In anxious expectation for what 2013 will hold, I learned a great deal in 2012.

I learned…

1. That my body, at 51, doesn’t always cooperate with my 25 year old mind
All those years of hauling things from my house, to my car, to my office, back to my car, and home, has caught up to me. Lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk must now be delegated. It only took a few extra minutes to ask two, kind, yet different young men to lift a filing cabinet into my shopping cart and then into the back of my car at WalMart yesterday.  I plan to be on the offense in preparing to see what ministry looks like for my body in my sixties. We all know that 50 is the new 30 anyway, right?

2. That God answers the persistent prayers of Mama’s
When I earned my degree at LSU in 1983, I was the first in my family to graduate college. The mantra was “Educate a man, you educate one. Educate a woman, you educate everyone who comes after her.” Baby Girl earned her Associate’s degree, then went on to graduate at the top of her class with a Bachelor’s in Nursing 2 years ago.  Her high school guidance counselor refused to give her an SAT application in 10th grade saying she was “just an average student.”  #1 Son graduated a few weeks ago with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. His middle school guidance counselor planned for him to attend the “tech trak” saying he’d never make it in college.  As an advocate for what I believed in my heart for each of my children, I prayerfully insisted on more.  They both have a BS degree, and with no debt…none for them…none for us.  You better believe He answers the prayers of Mama’s.

3. That I don’t want to just take another bible study
The printed word of God is written on my very soul. It gives me life, breath, and hope. But I don’t want to just “learn” more about Jesus. This Jesus gal wants to become more like Jesus. And although it’s been great to participate in an online facebook bible reading group since January 1s 2012 (New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, Christmas Story relevant scriptures, and we begin the Old Testament on January 1st 2013), and I took on Beth Moore’s JAMES study on my own, I miss the face to face journey with fellow sojourners. