The Lessons of 2011

For the last post of the year I like to tell you some of the things I have learned over the past 12 months.  Here is the final entry for 2011! See you next year! Happy New Year!!!

1.       Be Persistent –
This year many of the successes have been due to persistence and perseverance. We received our IRS non-profit after many months of hard work and diligence. I honestly had no idea what I was doing, but by the grace of God and the incredible help of fellow Counselor Rick Thomas I completed the paperwork and our Counseling Center received approval.

This is very important for those we will minister to in the future!

Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6 (NASB)

2.       Be Encouraged
This year I have been surrounded by many wonderful people who have encouraged me in the ministry.  They have also become my friends.  When I was discouraged for lack of progress they reminded me of God’s faithfulness and at times were a literal cheering section. Our Counseling Center continues to see more people from the community and word about the sufficiency of His Word to address the problems of life is spreading. I end this year very encouraged.

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thess. 5:11 (NASB)

3.       Be Forgiving
I have continued to learn much about forgiveness in God’s classroom this year. Being involved with worldly-minded people brings many chances to extend forgiveness.  I had the most incredible opportunity to demonstrate the grace and forgiveness of Christ that has been given to me.  My own unworthiness in being forgiven became glaringly obvious in a new and fresh way (through a complicated set of circumstances) and I found myself in the position to forgive as I have been forgiven.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8which He lavished on us. Ephesians 1:7-8 (NASB)

4.       Contentment
The Lord has blessed me with a measure of great contentment in this year. Whereas the beginning of my life here was fraught with strife and difficulty, this year I found contentment in whatever condition I was in.  Contentment doesn’t mean I didn’t suffer or have trials, but that in the midst of them I was content.  I was able to rest in God and His plan for my life even when things appeared to be out of control.

Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 1 Cor. 10:9-10 (NASB)

5.       Gratitude
This more than anything else has been the theme of the year for me. I am incredibly grateful for the enormous blessings the Lord has brought into my life this year. I am also thankful for the hardships! Hardships allowed the Christ-life in me to shine brightly as I continued to serve others in spite of difficulties that came my way.

I gained a new daughter-in-law this year, and this too was something to be grateful for. With all the weddings this year we spent a lot of time with our families. I watched my Dad turn 90 and be honored as a WWII Veteran.  God is often working where we do not see Him…

My husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage in February, and in August re-covenanted our marriage on Mt. Evans (at 14,000 feet!) in Colorado in the presence of a few dear friends. He is still my best friend, and I am so very happy and blessed to be his wife.

I am also thankful for my reading audience. You continue to come to this blog to learn about the sufficiency of Scripture to address the problems of life and you are telling your friends to come and check it out too! May the Lord bless you!

Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Cor. 9:10-15 (NASB)

What’s next….

2012 will bring some opportunities for traveling. I will be getting some sorely needed input at a conference in February, heading to sunny Florida to speak at a few conferences in March and teaching a women’s conference in Romania this November.

There are several writing projects in the works, and those are slated for completion this year.

Our counseling hours will be increasing both in person and via Skype in the coming months.

I also have some very exciting news that I will share with you in the coming weeks so stay tuned!!