What a difference a year makes

I am sitting here typing this post from Lake Junaluska. It’s beautiful.The Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church holds it's annual meeting here. The night air is quiet and peaceful. It’s perfect for reflection upon the valleys and mountaintops of the past year.

Last year I missed the Holston Annual Conference completely. My daughter and I took the trip of our lifetimes when we drove from East Tennessee to Alaska. The opportunity didn’t come onto our radar screen until January of 2009. Taking that trip taught us a lot about each other, God, family and the goodness of friends.

It had such a profound impact on my daughter that after we got home she wanted to visit Candler Theological School in Atlanta and Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC. She wanted to visit Drew Theological School but we never made it there. Sorry kid. Hope you have fun in D.C.

The ministry center of Hope for Healing.Org had to close in August. We just couldn’t make it financially. This was one of the saddest periods of my life. Just because we closed doesn’t mean that our local clients went away or that life is any easier for them.

This happened at the same time that we were having our first blogathon. It was such a success that we are planning another one for this August. Before the blogathon  I couldn't see how much impact it would have on Hope for Healing.Org. Now, I can't wait for our second blogathon to begin.

In October I was able to participate in helping train Holston Conference pastors in the area of domestic violence. Several years of work went into this moment. The concept of training pastors was nursed from infancy through to fruition. Humbling is a good word for it.

Another thing that I didn’t see coming was an invitation to speak at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. either. Three members of Hope Youth went with me. I didn’t see 100% of what they did. It’s hard to see when you are crying.  They were spectacular. Giving the invocation was one of the highlights of my life. It ranks up there with marriage and having my daughters. 

In March I presented to the Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Presenting was cool but not as cool as meeting two women face-to-face that I had met online!

Many other things have happened this past year. My older daughter graduated from college. My husband dislocated his kneecap and my younger daughter brought home a new puppy. (Heaven help us all!)

Sometimes people look at my life and feel sorry for me. Being a pastor’s wife isn’t easy. Neither is having college age daughters. Running a nonprofit isn’t exactly a picnic either.

There have been some rough spots and lean moments (too many of those to name!) It’s been an amazing year. God is good. Who would have thought that at 40-something life could be this good? I can't wait to see what the next year brings. Can you?

PS. We took this photo somewhere in or on our way to Alaska. It was so pretty that I wanted to share it with you.

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