Here we are again. Another year coming to a close. How did we get here so fast? Well, regardless how fast it sped by, it’s time for one of my reflection posts (the kind you’ll be reading all around the blogosphere this week).
My Word for 2011: For new Write Thinking readers, each December I ask God for a word or words for the coming year. I’ve been doing this since 2005. The word God gave me for 2011 was “Rejoice always!” (1st Thes 5:16). Considering I had surgery in December 2010 and was facing continued cancer treatment in 2011, it was easy to see why this was the word He gave me: To help me stay in an attitude of thanksgiving and praise no matter what storms life might toss my way. Since the 1970’s, I’ve written in the front of my various study Bibles, “No matter what, I will praise the Lord!” When that’s how I live, the Lord definitely keeps me in perfect peace. Rejoice always!
Bible Reading: I read through the entire Bible again in this odd-numbered year, as has been my practice since 1997. This makes the 9th time I’ve read through the Bible from cover to cover in the past 15 years. (I’d read through it more than once in the years prior but never kept track of when.) There was an extra reading tossed in there because our church did the Bible in 90 Days in an even numbered year. My normal even-numbered year reading program is to read the New Testament three or four times, but I may change things up this year. Time will tell.
Bible Study: In the first half of 2011, I completed the BSF study of Isaiah. In the second half, I began the BSF study of Acts. I also completed Beth Moore’s Jesus, the One and Only and made it halfway through To Live is Christ. Rich, rich, rich times in the Word.
My 2011 Releases: I only had one brand new novel published in trade paper (as well as ebook and audio) this year, but a number of my out-of-print titles were reintroduced as ebooks and a few as new audio books as well (some were already available via audio so am not noting those). Plus I had an ebook Christmas novella release, new to the Christian market.
- Belonging (Zondervan, September 2011)
- Catching Katie (ebook from Greenbrier)
- Ribbon of Years (ebook from Greenbrier)
- Firstborn (ebook from Greenbrier)
- Beyond the Shadows (ebook from Greenbrier)
- A Home for Christmas (ebook from Ten Talents)
- The Victory Club (ebook from Ten Talents)
- The Forgiving Hour (ebook/audio from Zondervan)
- Whispers from Yesterday (ebook/audio from Zondervan)
- The Shepherd’s Voice (ebook/audio from Zondervan)
New Books I Worked on in 2011 (in various stages):
- Heart of Gold (Feb 2012)
- Betrayal (fall 2012; subject to change)
- A Christmas Angel, novella in A Home for Christmas
Pets: Poppet tried (on at least a bi-weekly basis) to kill Pinky through the better part of 2011. It was scary to witness, especially when Pinky was so tiny. But twice she managed to scratch Poppet in the eye which sent the dog to the vet rather than the kitten (ka-ching, ka-ching). More than once I considered finding Pinky a new home in order to save her life, but I just could never make myself part with her. Before she turned a year old, Pinky outweighed Poppet, and peace has reigned in the Hatcher household for the past two and a half months. I’m hoping this is a permanent truce. Here are a couple of pictures of Pinky shortly after I brought her home on 12/30/10, barely a handful and weighing less than one pound, and a couple of her today, weighting in at more than 13 pounds. (I put the same box on the sofa for comparison to when she was crawling on it last year; click photos to enlarge.)
Favorite Movies of 2011:
- The Help –– My absolute favorite movie of the entire year, bar none. Saw it twice in theaters within a week of its release and already have watched it four times on DVD in December. Was stunned to see that one magazine movie reviewer put it in the Worst Movies of 2011 list. What? He/she must have watched a different movie than I did.
- Jane Eyre (the new version)
- War Horse
Favorite Books of 2011:
- Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs
- A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Decision Points by George W. Bush
- The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Other Notes from 2011:
- Knitting: I am just about done with my third prayer shawl, and I have found a real passion for “knitting hugs” as I think of the prayer shawls. They take lots longer than the fun and funky scarves I was making to give to friends, but they also have a great deal of meaning. I’ve already collected several new pattern books for future projects.
- Exercise: I have done better this year at getting in my (almost daily) exercise. The drugs I’m on for cancer treatment (see next item) cause weight gain so it’s a royal battle to be sure.
- Health: I completed my radiation treatments in February and celebrated one year as a cancer survivor in November. I am cancer free, praise the Lord!
- Cruise: I went on my first ever cruise this year, and I had a blast. Best news was, I came home and discovered I hadn’t gained a single pound. Now we’re planning for an Alaskan cruise in 2013.
Biggest Surprise of 2011:
God worked a miracle and kept a promise in a surprising way. And no, we didn’t shrink as we got older; it’s the angle of the camera. But we both have less and lighter hair, paler skin, and a bit more weight.
Goals for 2012: Despite the Mayan calendar’s prediction that the world will end before 2012 is history, I am making myself some goals for the year. I’m resisting calling them New Year’s Resolutions; that seems to set me up for failure.
- Increase my workout time and add more resistance training to my cardio
- Read more (more fiction; more craft of writing books; more history; more Christian living).
- Watch TV less.
- Get my office clutter under control!!
My Word for 2012: “Fear not.” The verse God gave me with the word is, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NLT) I want to walk in the spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. I look forward to what God is going to teach me about what that means in the coming months.
Finally, I’m sending my Write Thinking readers my very best wishes for a New Year that is rich in the hope found in Christ. The world we live in is so unpredictable and at times, downright scary, but Jesus is faithful to those He calls His own.
P.S. If you have any year end reflections to share, please leave them in the comments section here on my blog or on my Facebook Page.