Because everybody’s doing some sort of list to recap 2008….here are my Top Fives of 2008:
Top 5 Lessons Learned:
1. That I am forgiven. That the gospel is good news. And that God loves and accepts me more than I ever dared dream.
2. That fear is not from the Lord and any decision made as a result of it is probably not from the Lord either.
3. That I am a fool, I’m blind, and I should distrust my leaning on my own understanding and instead acknowledge God and wait on Him as He directs my paths.
4. That I shouldn’t accept current circumstances as God’s will but I ought to pray fervently for God to act and then expect Him to accomplish His will.
5. That God is enough. He is enough to uphold, strengthen, and satisfy through any circumstance so I don’t need to pursue ease or comfort.
Top 5 Unattained Goals:
1. Running a triathalon
2. Living a balanced life
3. Becoming a health nut and only eating the wholest grains, steel-cut oatmeal, fresh vegetables, organic everything, etc.
4. Getting better at remembering and celebrating people’s birthdays
5. Quitting Facebook
Top 5 Quotes I’ve Read:
1. “Let this be your life: Ponder him; be pervaded with him; point to him. The more you know of him, and the more you admire the fullness of his beauty, the more you will reflect him. O that there would be thousands of irresistible reflections of the beauty of Jesus. May it be said of such reflections, ‘It disarms us. It takes away our arguments.’” – John Piper
2.”Well, I’ve tried to get perspective and come back again to God, the Great Arranger of our Lives. He, in love and wisdom, has acted again without consulting me! One day we will look back and see He was right again. But right now it is very disappointing.” – Ray Ortlund
3. “Uncertainty is a gift because it causes us to look to the only source of real certainty, to the God of all grace who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and is the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:18). Who is a loving and wise Father who always knows what is best for His children. Who knows the future and promises of out His wisdom and sovereignty to cause all things to work together for the good to those who love Him (Rom. 8:28 ) and whose will is described as good and acceptable and perfect (Rom. 12:1-2). Who brings trials and uncertainty into our lives that we might learn to trust His wisdom and goodness rather than our own foolishness and finiteness. Who holds the future securely in His omnipotent hands. So while the specifics of the future may be uncertain, the reality is that the BIG THINGS are absolutely certain. My heavenly Father is merciful and gracious and wise and good. How much more certainty does one need?” – Terry Catron
4. “It’s essential for us to think about God’s love today because it is only his love that can grant us the joy that will strengthen our hearts, the courage that will embolden us in our fight against sin, and the assurance that will enable us to open our lives to him so that he might deal powerfully with our unbelief and idolatry. If we’re not completely convinced that his love is ours right now- fully and unalterably ours- we’ll always hide in the shadows, focusing on our performance, fearing his wrath. Prayer will be hard because we won’t want to approach him or be transparent before him. Witnessing will be a chore, for who would want to talk to others about a god who is demanding, angry, or cold? If we don’t consciously live in the light of his love, the gospel will be secondary, virtually meaningless, and Jesus Christ will fade into insignificance. Our faith will become all about us, our performance, and how we think we’re doing, and our transformation will be hindered.
What must we remember? Simply that God loves us so much that he crushed his Son so that we might be his and that this love isn’t based on our worthiness or performance. His love doesn’t fluctuate from day-to-day. It was settled the moment he set it upon you before the foundation of the world.” – Elyse Fitzpatrick, Because He Loves Me
5. “But now, this very day, marks 40 forty years from that uncertain afternoon. No seers, no prophets now, are needed to foresee if that frail shoot would die, or be a tree with forty solid rings of wood. This was no dandelion life, then death. What does the winter mean to us! Another ring of solid wood, another ripening with flow’rs and fruit and feasting in the sun, pressed down, solidified, beneath a ton of snow, until the fibers form like steel, another thick, unbending ring and seal of how I feel for you now forty years since that first fragile afternoon: the fears of those first days without some prophecy of what would be, are gone. This is a tree with forty rings of love, all thick with joy made firm with winter sorrows that destroy frail flowers, but for us encircle spring and summer bliss, and make another ring of solid love.” -John Piper, to Noel on the 40th anniversary of their first meeting
5a. “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” – Jim Elliot
Top 5 Most Embarrassing Moments:
* I was going to include this as a category but decided perhaps it would be better to share these at the end of 2009. Give them some time to become stories I can laugh at instead of cringing/wincing/crying at.
Top 5 Moments Lived:
1. Sitting outside my old office talking on the phone to Joe & Kathy as they offered me the position as RD of Dixon.
2. The day I found out that my dad’s doctors, after telling him they wouldn’t be approving him for a kidney transplant, decided to recalculate some numbers and approve him to be put on the list!
3. The morning I spent at Peete’s Coffee in Valencia praying and confessing my fear of man to the Lord and gaining a hatred for it like I had never felt before.
4. Going to a Dodgers v. Brewers game with a surprise fireworks show at the end.
5. One RD meeting when Gunner told me his happiest days were the days he woke up and just kept repeating to himself, “I’m forgiven.”
Top 5 Songs Heard:
1. Acres of Hope- Shane & Shane
2. Let It Be Me- Rosie Thomas
3. Lift Me Up- Kate Voegele
4. Arrived- Enfield
5. Never Had a Love Like Mine- TJ McCloud
Top 5 Lost Items:
3. ALL of my pictures up to February of 2008
4. My legalistic obsession with working so hard to live the “best” and “wisest” way all the time.
5. My old text message/voicemail alert. My new phone doesn’t have it, so it’s a doorbell sound now. Boo.
Top 5 People I’ve Met for the first time:
1. John MacArthur
2. Elyse Fitzpatrick
3. Mike Padula
4. Christi Ng’s dad
5. My RAs and SLS staff
Top 5 Parties Thrown:
1. Utensils Party
2. 3rd Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
3. Esther’s Bridal Shower
4. Ruthie Stewart’s Surprise Going Away Party
5. Every potluck held during the Spring of ‘08
Top 5 Purchases Made:
1. White plates from thrift store for $0.50 a pop after searching for them for 2 years.
2. My very own Pottery Barn Rug that I was able to buy with gift cards from my generous co-worker, Ellen, and my boss!
3. North Face Denali Fleece
5. My light aqua bedroom bedding set