Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 Year in Review (January-June)

For this last week of the year I'm looking back over 2010. What does a "Grateful Gratitude" list look like from the perspective of 365 days? It's fun to look back to where I was, ahead to where I'm going, and right now to where I'm at. Reflecting is a good place to be. Living in the moment of certain 2010 circumstances, I didn't have the benefit of hindsight. But now, with just a little bit of time passing, and a lot bit of God working on my heart, I can see with a different perspective, and can offer a YEAR IN REVIEW—Grateful Gratitudes.

JANUARY—God flooded me with fellowship. Much needed heart-bonding. I opened the year with our student ministry activity. A new friend entered my life. Jordy. The Link Family came to sing/play at our church, and we renewed our friendship with two Link generations. We toured the Rio Grande Bible College and enjoyed time with the staff there. I traveled to Florida to be the retreat speaker for Word Weavers and enjoyed time with the entire bunch. It was great to stay with host Cheri Cowell and to finally hug (in person) my long-ago writing mentor, Laurie Barker Copeland. Lots of heart conversations and brainstorming happened in January.

FEBRUARY—God redirected my path. CLASSeminars invited me to consider starting the training process to join their faculty. My first official event in this training capacity was the CLASS reunion in Palm Springs, CA. I enjoyed getting to know the others, and co-teaching with Linda Gilden.

MARCH—God stretched me. My business required more intensive skill, more consult calls. Just MORE. And my everyday life situations caused me to dig deeper with my faith walk.

APRIL—God became even more real to me. The Easter service was extra special—a woven blending of music and message, seamless reflection of the price He paid for me, of the power of His resurrection, of the hope found as we anticipate His return. I served on faculty at Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference and while there God's presence was evident in manifold ways. A "random" drawing selected Robin Steinweg to receive a special grant from my communications firm, but what I couldn't have known is that God was directing our steps to knit our hearts in an extra-special friendship. I got to attend worship with my sister-friend, Twila Belk, and soaked in an incredible day of sharing life stuff. I found out that my longtime assistant, Gina Stinson, needed to give resignation notice, and we both cried at the thought of this separation. She stayed on through our KCWC staffing transition and I remain grateful for her faithful service over the past three years.

MAY—God nudged me to step out. When our May Tea was canceled, I was disappointed. I'd put my heart and soul into planning the event over the past year. But I knew it was the right move. After the cancellation, an opportunity opened up to go for more CLASSeminars training. How obvious that God was moving me to work with this wonderful organization! I roomed with Gerry Wakeland, and had Betty Southard as my mentor. Wonderful to have two new godly women in my life, for such a time as this! It also became obvious that God was preparing our hearts for a move. He allowed doors to shut and other doors to open. Difficult times in the moment, but looking back with the perspective of hindsight, I can be grateful for His direction.

JUNE—God reminded me to write plans in pencil to allow for last-minute "life" adjustments. I served on faculty with Write-To-Publish. What an incredible writers' conference! Thanks to Lin Johnson, Joyce Ellis and Jane Rubietta for bringing me in to share with the attendees of the Career Track. After the conference, I met family for a reunion in MO and while there we were called back to Texas prematurely to bury a man we greatly loved and respected. What didn't happen was the rest of our family vacation, my participation as emcee at the AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) conference, or attending the International Christian Retailers Show in St. Louis. Not going to those events caused me to miss out on the new clients I normally pick up for the year. We had just signed a lease to rent a home in Brenham, TX as Russ was to come on board with my KCWC firm starting in July. We were (and are) certain God directed the change, but with the canceled conferences, all of a sudden with the wheels in motion, all the security blankets were pulled away and only one thing remained—trusting God for our future.

(Friday I'll post Part Two, July through December, 2010)

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