The past two years I have posted my “Top Fives” list of the previous year (here is 2009, here is 2008). Unfortunately I was a bit busy trying to finish my last two MABC classes before February 15 this year, but I wanted to post these before it got too late into the year. So here is a little belated New Years recap….my Top Fives of 2010:
Top 5 Lessons Learned:
1. God’s grace will carry you when you should be crumbling.
2. People that you love will wound & hurt you. Sometimes it’s for your own good, and sometimes it’s not. Because of this, it’s important to have one deaf ear and one blind eye, as Charles Spurgeon said.
3. I view men as threats. Because of this, I don’t get close to them and compete with them instead. In any relationship where you compete, somebody usually loses. I need to stop competing and start enjoying the men God has put around me!
4. Good friends are hard to find and impossible to replace.
5. Sometimes happiness comes when you stop analyzing if you are happy or not and start just being committed to what you have been given. You would think I would have figured this out by now….but I hadn’t. Until one day in 2010 when I just decided to commit myself to something and stop asking myself if I was happy with it or if it was satisfying me or not. And viola, I was strangely satisfied with my decision.
Top 5 Unattained Goals:
1. Completing a triathlon (for the third year in a row).
2. Writing my MABC thesis.
3. Finishing my MABC classes.
4. Turning Dixon around.
5. Quitting Facebook (again, for the third year in a row).
Top 5 Quotes I’ve Read:
1. “Infinite wisdom has arranged the whole with infinite love; and infinite power enables me to rest upon that love. I am in a dear Father’s hands – all is secure. When I look to Him, I see nothing but faithfulness – and immutability – and truth; and I have the sweetest peace – I cannot have more peace.” – Charles Simeon, on his death bed
2. “Instead of seeing His everlasting love, tenderly bending down to our humanness, longing over each one of us with a father’s speechless longing; we sometimes think of Him as indifferent, inaccessible, or just plain unfair.
The worst pains we experience are not those of the suffering itself but of our stubborn resistance to it, our resolute insistence on our independence. To be ‘crucified with Christ’ means what Oswald Chambers calls ‘breaking the husk’ of that independence. ‘Has that break come?’ he asks. ‘All the rest is pious fraud.’ And you and I know, in our heart of hearts, that that sword-thrust (so typical of Chambers!) is the straight truth.” – Elisabeth Elliot
3. “There’s this part of me that’s so grateful that the Lord counted me worthy for this. And there’s this part of me that goes, ‘Okay, because now, in an area where it’s not a big win, I get to show that He’s enough. I get to praise Him, and exalt Him, and make much of Him in this’…
…So know that, man, we’ve cried our tears at my house. I’ve held my children and I’ve kissed them and I’ve kissed my wife. What I would love is to be a 70 year old man drinking coffee, I would love to walk my daughter down the aisle, I’d love to see my boy turn into the athlete I never was. I mean I would love to do all of that. But none of those things is better than Him. None of those things. And I’m saying that NOW. I’m saying that right NOW. Not as the guy who has everything, who has nothing in front of him that he could lose. But I’m telling you that now as a guy who could lose everything in an instant.” – Matt Chandler
4. “It might not be as titillating as striking a love connection with a dark stranger while sequestered on a murder trial, but in some ways it was even better. It had substance. A sweet, solid core. A foundation of friendship and family – the simple things that really mattered, things that lasted. Andy wasn’t about mystery because I already knew him by the time he asked me out…and somewhere deep down, I think I knew from the start that our relationship lacked a certain intensity, but not in a way where I felt something was missing. To the contrary, it felt like a huge relief never to fret – sort of like your first day of feeling healthy after a vicious case of the flu. The mere absence of feeling miserable was euphoric. This, I thought to myself as Andy and I gradually grew closer, was the way things were supposed to be. This was how love was supposed to feel. More important, I believe that it was the only kind of love that wouldn’t burn out. Andy had staying power. Together, we had the potential to last forever.” – Emily Giffin
5. “Maybe that’s what it all comes down to. Love, not as a surge of passion, but as a choice to commit to something, someone, no matter what obstacles or temptations stand in the way. And maybe making that choice, again and again, day in and day out, year after year, says more about love than never having a choice to make at all.” – Emily Giffin
Top 5 Most Embarrassing Moments:
1. Asking Joni Erikson Tada’s assistant to please move so I could sit next to Esther at Truth & Life. She then turned and asked Joni if that would be okay and turned back to me to inform me that no, she could not, because she had to help Joni up to the stage and had to help her drink sips of water, if necessary. This seemed to be more important than me sitting next to Esther. Ooops.
