. I told her I was going to get ready and that we could go to the hospital. We got to the hospital possibly around 5 or 5:30...I can't remember for sure. I parked the car and as I walked back into the emergency room they were taking her back. I went back with her and they gave her pain. One of the funniest things to see is my momma on pain medication. She was talking about cream filled donuts that were on an invisible table in her room in the ER. So funny! I finally was able to get her to understand we were at the hospital. They took her to get x-rayed, within 30 minutes she was being admitted. I knew mom's main concerned (now that her pain was under control was to see to daddy, who was at home alone). I called my brother Tim to see if he could stay with mom while I went to take care of daddy. As I was leaving the hospital I called my boss to tell him I would not be at work that day as I wasn't sure what was going to happen with my mom at that moment. It was a good thing I called in, because when I got home, my dad needed to go back to the VA hospital for the condition of Bells Palsy he had been diagnosis a few weeks prior. His medication was about to be out and he wanted to have it looked at before the holiday weekend. So by 10:30 that morning, I had taken both my parents to the hospital. It was a moment I will never forget. Me, being the youngest child, it was very surreal to me. I realized my parents do have limitations.
As I was coming home from the hospital the first time, I heard of the news of Steven Curtis Chapman's family losing their youngest daughter, Maria. It was a moment that all I knew I could do was pray for that family.
My momma had surgery on Thursday to remove a kidney stone. With the help of Tonda and Tim those two days I was able to only have to miss one days work. Momma came home from the hospital on Friday. Tim brought her home. The holiday weekend began. Mom seemed to be doing well. On Monday after I came home from the parade, she was complaining of the same type of pain she had experienced on Thursday morning. So I decided to take her to the hospital again. When they x-rayed again, they had decided to admit her for another surgery (to be done on May 27th - My birthday). I was to be leaving to attend a secretary's conference that evening for Wednesday and Thursday. I had thought about cancelling the trip, but mom said she didn't want that to happen. She wanted me to go to the conference and enjoy myself. I called my sister Becky to see if her husband Mike would be able to come down to stay with daddy on Tuesday and Wednesday. He was able to do so, and it was really nice to have the support of family members. I felt I could go to the secretary's conference and enjoy myself (as much as I could). The day of the surgery, I took daddy over in the morning (approx. 9:00), and as I drove over there, I realized I had to get my driver's license renewed. So I had to call work to let them know I would be a little later than I had expected. If I hadn't gone to get those renewed that day I wouldn't have been able to get them done for another two days. I got my dad to the hospital and got him upstairs then headed up there to see my mom before I left town. She, my dad and my brother Tim sang "happy birthday" to me there in the hospital room. It was an interesting way to spend my 38th birthday, but I'm thankful my parents are doing well again.
When I came home from the conference, I had a letter waiting for me from the competition sponsor. It was telling me the competition would be cancelled. It was sad to hear that news, but also in a way a blessing, because I knew I would be able to work with VBS without any conflict.
June - In June, my high school class planned a reunion for our 20th year. Wow! Talk about a feeling old. I did...but I have to say, it was a great thing to see the others in my class...some of them hadn't changed much, others lost some hair on top their heads, and a few of us...like me didn't look their age. YEAH!!! I had a good time both nights of the reunion. We had the first night at the new high school for pizza, then on Saturday night had a nice dinner at Austyns in Ironton. It was a really good time for everyone who had come out.
July - July we were on a time crunch to finish all the VBS decorations in time for the week of VBS. We planned something different this year...beginning on Sunday night, and going through Thursday night with a program on Friday night. We really liked it. However, we did have a few problems to overcome the weekend before it began. We had been doing renovations on the fellowship hall, kitchen and office area...and we were a little concerned our time was going to be cutting it very close. They had managed to get out of there a few days bofore we started. The Saturday before we began our VBS, our electricity went out at the church. We had decided to just finish it on Sunday afternoon. We prayed, and the electricity did come back on for us to begin as planned on Sunday. The week was incredible and with the way it had begun, we knew God was going to be working. The outcome of this year's VBS was not only record attendance, but also the souls of 9 kids accepting Jesus as their Savior. Of those 9 who were saved, about 7 or 8 are still attending Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. We are seeing growth in them, and we are continuing to pray for them as they continue to grow in the knowledge of Jesus. It is not an easy road all the time. It was nice for them all to complete a discipleship class during the Sunday school hour, taught by our pastor. It allowed them to learn some of the fundamentals, as well as get to know our pastor better.
August - I made the decision to go back to school in August. Something very scary for me...something I said I would never do. I had decided to do my schooling at a small Christian college in our area that is accreditted. I'm getting sound biblical teaching as well as able to get my degree.
September - I began classes in September the second Monday of the month. I had decided to just take two classes - Math and the Penateuch. Several of my classes from Southland transferred, but I still have several more to take to get my degree.
October - In October I had the privledge of singing at my best friends wedding. David Biehl met Mechele Deffinbaugh this past April and asked her to marry him just after a few weeks of their meeting. It was a whirlwind romance. I have gotten to know Mechele and have seen a big growth in her these past few months.
November - November began keeping me busy with church, because I was asked to be in the Christmas play. We began practices two nights a week. The gang celebrated their 4th annual Thanksgiving with Friends. This year once again brought new people to the table to break bread with us. We had a really good time. Also was able to celebrate Buckeye Christmas with the Jayne family. I love that time. This year we have an incredible time at Leah & Mike's house and also at Tim & Tonda's house. We played our favorite family games "Rhythm" & "Mafia." It was fun getting some of our nephews and nieces to play too. Also we were introduced to CamoPlaidRevolution2. Three of my nephews have created websites and episodes. You can find them on youtube if you want to waste some time watching boy humor. They happen to be VERY funny and VERY talented.
December - The Christmas season continued to be crazy for me. The Christmas play was not coming together as smoothly as our director wanted it to come, but we were able to do our first performance on December 18th. The following night, I had a group of 11 (including me), attend the David Phelps Christmas concert in Ashland, KY. This is a tradition for my sister and my friend Kat. I can't remember how many we have been too, but it has become a tradition to do this. I really liked the fact our group grew to 11 this year. In fact, the three seats left in our belonged to three people from my church, so it was really special for us.
Sunday, December 21st, we sang our first performance of the Cantata. I had a solo in it...very nervous, because I had been coughing a lot the past couple of days. I did start coughing but it was after my solo...PTL!!! That evening we were to do the final performance of the Christmas play, but it didn't work out. Our electricity went out at church. The pastor and directors decided to wait until next week to do the final performance. We are hoping for another practice. LOL!!! We will see, I guess.
As far as school, I finished the semester tonight. I don't have a clue what grade I'll end up in my Math class, but my Pentateuch Class will definitely be an A...YEAH!!!
Well...that about closes this year out. I'm working on goals for 2009. Reflecting on what has happened this year has been very helpful in what I'd like to see in 2009. One of my goals in 2008, was to honor God with my actions and attitude. I know I have failed in many ways at that goal, but I am thankful for the opportunity to learn in the setting of Tri-State Bible College. I think getting a deeper knowledge of God will also help me with that goal of honoring God with my actions and attitude.
May God bless you all...Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
*"All Is Well" song from the recording of "Christmas" by Michael W. Smith, released 1989. This is an amazing song sung by a children's choir.