2012

CHRISTMAS Merry Christmas and Happy NEW YEAR!

Today is the last day of 2012. We’ve taken the kids to play in a newly discovered park. We’ve eaten lunch. I’ve worked on a photo album for my three-year old… I’m still finishing her first year *sigh*

Tonight we head to one of the student dorms… now rather silent and empty as the students have gone home to over 52 countries to spend the holidays with their families. We will shoot off some fireworks with new friends, eat lots of yummy food, and enjoy some time of worshipful music and the company of “brothers” and “sisters.”

Other than that, this last day of 2012 hasn’t been so utterly different from the days preceding it.

In fact, it’s sort of a quiet day compared to the others.

One year ago today, I was sitting in the home of my husband’s Aunt, Uncle, and cousins in Oregon… soaking in the sounds and smells of a family gathering… something I didn’t have growing up.

We brought in 2012 together… having no real idea all that this year would hold. We stood on the threshold of much unknown, mountains to climb (or move), drastic change… staring off into the universe of blackness with stars to light the way.

Now here I am, a year later, smiling back on all that stood before the Marcy of December 31, 2011… a year older, wiser, and very far from “home.”

The Marcy of December 31, 2011 gazed into her foggy future… knowing there was an impossible amount of money to raise, a household to sell, jobs to leave, friends to cherish and treasure, and less than a year to do it.

  • God has once again made the impossible, possible and funded our ministry in Germany. We didn’t do it. He did. And His people.
  • We’ve moved across the world to Germany in order to partner with Black Forest Academy, TeachBeyond, to meet and love on Germans and local missionaries, and give our children the experience of their lives.
  • I ended a job with The Academies… a job I loved with ladies I loved even more.
  • I began and ended a job that I never expected to have! Serving alongside a woman who became a friend… helping her change the life of a six-year old girl forever.
  • We moved twice and spent a month on the road.
  • My husband and I took and completed the course Perspectives on World Christian Movement.
  • I completed my re-certification for my Rehab Counselor Certification.
  • My husband graduated with his Masters in Education.
  • We visited and shared about our move to BFA in over sixty places… homes, sunday school classrooms, life groups, in our own home over meals shared.
  • I left my church worship band after seven years of singing with them… this was so hard to do! It still is.
  • I had a book published with SNAP Learning!
  • I attended writer conferences/seminars in Fresno, CA, Rocklin, CA, and Stuttgart, Germany.
  • I began a second “freecycle” group on Facebook… this time for my community in Kandern, Germany. Together, there are around 700 people utilizing the two groups I set up.
  • Did I mention moving across the world? Selling just about everything we own, living in furnished places, traveling to any place that would have us share about the vision of BFA… helping kids transition to a new life, new language, new culture… while trying to do the same myself?
  • We were interviewed twice with KGED 1680 on the topic of Foster Care and Adoption… both of which continue to get replayed on the radio.
  • We’ve shared meals with over twenty of the families we’ve come to know (in the four months we’ve been here).
  • I accepted the position of “Counselor” with TeachBeyond for local missionaries wanting mental health services.
  • I have joined a worship band at our new local church, Black Forest Christian Fellowship.
  • I completed three major writing challenges in the months of October and November… 31 Days in 2012- a daily blogging challenge in which I wrote 31 Confessions (& Lessons) from {Dad}.
  • I completed Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo), coming up with a different picture book idea for every day of November.
  • AND, in November, in one month, I completed the very first draft of a novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Somehow, I manage to look over that list and think Is that it? In a whole year, is that all I did? Does my life matter?

Crazy, right?

It all matters.

And so does your 2012… whether it will be used to remind you of how good God’s grace is, how desperately you need His mercy, or simply ending in praise that it’s OVER… it matters.

And now, here I am, the Marcy of 2012. I stand on a threshold, once again, of much unknown. I’m filled with wishes, hopes, and dreams… and a very foggy picture of what this year might hold. The Marcy of 2013 is already on the other side, looking back with that same smile, grateful that THIS Marcy doesn’t know what THAT Marcy knows… the things yet to come, the hurdles yet to leap, the mountains yet to move… the songs of joy and praise yet to sing, the gratitude yet to be lifted…

On this, my last day of 2012, staring into a universe of unknown, I grasp the hand of One who knows all… and it’s okay.

It’s okay that I don’t know.

And it will all matter.

Happy New Year to each of you as you reflect on your past year and the year yet to come. May you find God’s grace and mercy in abundance, and your joy over flowing.

One Word Life Themes & Less Stuff

I reflect on our 2011 challenge (see it here). To get rid of HALF the things that we own.

I would like to report that we have INDEED passed on half of our belongings. More than half. 

Mostly because of something we didn’t realize at the time- we are leaving for Black Forest Academy in June and now must get rid of… well, anything that won’t fit in our luggage.

The irony is that we determined this “challenge” for 2011 to simplify- having no solid idea of our upcoming trek across the world. Isn’t God funny?

I haven’t decided what 2012’s “challenge” will be (though there are already plenty in my future… learning German, acclimating to a new culture, helping my children transition to their new lives, becoming fully funded by June, and so much more!)

Perhaps I don’t need to add to my already growing list of challenges for 2012!

I did run across the blog post of Mari Smith and her idea for a One Word Theme for 2012. This got me thinking.

My word leapt into my mind.

Light

I want light to inspire my every moment through this year.

  • The “Light” of Christ to shine through me as I learn to love the German people with their love-languages, the children of missionaries within their unique wirings, and the staff and families I’ll be serving alongside.
  • The “Light” that keeps my life free from any guilt or deception as I choose to live transparently, hiding nothing, and remaining a person of integrity.
  • The revealing “Light” that lights the path of decisions, making known things hidden in the darkness and encouraging decisions filled with insight.
  • The “Light” that frees me to fully bloom into the woman and person that I am created to be.
  • The “Light” that liberates others to the same kind of freedoms (to be who they are meant to be) that I know (or will know 🙂 ).

“Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves,who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented, and fabulous? Actually,who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine,we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson

Light

I encourage you to pick a word theme for yourself in this next year. You can read Mari’s blog post for inspiration or examples (words she’s chosen in previous years).

What is your word theme for 2012? How did you do with any challenges you set for 2011?