Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Look Back....

It's hard to believe that another year is coming to a close. Looking back at 2008 and all that was packed in 365, I mean 366 days - 08 was a Leap Year.

I can faintly recall January 08. I usually spend the first few months of a new year looking forward to our annual ski trip to Colorado.

We truly made many memories on our 08 trip. It's time I will always treasure.

When we returned, it was just a little over a week later that we found out Jim's dad had cancer and our time with him in this earthly life was limited. What a joy it was to share this precious time together and witnessing the awesome power of God.

What a blessing it was that he was able to celebrate his 91st birthday with all of his children home. (Jim's brother lives in Seattle).

August welcomed a new addition to our family. Madison Grace was born to our niece Becky and her husband Dan. What a delight it is to be called Great Auntie K (Dan calls me Auntie K)

This is a photo taken on the day of Madison's baptism. Pastor came to Jim's parent's for the baptism as it would have been too much for Jim's dad to go to church. It was a precious time with family all around witnessing the power of Christ in the waters of Holy Baptism.

Summer quickly cooled into fall and on September 22nd, mine and Jim's 18th Wedding Anniversary, the Lord called Jim's dad home. Jim and I still say what a gift it is to share our anniversary day with the day our loving father received his heavenly crown. So many emotions fill a heart at the loss of someone so dear, but the faith and strength we get from our Lord sustained us then as it does now and always will.

October brought us together again in Kiawah Island, South Carolina for our sweet niece Chrissy's wedding to our new nephew Zack. The gift of another family member.

Here they are signing their Marriage License. It was a lovely wedding. Jim and I
were able to share words from the Gospel of Matthew and I Corinthians.

2008 also found my dad moving back to Indiana after 18 years in North Carolina. My Grandpa was called to his heavenly home and my Grandma moved back to Indiana. My sister's kids keep growing and maturing. My niece Stephanie decided to go back to school to get her Masters Degree while working her full time job. I am so proud of all my nieces and nephews... they are the children God gave me when I cried out to Him for a child.

2008 also was a year that I developed friendships with women, whom otherwise I may have never had contact with in this earthly life, through this blog. On any given day I can go to Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, Minnesota, Nebraska... pull up a chair, a cup of coffee and laugh, cry, pray and rejoice with Christian sisters (Siestas) that I hold dear.

The crispness of October turned into November and we gathered again with both sides of our families on Thanksgiving to celebrate all that God has provided. Thanksgiving quickly melted into Christmas, and now we are at the end of one year and the eve of another. 2008 definitely was a year of ups and downs. Stretching and growing. I even walked a time in a spiritual desert, and boy was I thirsty. But the one thing I know is that God was always there. Ever present, in the good times and bad. He was there encouraging, catching my tears, giving strength, joy, grace and peace. Even when my eyes were clouded, and I might have not been looking for Him... He was there.

As Father Time hands over the clock to Baby New Year... I will be celebrating with our closest friends. I will be praising Him as the clock strikes twelve for the blessings of a year past... and the blessings of the year to come. Whatever He has in store for me and my family I know that it will all be to His glory! Romans 8:28 was a verse that came to mind when I read Sarah's Blog today...

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

All the ups and downs of our lives work together for good. That is something I hold close to when I go through times of trouble, and of course in times of prosperity!

I pray dear friends that 2009 brings you all the more closer to your Savior. That you see not just the big miracles, but the ordinary miracles ever present every day!

Several Months ago I found a website that was designed to give each person a "birth verse"

To conclude this post I wanted to share the birth verse for January 1st...

John 1:1 NIV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.



Yolanda said...

I am so thankful, THANKFUL for John 1:1.

I am thankful also for the Siesta's because I didn't join blog world until February and it has been an awesome journey.

Will be back to chat with you in 2009!


On Purpose said...

Kirsten, thank you for blogging on purpose this last year. For you have been a source of encouragment to me. You have always pointed to Him. You are a beautiful woman of God and you bring a smile to His face! May you continue to journey closer to Him in this new year!

Sarah said...

I am so glad and blessed to have met you this year. You are an encouragement to me and a constant source of wisdom. Your posts always seem to "ground" me and allow me to move my focus back on the Lord.

What a wonderful year it has been to know you and to pray for you have done for me!

Have a Happy New Year! See you in 2009!

much2ponder said...

This has been a very full year for you hasn't it?! So many people tell stories of how 2008 was so full of difficulties, but I must say, your post is so positive as always. You are one of those people aren't you? You know...positive and always looking on the bright side. How refreshing is that? I truly enjoy coming here because it always gives my heart a lift. You are a blessing Kristen:)

Runner Mom said...

Thank you for sharing your year with us! Wow! Your blog is such a blessing.

Kiawah is one of our favorites! I saw where you cycle--my hubby does too. DO you all run? Kiawah has a great marathon in December. You would have so much fun!!

Happy New Year!

Kim said...

Oh Kristen, just wanted to give you a big hug! And perhaps the Lord will provide the chance in person in 2009... but until then, I love visiting with you through this computer! :) Happy New Year to you my treasured Friend. Looking forward to a New Year full of God's glory being revealed in fresh new ways. Thank you for sharing your past year with us here and letting us know you a bit more! You are such a blessing!!! Hugs from Florida & until we return home.... Kim

Christy said...


I am so thankful for the opportunity to get to know you this year. I look forward to our blog get together in the Spring though!!! This was a great post, as always and I look forward to all the new ones with this coming year. Happy New Year!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

What a great time to look back and reflect on just how far our Father has brought us in such a short time. On the front end, a year seems long...uncertain...full of intrigue. On the backside we wonder where it went!

Your year, along with mine, packed a lot of remembrance and learning...yielding and dying (the death of self and the death of those we love). I imagine that 2009 will hold some of the same.

What will say about our year come December 31, 2009? I hope that I can see this was the year I finally took hold of some deeper holiness and fuller contentment for the journey I'm walking. To walk it through with the love and peace of Jesus Christ will be a big joy in my heart.

God be with us as we go.


Redeemed By His Love said...

I pray that the Lord bless you and your family in 2009!
Miriam :)

Ang baylis said...

I hope you continue to come to Michigan, too for a nice visit and a cup of coffee! I loved reading about 2008. What a great year you had! I love your birth verse!
Happy New Year!
Much love,
Angie xoxo

Donna's Book Nook said...

I, too, have enjoyed getting to know some new siesta's this year. My real sister got me started blogging. I'm so glad she did.

What a great summary of your year. God bless you in 2009.
(Love your new background!) Donna

Tracy said...

Thanks for sharing this look've had quite a year. You seem to view everything with a grateful heart...that is such an encouragemen to me! So blessedto have "met" you this past year. Praying great things for you in 2009!

Smelling Coffee said...

Kristin~ You're such a blessing! And, God is glorified and shines in your life!

I feel the same way you do about the friendships gained this year through blogging. I love the way you put it - about going to any state and pulling up a chair to enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend...

May the Lord bless you with Himself this new year...