Happy New Year family & friends! Before this blog starts its resolutions… I feel a reflection of 2009 is due.
- Best adventures in 2009: Spending nearly 2 months out of the U.S. traveling to Israel, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, England, & Ireland. “Certainly, travel is more than seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” –Miriam Beard
- Goals fulfilled in 2009: Graduating college within 3 years, Summa Cum Laude & getting into Harvard, Princeton, Candler, Duke, & Wake Forest grad schools.
- Best books I read in 2009: Leap Over a Wall by Eugene Peterson; The Chosen and Davita’s Harp by Chaim Potok; Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen; Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey; The Dark Night of the Soul by Gerald May; Teresa of Ávila: The Book of My Life by St. Teresa of Avila; Yearnings: Embracing the Sacredness of Life by Rabbi Irwin Kula.
- New skills I learned in 2009: Baking and decorating cakes and knitting. Who knew!?
- Top two favorite movies I watched in 2009: “The Proposal” and “The Blindside.”
- Lessons learned in 2009: The difference between being alone and loneliness; “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” (in the words of Mark Twain); life is truly meant to be enjoyed; the fragility of relationships; staying true and authentic to self is essential in every piece of art, work, and conversation; the wilderness season is a double-edged sword: a place of safety and intense temptation; without the love and support of my family and friends, there would have been many darker moments; “Know your limits, not so that you can honor them, but so that you can smash them to pieces and reach for magnificence.” –Carrie Carter-Scott
- A word I tried to learn in 2009 (and still learning): “Beloved.” Being the Beloved of God and knowing God as the Beloved.
- Biggest blessing of 2009: My new, beautiful niece Amber Marie Hawkins. She is straight from heaven! [A blog will follow, featuring Amber!]
- Keeping in mind from 2009: The night may be dark, but the dawn brings new light, clarity, and perspectives.