Christmas: A Look at the Old Year

10:33 PM

Christmas has always been a time of reflection for me. And this year is no different, except that I want to share my reflections with all my friends and family. Some of you may be wondering exactly what's going on in my life, and I want to satisfy your curiosity through this long, newsy and hopefully interesting letter.

What have I been doing lately? Let's start with the forty-hour-week of my job. 2007 marked my 5th year of "dedicated service" with my employer. Most of you know that I began working there as a receptionist. It wasn't long before I took on many other responsibilities. My supervisors decided that my job responsibilities had grown so much that I needed a clone. In January 2007, my title officially changed to "Accounting Assistant" and a new receptionist was hired. The most exciting part of this transition has been that I don't answer the phone too much anymore! The most odd part has been my new schedule. It is now 6:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. Not your normal office schedule. Well, ya know what they say, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a (wo)man healthy, wealthy and wise." I do actually enjoy my schedule...when I get enough sleep. :)

And what do I fill the other hours of my life with? I'm so glad you asked! :) This letter is mostly about God and all that He's been doing in me and through me in the year of 2007. Besides my regular job, I have the privilege of serving Him in so many different ways. I've had the joy and pleasure of leading the youth group at church this year (a group of middle school & high school students). And if that doesn't scare you, I don't know what will!! Actually, they are the most hilarious, incredible and awesome kids that you'd ever meet. Through this year, we've had some experiences, both good and bad... and spent alot of time praying, laughing, reading, playing, studying the Word and just hanging out together. The youth do some crazy/fun things--and usually I do, too--but in the midst of it all, God is working in our hearts. He's changing us for His own glory. It's just a matter of keeping my eyes on eternity--and asking myself, "will this (whatever I'm doing) matter after I die? when I stand before the judgment seat of Christ? when He holds my life against the standard of His Word?" And don't think that I believe in a salvation by works. But as the Bible says, "Faith without works is dead." We prove that we are disciples of Christ by how we live our lives... each and every moment.

I know that some of you are wondering about my music. I still lead worship at church, and love to praise the Lord through music. The Lord has given me several songs this year, and I'm still hoping to record some time in the near future to share God's Words through music. We'll see how that all works out. Since our home recording studio is just steps away now, maybe the proximity will help this project along. Through the past year, I've been slightly distracted by other projects, such as...

The building of my apartment! I still live with the family on the mountaintop. We recently remodeled the garage into a small studio apartment for me, and I've been caught up in the decisions of carpet and paint and other fun things like that. Throughout the year, I've done a little of everything--insulation, carpentry, electrical work (which was almost my demise!). Home decorating is a whole new world for me. We'll just say that--now I *LIKE* Lowe's! :) I finally moved out there about a week ago, and though we have some trim & finish work to do---it's lookin' pretty awesome!!!

For all the minutes in between these things, I keep busy. Books are definitely one of my greater passions. The older they are, the more fascinated I am. My collection is somewhere between 550 to 600 books, I think. Remember, I'm not obsessed - I'm passionate! :) The themes range from church history and old hymnbooks to classic literature and vintage children's books. Currently my entire collection is boxed up and awaiting construction of built-in bookshelves in my apartment. Isn't that sad?... Anyway, I still love to travel. In October, the family and I spent a short vacation in coastal Maine, more specifically Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. And I absolutely loved it! It is my new favorite vacation spot in the great USA... The crashing ocean, rocky shores, beautiful fall colors and altogether breathtaking scenery. Besides almost falling off a mountain, I had a great time and I wanna go back! :) I also experienced the joys of New York City for the first time, on a short trip with some girl friends. What a city!... At home, I like to plan parties. In the last year, I've planned and hostessed The Sis' baby shower and The Little Bro's 18th birthday party. My cookbook collection is growing, and hopefully my cooking skills are ever improving. Most of my friends and family are willing and happy guinea pigs. Especially the Little Bro. It was quite a victory when he declared my apple dumplings as better than homemade ice cream! Haha. :)

In other news, I'm now the proud owner of a new pet---a yellow cockatiel named Sir Reepicheep. He's also our office mascot at work, loved by customers and co-workers alike. He's pretty emotionally attached to me though, and gets upset whenever I leave my desk. He gets to spend weekends and holidays at my house, and is the tamest bird I've ever seen. In fact, he's contentedly sitting on my shoulder as I type.

Well, that just about wraps it up. The year of 2007 was a challenging and rewarding one for me. Hebrews 12:1-2 says that we ought to "...run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus..." I encourage you to look to Jesus Christ. Christmas isn't just about a little baby; it's about a King--who will reign over all. Are you bowing your life before Him now?

Merry Christmas to all! And to all, a good night!

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