Wednesday, December 14, 2016
What does one say for their hundredth blog post? That dilemma has probably been why I haven't written anything for six months. That, and the fact that life becomes normal so things don't seem interesting enough to write about. But here I am now, just in time for Christmas. It's about time for me to consider everything that has happened over the last year as we gear up for 2017. I'll share with you some of the most memorable things that happened this last year...
In January, my friend Jeanelle and I prepared for and put on a missions benefit concert, to fundraise for her upcoming trip to the Philippines, and sponsorships for students in Cambodia. We had fun organizing a youth octet, which has since sung another song and is planning another special music for next year. January was also a month of adjusting to life with my mom being out of commission after her emergency surgery, and to the thought of her only having a few months to a few years left to live.
February brought more doctor appointments with my mom and grandma. I spent a good amount of time in doctor's offices, it seemed. I also began the search for a job in the area, though I still wasn't sure of what the future held. Later in the month, my brother gave me a birthday present in taking me up to Inchelium to visit my YD family, which was nice since I hadn't been there since the previous summer.
In March, there were a lot of yard sale preparations. Some cousins put my parents in charge of an estate sale for a family member, and there was a lot of stuff to go through. Once that large sale was over, they donated the remainder to me for a mission benefit sale. Again, my friend Jeanelle and I worked together and split the money between our mission projects. Our Pathfinder district also held a Pinewood Derby during March. My car was great in aesthetics but unfortunately didn't perform so well in racing! My YD friends invited me to go with them to the Oregon coast for a staff retreat, since I had done a bunch of proofreading for them. It was both an enjoyable and eye-opening experience. We spent the weekend in a beautiful, huge, old-fashioned house a few miles from the coast, which was a lot of fun.
During April, our church hosted Northwest Youth Conference (our youth group was given charge of it last year). The speakers were inspiring and I really enjoyed being able to spend time with my dear friend Samantha who stayed with me over the weekend. April also brought the arrival of my best friend's first baby. I was super excited because the little guy is the closest I've ever gotten to a niece or nephew.
May was a month for Pathfinder events. Between lots of drill team practices, the Pathfinder Fair, and a spring campout at Camp MiVoden over Memorial Day weekend, there was a lot that went on. A fair amount of stress, too, but it was a lot of fun. And the spring campout ended up being quite relaxing even for staff members, so it was a win-win time for everyone.
In June, Jeanelle and I coordinated again and hosted a tea party for the little girls in our church. It was so much fun to decorate and have the little girls dress up and have their hair done. I hope it can be a yearly occurrence but we will see! I also found out about a WWU student who had plans to go to Cambodia as a teacher at WPY, so I arranged a visit with him so I could give him a few cards to send over there, and to answer his questions. It was so good to be able to share as much as I knew with him. He has since traveled to Cambodia and seems to be having a good time there. I'm looking forward to talking with him again once he returns next summer. We had an investiture for our Pathfinder kids, and I also went to a rainy church campout on Sabbath morning, which was actually quite warm and cozy because of all the friends who were there.
I started out July with sub-teaching in our church's junior Sabbath School class, which was a lot of fun since it had been a couple of years since I had taught, and I was using YD materials again. I decided then that I wanted to get back into it again. My family all left for a trip to Alaska, so it was just the dog and I at home for a week or two. During their absence, I ended up with a job! This job seemed like direct leading from God because it came right when I was ready for it and it came without any intentional doing on my part. It's also right where my expertise is - graphic design and working directly with people. God is so good, and I still enjoy working away at this job. We finished off July with a Pathfinder high-points trip to Camp MiVoden and Silverwood. I hadn't been on a roller coaster since I was 12, and that was only once, so it was quite an adventure. The girls convinced me to go on two different rides (I rode one of those twice). They certainly enjoyed themselves, and I did too.
August brought the purchase of a car. It was so good to finally have my own wheels again! And again, God was good in bringing it when I needed it most, without any doing on my part, and with very little debt (which was paid off quickly). I'm thankful to both of my brothers for discovering it, traveling 45 minutes to look at it since I didn't have the time to, and bringing it home for me to drive. We took a trip to Portland/Vancouver just a couple of days after with that car, to see special family friends whose missionary son had returned for a short visit. His mission report was an inspiration, as well, and it was good to see him again.
In September, we entered stuff in the county fair and spent some time there. I went to the Pathfinder Camporee up at Farragut State Park and attained one of my life goals: I was finally invested as a Master Guide. Our dear Walker dog also had to be put down, which we still haven't quite recovered from.
During October, my coworkers and I made a trip to Portland for a tradeshow, which was quite educational and fun to see all the ways we could do things at our sign shop. October also brought a family reunion. It was the first I'd actually been able to attend for many years, since I've always been gone when the family got together. I went to the Pathfinder leadership retreat at Camp MiVoden and had a very relaxing time and enjoyed seeing Pathfinder friends and learning new things. I began teaching in the junior Sabbath School class. It's been neat to get to know each of the students better as I interact with them more. Our church also held a series of meetings, studying the book of Revelation in-depth. I was able to go to several of them before I got too busy to attend.
November brought an induction of several new Pathfinders to our club. We now have about 30 kids, which is quite a few more than last year! I took a trip by myself up to Canada to visit my best friend and her little family, as well as her husband's family who are good friends too. It was great to visit Fountainview as well and see a couple of kids there that I know. I got lots of baby time in, which was fun but just made me miss it more when I left. :) My brothers and I spent some quality time together when we went to find a Christmas tree, and later I learned how to shoot skeet with a 12 gauge shotgun. Both were enjoyable experiences!
Now that December is here, we're full on with music practices for Christmas programs. I am in two separate programs and have eight different pieces I'm part of. It makes for lots of evenings filled up! But it's also great to spend lots of extra time with my friends. We've had a lot of snow this December. The kids have enjoyed snow days at school and we've had to cancel Pathfinder events because of the roads being so unpredictable. So far we've all survived and it's still beautiful outside because the temperatures have been so freezing cold. My mom went to a couple of doctor appointments yesterday and got very good reports from them both, about her cancer. It seems that things are getting smaller - and she's only been doing natural treatments! It's a great Christmas present, for sure.
The year has whizzed by and it seems that every week has been full, but as I look back, I see just how good God has been through it all. I'm so thankful for His leading, even if it's difficult to see at times. He is incredible in His goodness and love.
"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!" (Psalm 34:8, ESV).