Three. Days. Left.
Where has 2017 gone?
I truly have no idea how to sum up 2017 in words, nor how to capture on paper my thoughts as I look ahead.
However, me being me, of course I am going to try.
It’s been a whirlwind year. It seems that it has been non-stop, since Sunday, January 1, 2017. Every day, week and month has seemed to be packed with very little time to breathe.
So many good things – a family trip to Hawaii, Mark’s graduation – my engagement to Ken! – so many wonderful things. So much to be grateful for.
Challenges too, of course – we live in a fallen world, and until God takes us home, our days will contain challenges, heartaches and griefs.
But honestly, dear reader – I am nearly overwhelmed by God’s grace in my life – and the lives of my crew. His mercy endures forever.
Golly day, though – the fast-paced-ness of this year has been exhausting, and next year looks to be the same. Many things that I normally enjoy – reading and writing in particular – well, time for both of those activities has been tough to come by. I’m hopeful to remedy that, in 2018.
As has been my practice over the last few years, I’d like to wrap up 2017 with a few “Stats and Superlatives”.
First, some stats:
I’m entering my 8th year writing at this website – with two years prior to that, over at Blogger. I still enjoy it immensely. As I said above, I’ve not had as much time to write in this space as I’ve had in other years. I hope that changes in 2018. I’m grateful to have this avenue – I process life by writing, so I cherish the opportunity to write, as well as each reader who stumbles upon my URL. I am grateful for each and every visit. I still can’t believe anyone would want to read what I write.
Another fun “end-of-the-year” stat email report I received had to do with fitness goals. I’ve worn a FitBit yet again all year-long, and have worked hard to achieve 10,000 steps almost every day. FitBit tells me that the following things were accomplished:
- Number of Steps Taken: 3,805,032 steps
- Number of Stairs Climbed: 1267 floors
- Number of Miles Walked: 2,111.43 miles
One of my goals this year was to complete 1000 miles of exercise – miles that were not a part of normal, everyday walking. I was on a good pace to finish early December, however life got busy, so I’ve had to push hard these last couple of weeks. I finally finished, though, and earned my 1000 mile medal!
If you would like to sign up for the 2018 1000 Mile Challenge, visit this website: I Love to Run
Another fun race today was the Martin Luther Reformation Virtual Run, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the reformation. That was a 5k virtual race on 31-October. Very nerdy, indeed.
Here is a picture of my 1000 Mile Medal along with my stats:
- Keli has a new job at the Seaford Scallop company – just down the road from our house. She’s also making great progress toward achieving her goal of becoming a Vet Tech. I so enjoyed surprising her at Christmas with her very first veterinarian stethoscope and Vet Anatomy study guide.
- Tim is currently still stationed in Norfolk. He is dating a sweet girl that we enjoyed getting to know better over Christmas. His ship is currently drydocked, and his orders are changing soon, so there may be many changes on the horizon for him.
- Mark graduated high school in May, and is currently working at Men’s Wearhouse, following in his sister’s footsteps. He completed one semester at Thomas Nelson, and is making some decisions soon about his future.
- Bethany is a senior this year, and has been accepted into The College at Southeastern Seminary, in Raleigh, NC, to study Worship Ministry. This summer, she will travel with our church to Uganda – and I couldn’t be happier about that. I am so excited for her, on so many levels.
- Me: I’ve been with Dynamic Systems now for five years – I love what I do, and the team that I work with. But, of course – the biggest news is our engagement. On October 15th, Ken asked me to marry him, and I said “Yes”. We will be getting married on February 25th! If you’d like to read more, click here: Joy
And, now for some fun Superlatives….
What’s a superlative??? Remember in high school when the year book came out, there were things like “Best Cheerleader” and “Most likely to Succeed”? Well, I’ve captured some of the “Best’s” from 2016–at least, from where I’m standing. Here they are:
- Lion ~ I believe that this came out in 2016, but I didn’t watch it until 2017. Phenomenal acting and heart-grabbing story of a young boy who became lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of miles from home, and was adopted by a family in Australia – and his quest as a young adult to find his biological family.
- War for the Planet of the Apes ~ Just fun
- Darkest Hour ~ I imagine this will become one of my favorite movies of 2017, but I’ve not seen it yet. Scheduled to see it this weekend.
- California Typewriter ~ You probably would only enjoy this one, if you are a nerd like me. This documentary about vintage typewriters and those who collect them, including Tom Hanks. Fascinating and fun.
Best New (to me) Words
- Librocubicularist: A person who reads in bed.
- Boketto: To gaze vacantly into the distance without thinking.
- Bookworm Terms: These aren’t actual Webster-defined words, but I love them nonetheless..you can click HERE to read several, wonderful, bookish words.
Maybe it isn’t right to label a sermon as “best”. So, instead I’ll qualify this category as a list of sermons that I found to be particularly important and that I think others would find as helpful as I did (you can click on the titles to hear recordings of each of the sermons):
- Boasting in Nothing but the Cross ~ Tim Keller (The Gospel Coalition Conference 2017)
- Anatomy of a Local Church (Sermon on Sheep – John 10:1-18) ~ Michael Howard (9/24 ~ Seaford Baptist Church)
- Passing on Our Thanks (Psalm 117) ~ Michael Howard (11/19 ~ Seaford Baptist Church)
2017 wasn’t a great year for me in the area of reading, which bothers me greatly. I love to read and have missed it much. Like I mentioned above – I hope that changes in 2018.
Here are a few books that I did enjoy this year.
- The Incomparable Christ by John Stott
- American Eclipse by David Baron (Enjoyed this before road tripping to watch the total solar eclipse earlier this year)
- All My Roads Before Me by C.S. Lewis (Always good to read C. S. Lewis – these writings were from his early diaries)
- Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (Interesting Memoir – My favorite part was when she named a majestic old tree in Hawaii and I knew exactly which tree she was referring to, because it was in my old neighborhood)
- Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven (I think every single high school senior should read this book)
I also didn’t have as much time this year to keep up with “new” music. That’s ok – there are many “old” songs that sunk deep into my soul this year.
Behold (Then Sings My Soul) by Hillsong – Good Stuff. Particularly the very end. I hope to get an ensemble together to sing this some time in 2018.
I Need Thee Every Hour by Selah – This arrangement. Whew. I have listened to it often this year. Truly I need Him, every hour.
Looking ahead to 2018
So now what?
Twelve months lay before each of us. We don’t know what is ahead. We are not promised tomorrow. We can plan–and it is good and right to plan. I have lots of “plans” for 2018 – including getting married, moving to a new home and watching my youngest graduate from high school.
But ultimately, what lies ahead is not up to me.
The next twelve months are known to God and will be orchestrated by Him. He is sovereign.
And that’s a good thing. Because I–and you–need God’s sovereignty to be truth.
But in His sovereignty, He still calls us to obedience and commitment to spiritual disciplines – prayer, scripture reading and studying, healthy living (taking care of our bodies and our minds), commitment to a local church family, and other disciplines that we each may individually feel called to.
Friends, there will be many joys, and some sorrows in 2018. There will be successes and failures and challenges. We do not know what tomorrow morning holds. But what is truth–what has to be truth, is this: there is enough grace from God, our father, for all of it.
Every single day, hour and second – no matter what those moments hold.