The end of the year is the time when top ten lists are available in excess so I thought I might as well add to the excess with a list of my own. Originally, I had not planned on sharing the “Top Ten Events and Occurrences in The Life of Miss Carrots” list on my blog. That would seem rather narcissist, wouldn't it? Then I realized that taking time to look at what the Lord has done in my life is not egocentric and since the Psalms are filled with commands and invitations to proclaim God's goodness and His marvelous deeds, I decided to do so. Some of these things may not be all that big of a deal, but these are the things that stand out in my mind when I think about the past twelve months.
- In January, I began taking part in a study of hermeneutics at my church. Hermeneutics is simply the tools used in accurate study of the Bible. This class changed the way I defined Bible study and gave me a new appreciation for the importance of rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
- From the middle of January to the end of February I read two books that clarified my understanding of the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of men. The first was The Invisible Hand by R. C. Sproul. After that I read Decision Making and the Will of God by Gary Friesen. Reading these two books back to back sent me into a whirlwind for several weeks as I tried to understand what it meant to live and to make choices in a world ruled by a sovereign God. Even though I doubtlessly have more to learn on these subjects, I am glad that those books "just happened" to be at the beginning of my reading list for a year that was going to be filled with decisions.
- In March, I took the 90-Day Challenge given over at YLCF and began to read my Bible through in ninety days. I wasn't sure I was going to finish on time but those three months were providentially very calm and I found I had plenty of time for the hour or so a day that the goal required. Reading the Bible so quickly required me to read it differently than I had before. I saw it as a whole, and the supremacy of Christ throughout was clear. I also began to taste the different flavors of the writing of the human authors, though the overarching unity made the Holy Spirit the obvious ultimate Author. For the first time, I could really say that the Bible is my favorite book without any guilty wondering in the back of my mind about whether or not that statement was true. When I finished in May, I was amazed to find how much I craved to continue reading. Even though I had read my Bible regularly before, it was different being steeped in it with so much reading. Through those ninety days the Lord gave me a love for the Word that I had never had before.
- In mid-April I began my first real job. Real in this instance meaning that it was forty hours a week and I no longer had control over my schedule. Major learning experience! God is good. He gave me a very generous Christian boss and a paycheck that allowed me to use my savings account for something other than short term storage. The Lord also knew that this control freak needed to have a job where she was the employee and not the one in charge. I am so glad to be back home now though.
- With June came the long-awaited mission trip with my Daddy. We went to Russia for two weeks and I don't think I can sum those up very well in this tiny space. I have been interested in missions for a long time and while this trip fanned the flame of that interest it remains to be seen what God is going to do with it.
- One immediate result of the Russia trip is that I am now involved in the music ministry at our church. While in Russia, there were several times when I had to let people hear my voice. As in, the singing voice that very few people hear and I am rather self-conscious about. That one. And did I mention that the Russians have lovely voices and can tell when someone is singing poorly even if they are singing in a different language? Yeah... Well....once my Daddy realized I was starting to get okay with singing in public, he suggested that I come to some of the music practices so that I could sing melody and let the gal who normally sings melody practice harmony. Then....since I knew all the songs, why don't I just sing this week? And then....Oh look the other singers are sick this week, so it looks like it will be you singing by yourself. Soooo long story short, I am now on the worship team and learning to enjoy myself.
- After coming back from Russia, I started looking into some online classes and other options for bringing school work back into my schedule. I was interested in something involving education which would be useful in lots of situations and that I could do from home. I gave up the search in early August and put the whole idea out of my mind as impossible. About a week later a friend told me about College Plus and I was enrolled within a few more weeks and beginning a degree in English. If all goes as planned, I will graduate with my BA in June of 2010. Does this sound like a commercial? It isn't meant to be, I am just amazed at the Lord's perfect timing.
- Fall means the beginning of another dance year and I went back to teaching ballet in October. Even though I cut the number of my classes down to three from six the previous year, I started out with twenty students. That may not seem like many but for a small town teacher who only teaches one day a week, that is a large number for the beginning of the year! This is just another aspect of God's providence as the money will be (and already has been) used for school books and expenses.
- I was the rehearsal mistress for the Eugene Ballet's local production of the Nutcracker this year. Another learning experience. It was my first time teaching someone else’s choreography and someone else’s students. I know I learned a lot from it, but I don't know if I would do it over again.
- This last one isn't really about me, but it is such a big event that I have to share. My six year old brother, Jeremiah, repented of his sins and received the gift of salvation. He loves to talk about Jesus now and tell other people that he is a Christian. When he is with his friends at Sparks or playing with his cousins, one of his favorite conversation starters is "I'm a Christian, are you?" He has no fear in witnessing and that is a challenge to me to do the same.
Have a Joyful New Year!
Oh Magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together. ~Psalm 34:3