Monthly Archives: December 2009

There are some years that I am so thankful to see the year go…this is not one of them. I loved 2009. I learned so much about myself, grew in some key areas that I wanted to grow in, and I feel like I understand obedience and the power of God more than ever before in my life. Much of this has been cemented in my spirit in the last 365 days, so it is with a bittersweet heart that I kiss the year goodbye.

That being said, I am excited for 2010 as well. I have begun to think of some personal and life goals to tackle in the upcoming decade. I definitely want to travel more…both for missions and for my family vacations. I want to continue to read the Bible and help my kids develop this habit as they will move into their teen years in the next decade…yikes! I want to make wise financial decisions and get to a place where I am giving away more money than I am keeping for myself. I want to be a part of God’s story and see our church grow to thousands…which will still be a drop in the bucket.

What are your goals and dreams? What are your desires for the new year? Don’t just let the days click by. Decide who you want to be and go after it. Be a dreamer and a “do-er” in the new decade. Welcome to your fresh start!

One of Mark and I’s priorities is to do whatever it takes to develop and nurture the relationships that my kids have with their grandparents. I feel like we have a society that has downplayed the role of the grandparent. Not having many memories of my own grandparents, I don’t take lightly the opportunity for my kids to get to know their own.

My girls happen to have four amazing grandparents. They all give something different to my kids and I value so deeply what each grandparent is passing along from their personalities and character.

My dad, Grandpa Gary, gives them a love for animals and the outdoors. He’s the type of man that feeds squirrels by hand and wild birds land on his shoulder. He loves the mountains and is in awe of the wind. He is a tough Montana man with a tender heart for the creatures on this earth.

My mom, Grandma Sandy, holds creativity in her hand. She sees what isn’t and makes it reality. She feeds my girl’s imagination and helps them to see how to create what they want. She makes others want to dream.

Mark’s dad, Grandpa Ivan, loves the beauty of the garden. He walks my girls through the flowers and teaches them about each one. He shows them that in the midst of a difficult world, there is always something beautiful that you can grow in your life. He also cuddles with them and takes a long nap with them when they need to take a break from this busy world.

Marks’ mom, Grandma Alvina, is passing along things that every woman should know. She shows them the delicacies of a good tea party and the hard work of kneeding bread made from scratch. She leaves with my children the words of thousands of prayers for their future and the covering of a grandmother who has walked with Jesus for many years.

I wouldn’t give up any of these “inheritances” for my girls. They are blessed to receive all of the good traits that their grandparents have to give. Trinkets and treasures are what is usually passed down from one generation to the next, but for my girls, all I want is experiences and memories with four of the most valuable relationships that they will ever have.

It was a wild day at church for me yesterday…but then again, the last Sunday of the year is always a little bit odd. People are out of town, some are tired, some want to come because they are in town and want to see how we’re doing…it’s an interesting mix!

Here’s my highlights:

This isn’t necessarily a highlight, but we had the lowest attendance that we’ve had in over 60 weeks…we had just over HALF of what we normally have! The good part of that is that it didn’t bother me. Numbers used to WRECK my morning, but I just looked around and thought, “My family is on vacation…they’ll be back, it’s no big deal!” I’m pretty sure that’s a sign of health in my life.

Out of the half of our people about a third of those were new or haven’t been in a couple of years and were coming back to see us. Talk about getting weirder…I looked around and thought, “Am I in the right building????” But, it was great to see old friends. We had a couple who helped us plant the church, Steve and Debbie, stop by to see how we were doing. So good to see them!

On the last Sunday of every year we “re-preach” our favorite sermon from the year and call it our Encore service. It started as a way to lighten the workload over Christmas week, but now I just think it’s genius because sometimes we need to hear something a few times before it sticks. Yesterday was a sermon about speaking life and building others up. It’s a hard sermon to hear, but one that constantly needs to be before all of us!

Our church was featured in the Columbian this week in a short article about the Big Give that we did last summer with our small groups taking money and blessing random people. Thanks to the Columbian (and Donna) for taking the time to write about us! We appreciate positive representation in our community.

I got an email from the girl I stood in line with at the Survivor Tryouts! Hi Jaimie!

I can’t wait for the New Year. I look back with humility and gratefulness over a year of blogging and love where my life has gone in 365 days. I look forward to the next chapter in my story and the many blessings that God has in store for my life, my family, and this church.

If you weren’t at church this morning, I missed you and look forward to seeing you soon! I hope you had a merry Christmas with your family and friends.

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Status Quo Bias

A few decades ago, a pair of psychologists named William Samuelson and Richard Zeckhauser discovered a phenomenon they dubbed the status quo bias. Simply put: most of us have a tendency to keep doing what we’ve been doing without giving it much thought.

Ever been offered a free subscription to a magazine for the first year? Why would we be offered something for free? It’s because magazine companies understand the status quo bias. Most of us will forget to cancel. And it’s not really that we’ve forgotten. We’re just too lazy to make a simple phone call or write a simple letter. Right? That is human nature! We tend to keep doing what we’ve been doing. And the problem with that is this: if you keep doing what you’ve always done you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.

As we get ready to begin a new year, you need to challenge the status quo. I know there is nothing magical about a new year or a new decade. And not everybody has a resolution personality. But all of us need to make changes. Take some time to evaluate your life spiritually, relationally, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. What changes do you need to make? Is there something you need to stop doing or start doing? What do you need to do more or do less? Is there a choice you need to make? A goal you need to set? A habit you need to establish?

Don’t maintain the status quo. Challenge it.

My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. When it breaks out into “Fall on Your Knees”, I am always reminded of the fact that our Savior is SO holy that we will not be able to stand in His presence. So, yes, today we celebrate a baby, but don’t be confused with the reality that we serve a King.

May your Christmas be filled with awe.

O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining.
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh hear the angel voices!
Oh night divine! Oh night when Christ was born!
Oh night divine! Oh night! Oh night divine!

Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother,
and in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise his holy name.

Christ is the lord, that ever, ever praise we.
Noel! Noel! Oh night;oh night divine!
Noel! Noel! Oh night; oh night divine!
Noel! Noel! Oh night; oh night divine!