Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome, Twenty Thirteen!

Happy New Year, friends!
2013 is here! Our whole family partied until the wee hours of the morning last night {or should I say, earlier today... :-)} with family and friends right here at home. It is now mid-day on New Year's Day and we are just getting up... and have just had breakfast! I think it's going to be a pajama-kind-of-day! :-)

Yummy desserts and snacks at our New Year's Eve party... 

2013 promises to be a year of milestones for our family... my boy will officially become a teenager as he turns 13... my girl turns 16 and will learn to drive {gasp!}... God is seemingly leading me into a new direction in terms of a career/employment {I am continuing to trust Him to *clearly* open and close doors on this as we enter into the month of January}... and, hubby and I will mark 20 years since getting engaged and promising each other forever!

Needless to say, I am looking forward with great anticipation to what this New Year will bring...

But, before doing that... it would be amiss not to look back and recount all that God has led myself, personally... and my family through, in the year that was 2012. So, here we go...
I started off the year with my One Word... which is soar. And soar I did! Friends, soaring with God is the most beautiful thing... relying on His unforced rhythms of grace truly gave me flight this year. For that, I am truly grateful.
Soaring birds...
The counting of grace-gifts continued throughout the year which saw me count to an extra 1,098 gifts with Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare, in addition to counting my own 515 gifts! This takes me to gift #2802 as I start my 2013 list! So. Amazing. Just. Plain. Life-changing!
January's highlight was definitely this letter from our Compassion daughter, Florianlyn and her mom, Analyn... illustrating the beautiful truth that when we let our thanksgiving become thanks-living, the world becomes a better place!
In February, my beautiful girl turned 15... and around the same time, I read the book Kisses from Katie. These two events led me to reflect anew on what it really means to live out the greatest of commandments radically as Jesus did when He walked this earth, and still does today.
Also in February, I wrote The Story of Two Houses and a New TV... and almost 3,000 people came over to read it making it my most popular blog post of 2012! So. Humbling!
The little girl whose house we helped to rebuild.
In March, I guest-blogged over at Compassion Family and wrote the post entitled Understanding Poverty. It was beautiful to reflect on just how far God has taken us as a family on this journey to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly!
June, my birthday month... saw many milestones! First off, a self-reflection and realizing anew just how good God is and how lavishly He loves! Then, this video about a Habitat Build Day that I led our church community to do together was published... I thought then that this was the extent of God asking me to soar, to step out of my comfort zone... little did I know, God had more in store for me!
{Side note: It's a good thing that God doesn't always show me the whole picture right at the start. If He did, then I don't think I'd be saying "YES!" a whole lot! ;-)}
June continued with another beautiful, heart-warming letter from Florianlyn and a nomination for "Mom of the Year" by my girl! Didn't I say June was a beautiful month?!?
July was a reflective month as it marked one year since we came home from our self-guided missions immersion trip to the Philippines! It started off with an awesome parenting conference featuring Helen Lee, the author of the book The Missional Mom, as guest speaker... which sparked a reflective blog post on my part on what it means to parent missionally!
July continued to be filled with reflections... such as A Day Of Becoming Undone and Remembering... and Seeing God Everywhere. It was a hard month... but I wouldn't trade anything for having a heart broken for the things that break God's heart!
July ended with a bang... on what it means to soar, I mean! Remember? God had more in store for me? In terms of stepping out of comfort zone? Well, July 29 {the one year anniversary of when we first met Florianlyn} saw me being interviewed at church as an Ordinary Radical. Nerve-wracking, yet truly humbling!
In August, we took some time off and spent 10 days in the Boston and Cape Cod area... beautiful!
Cape Cod beach...
Then, coming home to full-steam-ahead with the last-stretch planning of Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy, another one of the "step-out-of-comfort-zone, soar-with-me" things that God asked me to say "Yes!" to in 2012!
In September, my little man turned 12! He celebrated in a way that hubby and I {and his big sister} are most proud of... asking for and receiving, in lieu of presents for him, 376 pairs of socks and 102 pairs of underwear to give to homeless men who live on the streets of Toronto!
My boy's birthday party invitation!
Then, another letter from Florianlyn... illustrating {yet again} the beautiful truth that when thanksgiving becomes thanks-living, it becomes a gift that keeps on giving! Joy multiplying joy!
September also saw me writing this fun blog post... Dear Fifteen-Year-Old-Me... fun, yes! But, more importantly, it was a very reflective piece... on how much God's grace was present in my life, especially when I doubted He was!
Then, it was the eve of Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy... after six-months of planning! Then, the night it happened! And, the result... He who promised is indeed faithful... $30,158.42 raised and the Compassion Child Development Centre in Masbate, Philippines is now almost complete!
With Ann Voskamp, at Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy.
The Fall was busy with lots of new things... and through it all, God's grace sustained us... for which I give thanks! 
Wow! Thanks for looking back at 2012 with me, friends! 
Our God truly is good and He truly loves with extravagance. As I read through the above, my eyes brim with tears... for He truly is faithful and His promises are sure and true!

These words from Psalm 67 come to mind right now... words that were certainly true for myself and my family in the year that was 2012!
God, mark us with grace and blessing! Smile!
The whole country will see how you work,
          all the godless nations see how you save.
God! Let people thank and enjoy you.
          Let all people thank and enjoy you.
Earth, display your exuberance!
          You mark us with blessing, O God, our God.
You mark us with blessing, O God.
          Earth’s four corners—honor him!
As I continue to count grace-gifts, with unending thanks... to The One who loves so lavishly and who proves to be faithful, especially when I am not... these are the things I am thankful for this week... #2802 - #2809:
:: A great Christmas week... quiet, relaxing, reflective!
:: Awesome Christmas Eve service at church!
:: Beautiful Christmas Day spent at home, just our family!
:: Parties and get-togethers with family and friends.
:: A few days spent with my parents who are visiting from the Philippines.
:: Thought-provoking and inspiring message from our Teaching Pastor this past Sunday, about Giving Love In A World Of Pain --- friends, if you have 40 minutes on this New Year's Day, this is a must-watch! 
:: Fun New Year's Eve party with family and friends right here at home!
:: This quiet and relaxing New Year's Day... as my boy so wisely put it, "I am loving our holiday break this year, it's not so crazy." I agree! :-)
Happy New Year, friends!
As I look towards this New Year, I am filled with anticipation for what God has in store for our family... and I am choosing to place my hope in The One who makes all things new!
God wants to partner with his image-bearers. He has made us his image. He has remade us through Christ. He has given us his Spirit. It's our move now.
We were made to bear God's image in this world. This is our unique calling; our unique enabling; our unique privilege; our unique responsibility.
~ Bruxy Cavey, Teaching Pastor at The Meeting House.
And, coming tomorrow... my One Word for 2013! Friends, may you bask in the goodness and grace of our loving Heavenly Father, not only on this New Year's Day, but throughout this New Year as well!

Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!


  1. Wow Aimee - what a pleasure to read how God has moved in your life over the past few months... Thank you for sharing... I too am looking forward to 2013 and can. not. wait. for what God has in store.

    1. Thanks for dropping by today, Tonya! We serve an awesome God! ♥

  2. Loved reading over your 2012 year... I love being able to peek into your lives. I am so thankful for you. I can't wait to see what changes God bring about.

    Much love