Friday, December 30, 2011

Farewell 2011

Well December is coming to a close my friends... and you know what that means. The New Year, once again, is upon us. How about a photo recap to remember the awesomeness of 2011?

Ok. If you insist...

New Years 2011... Seoul, South Korea

 Spent the evening with some awesome sistas : )

 Before i headed home Monica Ssaim taught me how to make kimchi... and a smattering of other Korean's dishes :)

A feast we made! And what a great nite it was!  

 This was my last day of work...

To celebrate we headed to the north to go sledding on possible the coldest day of the year...

:) and then went to a water park. An indoor water park. It was awesome!

And then i went to Thailand

 where it was beautifully warm and awesome! 

I spent 10 days exploring...

and it was beautiful! 

Josh Koop and i on our last night together...

Need i say more?

With only a few hours back in Korea, i flew home... : ) 
10 hours in a Chinese airport and a 11 hour flight to California... i look happily busted to be back in California. 

Life back in California consisted of a lot of family. And time with my brother who'd grown all up while i was gone. 

Not long after returning my sweet friend Holly invited me to a Friday night Bible study... God knew just what i needed. I love these girls and am so thankful for our studies together.

It wasn't long after i returned home from Korea, within the first week actually, that i "met" and fell in love this with awesome man. And i'm so thankful i did! God knew exactly what he was doing!

Kicked off the summer in Palm Springs with the women in my family. 
Maybe the first vacation we had ever been on all together.

Kelly Guynn got married. Whoa to the whoa! 

Randy and i got together June 4th... and it was only the "start" something really wonderful. :)

Heather and i went to Seattle to visit the Guisti's... and it was AWESOME!

Pike's Place at Pike's Place. Have i mentioned that i love to travel? I do. A lot.

Disneyland was redeemed forevermore... and we'll be enjoying it often for the next year :) 
Thanks baby!

I spent most of the summer planning and preparing for Mountain Child USA's Launch Party

 With the help of many... it was an awesome success!! 

 My formal time with MC ended in October... 
but my heart to CARRY HOPE is still beating strong!

We celebrated the coming of sweet Rosie, who arrived healthy and beautiful November 14th. I remember when Heatha and i sat at lunch in high school eating carrot sticks and cookies. Look as us now... mommy and auntie. : )

Stashbash 2011... the culmination of our Family Gift of Time 2011. Each family hosted an awesome themed party... and it was wonderful! 

Nunkins and i 1930's. : )

Finished up the year with my small group. 
A few things i learned this year:
1. God voice is personal, and specific to me. He is moving intentionally and specifically in my life to accomplish his will. His Spirit is alive within me.
2. I am weak and in daily need of the Gospel
3. The love of Jesus is deeper and wider and fuller than i could ever know

And like every year, Christmas came and went as quick as ever. It was SO good to be home! 

In short, 2011 was beautifully full... in activity and awesomeness! 

Tomorrow will kindly wrap up this year, and as i look back i'm particularly thankful for God's hand in my life! He has blessed me this year, in so many ways! : )

So, here's to what will come in 2012... 

: )

On the radar:
- The LA Marathon
- Half Dome
- Turn a quarter of a century
- A wedding? 

Whatever comes, Jesus... may you be pleased! : )

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The most beautiful gift.

Today is Christmas Eve. I sit here a few hours before the family and Turduckin arrives and am just thankful.

Like many of you fellow Christmas lovers, the anticipation for Christmas has been building for quite some time. Check my Facebook countdown.  I just love Christmas. Everything about it!  I love Christmas trees. And Christmas lights.  Christmas music and cookies. I love gingerbread, and wrapping paper.  And this year I have some odd fascination with all things sequins. I've resisted the urge to buy a sequin dress to wear today. You can thank me later.

But aside from all that, I'm thankful for the greatest of this season. I'm thankful for Jesus! So much so! Because let's be honest, without the birth of him, I'd be in a whirl wind of trouble. Last night at church we wonderfully celebrated the birth of Jesus! A birth wonderfully orchestrated and perfectly timed as the onset of God's awesome salvation plan. A salvation plan that somehow included me. A most gracious, gracious plan.

You see, I'm broken. I fail and fall fantastically five thousand freakin' times a day and once more for good measure. I stumble and waiver over things that are far less than worthy and then rationalize the benefits of settling. My pride prevails and my selfishness steals. I'm not exactly the sight of holy God created man to be. And I lack the intimacy with him I was created for.

Like I said, I'm broken. And i gotten really good at masking it.

But this morning, i sit overwhelming thankful for Jesus! For all that He is! And all that He did! He was born Lord as a humble baby, sent commissioned to live a perfect life, so that he could die. And in his death-- a most perfect sacrifice-- he would pay in full the debt of my sin. In his resurrection, he would conquer death and bring salvation! He would save people of their brokenness and instate righteousness. Not a righteousness brought by anything of my own will or manufacturing, but simply and only by the beautiful cloak of Jesus' blood. A righteousness new of his likeness.

So, as awesome -- or tacky to some i guess--  it would be to rock a sequin dress, today I am choosing to remember and wear the beautiful robe of righteousness that's been placed on my shoulders. A robe of scarlet- bought by the precious blood of my King. One too royal and holy for a simple girl like me to wear. And while too beautiful and weighty, I humbly will wrap myself deep in it and be reminded that even while i was still broken, crushed under the weight of my sin, Jesus saved me and called me into his family. He has wrapped me tightly in his grace and love. And the most beautiful thing yet, he is continually saving me and transforming me. Every day. From glory to glory!

For that most beautiful gift, i am SO thankful!

So, Merry Christmas my friends! May the grace of Jesus and the sweet reminder of his beautiful gift fill you with joy!