Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Reflecting On 2010

I’ve tried to make it a habit to take a little bit of time at the end of each year to look back on the past and prepare for the coming year.  Interestingly, over the last several days, I’ve filled my time with connecting with friends and family, and although it has been incredibly enjoyable, it has left little room for reflection.  In an effort to change that, I have committed myself to take time to steal away a regular time of solitude in 2011.  (More on that in a future post!)  Also, I just realized that this is the first time in three years that I have blogged this annual reflection.

The year started with a frantic rush to facilitate Nuru’s first nation wide tour making a drive around the country to tell Nuru’s Story, and to host a nationwide mobilization event called Be Hope To Her that encouraged college students and young professionals around the country to grow in empathy for the daily challenges for women living in extreme poverty.

As the year progressed, I found myself meeting more and more wonderful people in cities all over the country who were passionate about advocacy and service.  Folks like Charles Lee, Jeff Shinabarger, Daniel Li, Mark Brinkmoeller, and Nicky Yates are among the many who inspire and encourage me with their lives on a regular basis.  These folks are amazing! I discovered and shared some really incredible causes, organizations and events through this blog, and that is a trend I hope to continue.  I believe that our hearts become more fully awakened to what we were made for when we begin serving others, and I hope that as you read this today, you will consider some small way that you might be able to serve another person (and will you DO it?)?

Of course, time with friends and family never seems adequate, but I was fortunate enough to see my brother in California on three separate occasions this year.  We were able to commiserate WVU’s final four loss to Duke, and celebrate an early season hoops win over Oakland this fall.  I was also able to visit my dad and sister on at least a dozen occasions this past year.  In my travels over the year, I was able to see many friends too, and I’m hopeful to visit and catch up with even more folks in 2011.

This summer also was a major step for me.  On the 147th anniversary of West Virginia’s Statehood, Father’s Day, and Mission Sunday at South Ridge, Church, I asked Jamie Reaser to marry me, and she said yes.  Here’s her telling of the story. (In some future blog posts I’ll share a little more detail about some decisions we made with the ring, etc., so stay tuned.)  I am humbled and amazed that God would be so gracious as to allow such an amazing woman to say yes to marrying me.  She is absolutely incredible!

The year also had its share of challenges.  I lost another relative to cancer late this summer, my uncle Bob, and I took time to reflect on losing my mom in 2007.  My Uncle Bill and Aunt Rosemary both had surgeries that while painful in the moment have led to a better quality of life for each of them.  And, I’ve been in PT for the last few weeks myself because of injuries sustained by not taking care of my own physical fitness.  (A goal for 2011 for sure!)

As the year wrapped up, I was traveling again and spent time enjoying friends and family, and participating in service.  Jamie and her family welcomed me into their family and into a Christmas tradition of service, that you may have read about last week.  Jamie got on TV too!

So what are some of the highlights of your 2010?

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