1) What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Got a job that required my college degree (finally!). Fasted for six days. Attended a sunrise Easter service. Went to an American Idol concert. Moved back to Sacramento. Actively pursued friendships with our neighbors.
2) Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't really make resolutions so much as goals for the year, and I feel that I was fairly successful. Gary and I went on our first overnight backpacking trip (it was awesome). I've been closer to family, spent a lot more time with them on the phone and in person. I read a lot of books, including completing my through-the-Bible reading plan.
3) Did anyone close to you give birth?
Wow... this was indeed the year of babies! Many of our friends brought little bundles of joy into the world this past year. It's been so fun to celebrate with them! And even more are coming next year!
4) Did anyone close to you die?
Bev Roseberry left us this past year. Though I didn't know her as well as some of my friends did, there was no doubt that she'd made a great impact on a great many lives.
5) What countries did you visit?
Does Oregon count? =) I had the joy of setting up a successful Mexico mission for the Fair Oaks Global Outreach team, but wasn't a part of that mission team. We did, however, enlist as leaders for AIM's summer 2010 high school mission trips. Hopefully next summer we will be in Uganda!
6) What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
See previous question: a return to Africa! To get plugged in to a Sacramento church family. Also, a bit of time somewhere to rest and dream would be nice. 2009 was intense!
7) What date(s) from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
In early January 2009, we were stunned to learn of our imminent departure from the church where Gary had been working as youth pastor. That day was an unfortunate collision with the "business" end of ministry. It also turned the page to a new, healthier, chapter of our lives. So yeah, memorable.
8) What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I am very proud of my return into full time work; I was very apprehensive about the changes this would bring to our lives, but I have done my best and have been blessed in our new situation. The great amount of emotional healing and forgiveness that has occurred this past year has been surprising.
9) Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not physically, though the heartache of the previous year was brought to a climax.
10) What was the best thing you bought?
Our new house! What a joy to return "home" to Sacramento, and to be able to own a home again.
11) Whose behavior merited celebration?
I continue to be blessed, inspired, and challenged by the love and faithfulness that Molly has displayed in numerous situations this past year. Most recently, she brought lunch, warm clothing, and a copy of the Message to a homeless man she had befriended the week before, all of her own accord. She is really living a life of love.
12) Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
What can I say here? The life I had was shattered by others' choices. All one can do is grieve the losses and be grateful for the gains I'm discovering.
13) Where did most of your money go?
We invested our savings into the purchase of our new home. Other than that, we've put most of our money into paying off our van, and contributing towards missions.
14) What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Taking a whole week off work, and coming to Minnesota for a White Christmas with Gary's family. Awesome!
15) What songs will always remind you of 2009?
Halo, by Beyonce, and Mad World, by Adam Lambert.
16) Compared to this time last year, are you:
Healthier? Emotionally, yes.
Richer? Relationally and experientially... definitely!
17) What do you wish you’d done more of?
18) What do you wish you’d done less of?
19) How did you spend Christmas?
With Gary's family in Minnesota. I love them so much!
20) Did you fall in love in 2009?
There's no new love in my life, but better than that, I am falling even more in love with my sweet husband in new ways.
21) What was your favorite blog post that you wrote?
Looking Back on 2008, which this post is based on. I've reflected on that post many times over this past year.
22) What were your favorite TV programs?
America's Next Top Model (still terribly fierce! or should I say, fiercely terrible!), So You Think You Can Dance, and Glee (at least, up until the adulterous season finale).
23) Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate? No. I've been deeply disappointed by a few individuals' choices, but that only leads to regret over what might have otherwise been.
24) What was the best book you read?
The Prodigal God, by Timothy Keller, and Crazy Love, by Francis Chan, have been thought provoking and potentially life-changing (only time will tell, right?). In terms of fun reading, I finally jumped on the Harry Potter bandwagon and have enjoyed the first novel so far.
25) What was your greatest musical discovery?
This year's season of American Idol was fun, inspiring, and let to great family memories. We took Molly to the concert tour this past summer for her birthday, and had a blast.
26) What did you want and get?
Believe it or not, I got everything I wanted but didn't get last year! (Answers. A coffee bean grinder. Cute brown shoes.) Also, a good camera for pursuing my photography. Plus, a good job, and a home of our own.
27) What did you want and not get?
Honestly, I'm pretty content right now. There are a few things I could use (new winter clothes, home furnishings), but the greatest unfulfilled desire of my heart is to see Molly living out her call on the mission field in Africa. Hopefully God will open the doors for that to happen in 2010.
28) What was your favorite film of this year?
Up, and The Blind Side. Both terrific and inspiring movies.
29) What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32 this year, and celebrated with Gary and Molly by enjoying a fondue dinner at The Melting Pot, followed by picking out my present (an iPod!) at Best Buy.
30) Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?
I don't know if Francis Chan fits this category, but he is an author/speaker who I have been greatly encouraged by. He is the pastor at my parents' church, Cornerstone Simi, and I listen to his sermon podcasts almost daily. I really identify with his heart to love God with passion, obedience and in truth.
31) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
"Social Work Professional". This year, I couldn't dress myself everyday in T-shirts from old youth group camps. I had to save those for the weekends! Turns out I clean up pretty nicely, though!
32) What kept you sane?
My new job. Definitely. It has been so healthy to pour my energy into a job in which I am helping people every day, using and developing my skills, and supporting my family. I never could have predicted how life-giving this would be.
33) Who did you miss?
Friendships through our church that faded away after our/their departure.
34) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Life consists of different seasons, and that's not only ok, but a good thing.
35) What did you gain this year?
Healing. Peace. Confidence.
36) What did you lose this year?
I lost a fair amount of faith in "church", as might be expected. I'm getting ready to try again, though. I also feel that a sense of the youth ministry family was lost through the dissolution of Youth Specialties as we knew it.
37) Who was the best new person you met?
I've met some really cool people through my job this year. For example, one of my clients is a tiny woman with Downs Syndrome who lives on her own, maintains a beautifully clean and homey apartment, works a job, and completely dominates at Special Olympics. She loves her life and always inspires me to just go for it.
38) Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
You are the one
Who has saved us
You are the one
Who forgave us
You are the one who has come
And is coming again
To make it alright
Oh, to make it alright
You’re the remedy
Oh, in us
You’re the remedy
-Remedy, David Crowder