What a year this has been. At the beginning of the year, the word I believe God placed in my heart for 2012 was “FRUITFUL.” I desired 2012 to be a year I produced much fruit within myself, through my life (which includes my writing), through our finances, and through our family. So here’s looking back at this year with those goals in mind.
Producing Fruit Within Myself: I picked up photography. I bought a new camera at end of 2011, and although I haven’t been able to master how to use it as much as I’d like to, I now know more about taking pictures than I ever did before. I took a hobby class at the community college. I also love playing around with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Taking pictures of my kids come with its ongoing frustrations, but I’m learning to be a patient student. I also started grad school in the fall (Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy). First class was plain out B-O-R-I-N-G to me, but I really enjoyed my second class. I’m looking forward to all that I will learn through this program. Most importantly, I started a Beth Moore Bible study on the book of James with my two best friends via video chat. It’s been a meaningful, humbling, encouraging Bible study so far.
Producing Fruit Through My Life: Well, obviously this one is hard to measure myself, but a couple of things that stand out to me are this blog I started in early 2012 and my MOPS group. Since I am no longer working, outside of my family, friends, and what I mentioned above, these two things (blog & MOPS) were where I spent my time on a weekly basis. THANK YOU to those who read my blog faithfully this year. I LOVE sharing my thoughts through this blog and hearing your comments. What I love hearing most is how much you were able to relate to what I wrote and be encouraged by it. I hope to start a new series in 2013, sharing more of my journal entries from past seasons in life. I love my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. We have such an amazing steering team this year, and I’m enjoying the growing friendships we share. It also blesses me to watch many new friendships form (even if I’m not part of it) and see many young moms be encouraged through this group.
Producing Fruit Through Our Finances: WOW. I really can’t even begin to describe to what extent this happened in 2012. Allan’s web-based supplement business had an UN-believable growth this year, and we’ve been able to give in so many ways as a result (to missions, scholarships, causes such as fighting human-trafficking, medical needs, and so much more). We are completely humbled by how God has allowed us to participate in so many ministries financially.
Producing Fruit Through Our Family: We took a big leap of faith this year. We began our adoption process in April. It was a bit of a difficult move to take this first step (mainly for me; see my Intro: Adoption post), but since then, we have not looked back. We know, without a doubt, that this is the plan God has for us. Currently we have completed our first paperwork phase, and we are waiting to be matched (which will take approx. 3-6 months). We are still expecting our process to be completed around fall of 2013. In addition to our adoption journey, Allan and I have continued leading our parenting small group at church. We once again welcomed many visitors to our home this year. We love sharing about our family life through this blog, our family website, and Facebook.
I give God all the praise for everything I was able to experience in 2012. I also could not have done any of it without the support of my husband, other family members, and my friends. It has been a year of growth for me in many ways – re-encountering my Japanese culture & family through my trip there in April, learning to become a better mother (mainly through Peanut), learning to have healthier emotional boundaries with other people, growing through some difficult challenges with my friends, etc. It just shows that there’s still so much room for me to grow, and so much fruit yet to be produced. I look forward to all that 2013 holds.
Happy New Year, everyone! May 2013 be your most blessed year yet.