It seems just yesterday I was an insecure ten year old, dreaming of adulthood--grateful it was so far away. And here I am now, almost 21, still growing. . .but realizing that back then, I was merely existing. At last I am truly living. It's rather frightening, in the most thrilling sort of way. Every page in life's book is an adventure. Discovering new roads, distant dreams, future hopes. . .falling, getting back up, knowing my Savior, my Guide, is there to mark each path, to carry me through the darkest night. It's breathtaking. But I don't make New Years resolutions. Oh, I used too. . .in fact, this is the first year I didn't agonize over "what might happen"--because life is just continuing. I can't stop it. I can't alter anything in it's course. "Resolutions" are turned to goals. . .goals that can only be achieved through His will. How can I change. . .what can I do to draw closer to Him--making those goals, these "resolutions" into an everyday lifestyle. I want my life to be a constant resolution. . .it IS my goal.
Looking over my year, I am dazzled by all the blessings. He has opened so many incredible doors, when just a few years ago things looked bleak. Me, the girl with no opportunities. In His time, when He saw fit, when He was ready, He changed everything--almost overnight. For me, this new bridge means purpose. And slowly, day by day, I am beginning to cross it.
--my 20th birthday dawned with a celebration that utterly stunned my very-"blonde" self. A surprise Les Miserables themed party, put together by awesome friends and even awesomer family. It will always be one of my most cherished memories. . .
--flew in an airplane for the very first time on the way to Oregon then California. Mm. . .I am convinced there is nothing so spectacular as seeing the sun rise under a blanket of clouds, all pinkish-gold. And then Oregon! I could so live there. . .the huge trees, mountains, the little roadside coffee stands. It pretty much calls my name. . .spending time with my dear friend Nicole, attending a HUGE English Country Dance Ball. . . divine. But no. . .when I really think about it, I want to live in Disneyland. On MainStreet. Because it's magical--truly. The happiest place on earth. Hollywood, [sushi!] Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive. . .they were all nice, but much too ritzy. Give me my good ol' Midwest any day. Or Disneyland.
--saw the ocean for the first time [again. 2011 was a year of firsts.] The beautiful, wild, Pacific; frothing over the beach, begging me to always stay. I left a piece of my being there.
--found another nanny job after our neighbors moved [where Anna and I worked for 3 years.] After that too came and went within a few short months, the Lord hand-picked another, the best yet. I am so grateful! Plus I adore these kids, 18 month old twins. They are an adorable joy--my favorite widdle Mr. and Miss. :)
--went to 4 more High Kings concerts. . .bringing the times I've seen my favorite Irish band up to 5. [go look 'em up. . .THK are the BESTEST. You can't be my blog reader unless you at least know who they are. It's blasphemous. :P ]
--participated in a star-lit reenactment (!!)
--an old theater, ornate, creepily-gorgeous in gold and red velvet. Tickets clutched tightly, squeezing past hundreds of people. Seats found. . .then the wait with bated breath. Until the orchestra sounds the first chord; until the curtain rises. Goosebumps. Heart-stopping chills. Nothing is as exquisite, evokes a spirit of emotion--like a play. All the color. . .the music. The weaving of song, story, costume, and voice into one masterpiece. The DRAMA. Les Miserables. . .it came to Cleveland. And I never blogged about it. But you see. . .I put the pro into procrastinator. ;) Let's just say I almost died. . .almost.
--it officially happened. . .when Anna bought herself, mom, and I tickets to. . .an Andrea Bocelli concert. :I DIED: My hero, MY Andrea. . .the voice of an angel. Sitting at the very top of a huge arena. . .the most amazing tenor in the history of the world a tiny dot on the stage, far, far, far below. But there were screens--and I saw him, I HEARD him. I sobbed. . .unabashedly. And now I can die in peace. For real. :P
I was an amazing year, sprinkled with trials that often overshadowed the rest. I've been learning that no matter what others think--I must stick to my guns. Conviction matters. . .legalism is a separate issue. I'm not going to let anyone convince me otherwise! Christ is my King and I will obey HIM. Everyone has a different heart--everyone's journey differs. . .and I'm quite satisfied with the one He's given me. Here's a bit of encouragement--follow His Will. Big things can happen. And when they don't. . .you've pleased Him, above all. That matters more--matters most.