*I cannot think of any other embarrassing moments from 2010. Surprising, I know. But believe you me…have I already had a few in 2011. You’ll have to wait till next year to hear about it though. How’s that for a cliffhanger?
Top 5 Moments Lived:
1. Getting surprised by my sister & nephew for my 26 birthday! I only knew my mom was coming to visit, and in walked my sister and my precious little nephew for my birthday weekend. It was one of the best weekends of my life.
2. Sitting in the waiting room at Stanford when the doctors came out to tell us my dad’s kidney surgery was over and everything went beautifully. My dad had a big, new, healthy kidney. Knowing my dad was going to be okay, knowing how much his kidney donor had sacrificed for that to happen, knowing how many people cared for us and were praying for us during that long trial….it made that moment such a huge relief. The waiting (not just for the surgery but the years of waiting while my dad was in kidney failure and on dialysis) was finally over and that season in our life was done.
3. Holding my nephew as he blew out his candle at his first birthday party. This may seem small to you…but to me it meant so much to get to be a part of the little celebrations that my family has that I missed out on for so many years.
4. The day that Pastor Michelson called me out on my self-protection against men. It was one of the best, most liberating conversations I’ve ever had. I’m so thankful for his care and shepherding.
5. Waking up early to take my dear friends Bart & Amy Horton to the airport back in May. This was the day I had to say goodbye to them before my move to Santa Cruz. While it is a very sad moment, I remember crying the entire way to their apartment in Granada Hills. It hit me that morning how much it hurts to love people, and how worth the pain it is to have people you love that much.
Top 5 Songs Heard:
1. Home by Dave Barnes (because there is no other song that can have me in tears so quickly when I hear the line, “Your voices swirl and welcome me / Hem me in, make me see / That we are all familiar now / We’re in each other’s blood somehow / I will never be a stranger / I will never be alone / Cause wherever you are is home.”
2. What Do I Know of Holy by Addison Road (I listened to this on repeat the entire flight to & from Santa Cruz for my interview at Santa Cruz Bible Church)
3. The Beat by Ben Rector (mainly because this was the song that introduced me to all of Ben Rector’s music…for which I am eternally grateful for.)
4. By Faith by Keith and Kristin Getty (I listened to this song on repeat the entire week of my dad’s kidney transplant. “By faith this mountain shall be moved / and the power of the gospel shall previal / for we know in Christ all things are possible / for all who call upon His name!”)
5. All This Time by OneRepublic. Brings back such good memories from the summertime, listening to it with my girls, playing the air violin.
Top 5 Lost Items:
1. The sleepless nights I spent as an RD!
2. Esther being my neighbor. This one has been the most brutal loss of all.
3. My cold, man hating exterior (hopefully).
4. My life without the power laugh — it is BACK and better than ever!
5. My dad on dialysis (lost the “on dialysis” part, not the “dad” part).
Top 5 People I’ve Met for the first time:
1. The Michelson Family
2. Dr. Melcher, the doctor who performed my dad’s kidney transplant
3. The girls at SCBC (way more than five, but how could I pick just one?)
4. The moms – Kim Saxton, Rachel Frankl, Cherene Ifland
5. My new roommates – Erin & Kris.
Top 5 Parties Thrown:
1. Super Bowl XLIV complete with a Colts fruit pizza.
* I think, sadly, this was the only party I threw in 2010? Must rectify this in 2011.
Top 5 Purchases Made:
1. My new bedding.
2. Marmot Rain jacket (to keep me dry in the Nor Cal rain!!!)
3. Dinner at Ruth’s Chris with 5 of my favorite people in this world.
4. My rainbow mocs.
5. Each and every flight to & from L.A. that have kept my long-distance friendship with Esther alive!