As 2010 looks over it’s shoulder for one last glance I felt that I would take a few moments and just sum it up.
It was one of the hardest and most rewarding years for me. I think that no other year thus far has met its quota of growth and discovery. I can’t wait to see what 2011 brings. In 2010 I discovered another part of my country, worked on making my second language less rusty, faced giants that I have cowered from, grown in the depth of my faith and watched as God provided for me step by step.
On January 1st 2010, I rang in the New Year with friends and family and then stayed up for the rest of the night packing. At 6am my flight departed from the tiny Prince George airport, where I left my mom and my brother at the security gate and returned to Quebec. At that point in time no amount of convincing would make me believe that I would be where I am sitting today. I was picked up at the airport by friends and spent a few days relaxing and preparing my heart for the next term at Capernwray. We shopped and laughed and tried on boots and finally after what seemed like weeks of waiting we packed up Esther’s hand painted John Deere car, way beyond capacity, and headed to school.
As the year progressed I learned the depth of God’s mercy and grace as I faced giants that had tried to tame me for years. I saw His provision in the payments for trips and school. He came alive in me as I struggled for three weeks on a trip across Quebec in a language I hadn’t spoken for years. He showed me how I could be a help to heal and a force of love as those around me struggled and were stretched, simply because He had given me the strength and power to do so. He also drove me out into the wilderness where I learned how profound my need for Him was and how gray the horizon is without Him.
As I came back to spend my summer in BC, I was left to apply all that I had taken in during those last few terms at Capernwray and learn how to practically serve in my community. I learned to constantly leave my comfort zone as I took on new roles in Sunday school and worked alongside those who don’t care for the message of a loving Savior. I learned to just rest in Him and delight in all that He had put before me. We went to Seattle and just feasted on the abundance of a loving Lord, we celebrated my father’s 56th birthday with Guinness and appetizer’s and it became so clear to me that God is above and beyond all of modern medicine and that it is always His plans that prevail.
In September my mom and I boarded another plane to move me back to Montreal. We spent a great but short week exploring the city and getting me settled. And before I knew it she was gone and I was on my own in the city. I started at a new Starbucks and settled in with friends and a new routine. I learned the challenge of living on my own and paying rent and electricity bills but through all of that I came to the understanding that just because I was no longer residing in the “Christian Bubble” God wasn’t done teaching me in very real ways. I learned to enjoy the community I was part of, no matter how small (three of us at most) and how to keep striving to know the Lord and make Him known. As winter approached I was shocked by the reality of His love and the depth of His affection for me. I was brought to my knees and I, for the first time, understood His indwelling life and how He lives and breathes in me. As the holidays approached a peace settled in my heart as the snow settled on the street below my window. And I knew that the blessings that met me in 2010 were here to stay in 2011 and would only multiply. God would continue to do what He had started that year and there was no need for fear or anxiety. So in the last few hours of 2010 I surrendered what needed to be surrendered and waited as the Lord lent His strength to that.
It was a great year of learning and blessing and I wouldn’t trade any moment of it.
As I look toward 2011, there are already a few themes on the surface. Patience, productivity and trust, to name a few of the big ones. I have never really been disciplined enough to follow through on New Year’s resolutions so I thought that I would try something different. Inspired by Jon Acuff’s 40 by 40 list and my friend Steph’s 30 by 30 list, here is my 25 by 25 list. All of these are things I want to accomplish in the next 11 months before I hit a quarter of a century. I am putting these up here to serve as an agent of accountability to make sure that they get done! And to invite you to challenge me to finish it because I know that I definitely won’t want to!!
So, here we go.
My 25x25 list…
I. Complete hair dressing school.
II. Visit the romance of the old port at least once a month.
III. Read my bible cover to cover.
IV. Learn how to make sushi. Good sushi.
V. Take a homeless person for lunch.
VI. Gain an ounce of self-confidence.
VII. Lose another 40 pounds.
VIII. Enjoy my singleness and understand that it isn’t about who is in love with me as much as it is about whom I am loving.
IX. Surrender my love life to God (family, friendships).
X. Do Lent this year. From start to finish.
XI. Sleep under the stars at least once.
XII. Dance at a wedding.
XIII. Go to the Carnival d'Hiver.
XIV. Learn to make Samosas. Good Samosas.
XV. Cover my wall with poetry.
XVI. Find 4 random reasons to host dinner parties and feed my friends.
XVII. Inquire about joining the Cathedral choir.
XVIII. Watch a sunrise from the chateau on Mount Royal.
XIX. Buy a nice kitchen knife.
XX. Donate my time to a cause I feel passionate about.
XXI. Overcome my fear of children by playing with them and talking to them every chance I get.
XXII. Learn what it means to be open and available to the will of God in all things.
XXIII. Eat at Safari Burger.
XXIV. Make soup. Lots of soup.
XXV. Actually do Christmas cards.