Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

31 December 2010

2010 in lists

At the beginning of 2010 I joined Facebook.  An application popped up recently that allowed you to discover which ten words you used most frequently during the year.  My top ten were...

1:  Tea 
(I have had one of those "Quote a day" calendars dedicated to tea on my fridge this year.  Couldn't help but share a few of the gems found there in, although when this list came up I did wonder about have "Tea" before "God"!)
2:  God
3:  Jesus
4:  Reading
5:  School
6:  Book
7:  Club
(Frequent references to The Calvin Club and yes Cathy, I am back on board for 2011!!  I have one bookmark at Chapter 10 and another at Chapter 12...)
8:  Bible
9:  Great
10: Happy

What then is the view of 2010 from surveying this blog?  Apart from the various posts where I signed off from blogging (not once but twice...ridiculous...just ignore it if I do that again!), here are the posts that generated the most comments this year...

1. A Difficult transition
2. Epiphany
3. God is always good
4. How I won the vegie war
5. Highlights from Raising Boys
6. Meredith - Masterchef for the month of May
7. The year of the roast - 30th March 2010

The major decision that dominated the first half of the year, parenting, reading, cooking, reflecting on God.  These posts didn't just rise to the surface because of the number of comments either.  Apart from some of the lists that I have on my sidebar, the Stat Counter suggests that these are the ones that people seem to revisit the most.

In our annual family Christmas letter we each listed our top five highlights of the year.  Mine were...

1. Attending not one but TWO symphony concerts during the year, one of which included the most perfect performance you’ll ever hear of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 – “The Emperor” – with soloist French pianist François-Frédéric Guy.
2. The family holiday on Rottnest Island. Finding two baby mice having a party in our food box one morning was funny. Sitting on the beach with [one of our sons], sheltering from the rain under beach towels was gorgeous.
3. Being a member of the “Taste Test Team” for an edition of an Australian cooking magazine – which entailed testing four recipes and writing reviews – and receiving a Kenwood hand mixer for those efforts. The Pears in Parchment were truly excellent!
4. Rediscovering the joy of reading again. Fifteen books – a mix of fiction and non-fiction - under the belt for 2010. Looking forward to another fifteen (or more) in 2011.
5. Drinking tea – with [my husband] (while he had coffee!), with friends and family, while reading the Bible in the morning – good to have the time to drink the tea hot in good company and to get to the bottom of the cup for the first time in a few years.

In lots of ways these three lists wrap the year up pretty well.  Of course there were many other things that don't rise to the surface because maybe they happen in some form every year - or they can't rise to the surface because they just aren't my stories to tell...

1. The deepening of relationships with others here on earth and with God.
2. The stuff of family life.
3. Meeting new friends and farewelling others to other parts of the world and to heaven.
4. The handful of particularly good Scripture lessons.
5. The a-HA moments during personal prayer and Bible reading.
6. The privilege of walking alongside others practically and prayerfully as they circumnavigated the year in all its joys and tragedies, that in turn shaped my own life.
7. The letters penned and received.

These lists lean mostly towards the positive and don't give audience to the harder times of the year, which, like every year, were there.  Every year will bring good times and hard times - sometimes driven by circumstance and sometimes by attitude.  I am thanking God for 2010 and praying to grow in grace - to be genuinely grateful for the good times that lay ahead and to travel the tough times that will also come in a way that honours God all through the new year ahead.

But I trust in you, LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands.
Psalm 31:14,15a

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