Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Here's to 2012...

Where did 2011 go?? I sit here four days into January and am amazed that this past year went by so fast. It was a good one though.

We did so much last year. It was a year filled with lots of love…laughter…prayer…fear…tears…uncertainties…excitement…growth…passports….and life. That’s what we do around here…we just live life. I love my crazy life…I really do!

We saw the ocean a bunch last year and we spent countless hours riding our bikes and swimming in the surf. It’s my favorite place on earth to be…and I look forward to spending several weeks there this spring and summer! St. Simon’s Island is truly my happy place and I would pick it over any tropical destination. So thankful for my in-laws and them allowing us to spend time with them there at their home!! It’s seriously so cool!!

We surprised the kids and took them to Disney World this spring! It was a dream come true for sure…I never thought we would get to take them. They loved it and we just had the best time. And while it was a dream of ours to go to Disney…while we were there Ric and Josh went to the Ligonier conference and Ric got to meet several of their heroes in the faith…RC Sproul, RC Sproul Jr., and John Piper. They loved the conference…and I loved the pool so it worked out great! Can’t wait to go this spring!!!

This year the kids went on the youth retreat and our mission trip with us. It was good to have them with us and let them see us do ministry and take part in it as well. I was so proud of them this summer on the mission trip and how hard they worked alongside our teenagers. They are good kids! We hope to take them skiing again this winter when our church goes on our family ski trip. They love to ski!!

Ric went to Ecuador twice this year and our lives were forever changed. Our church planted a church in the mountains of Ecuador. Shelby would find a dime on the ground and say “this is for Ecuador”. Ric went just about 3 weeks ago and he got to see the church building almost finished and one day I pray that our entire family will get to go and minister there.

I took a lot of pictures…a lot…kinda thankful for the winter and a little down time. I photographed more people than I count…did 3 weddings…and just loved being behind the camera. I really am grateful for the opportunity God has given me with taking pictures. Hoping to learn as much as I can during this break time and come back in the spring ready to go!

I got to visit with my family more this year than I have in the past. We made the journey up 85 four times this year. It was so good to be there and visit with my family. Living so far away from them for 11 years hasn’t been ideal, but I am so thankful for the time I get to see them!

I once again got to be part of an amazing church body. We have been on staff at the same church for over 12 years. We have been through so many ups and downs in ministry…even times I wanted to just throw in the towel, but thankful that God didn’t let us. We love our church and the people in it. Our kids are there….all the time…so much so, we dubbed them the “church rats”. I was a “gym rat” growing up playing ball….I think I would much rather my kids be “church rats”!! Thankful they love being there and being around our teenagers!

The kids are doing marvelously at school. They are learning so much and enjoy being there…and we love our little school here in town. I am not looking forward to next fall though…all 4 will be in school and then what in the world am I gonna do??? All I have done for the last 10 years is be a stay at home mom….I dread August….DREAD it!! The kids are still playing sports…not sure what this spring will hold for us…last year they all played baseball/softball, but not sure if they want to do that again. I’m game for whatever they want so we will wait and see when it comes around. Jesse started gymnastics this year and is a freak of nature. He does cartwheels and handstands and is unbelievable. He has more body control than I do!!

I have thought a lot about my goals for the next year. I first and foremost just want to know God…get deep in His word and just know Him. I want to really honor Him in every area of my life…in my home…my relationships…my ministry…my photography…my body. I want to do more and be better. So many times I get caught up in the craziness of our lives and feel like a little boat out in the middle of the water…just tossing and turning and floating. I want to, despite how busy and crazy our lives are, to live with a purpose. I was teaching Romans 15 in Sunday school this week and read a verse that stopped me…and it almost brought me to tears. Paul was finishing up his letter to Rome and he was telling them about all that God had done through him and he was just boasting on God and His greatness. He told them about his ministry and why he does what he does and then he said this to them:
“and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”
(Romans 15:20-21 ESV)

Those words gripped at my heart…for what they said and for the sad fact that I don’t have a purpose statement like that. Paul, who was one of the greatest men of faith to walk the earth, had a vision…a purpose for his life…and we all know that he was successful in doing what he had set out to do. It convicted me to find a purpose/vision statement for my life…for my family. We have one for ministry, but not personally. I don’t know what it will be…I’m still working on it…but I know I need one.

2011 was good to the Blazi’s…but 2012…it’s gonna blow my mind…I just know it!! To God be the Glory…great things HE has done!!

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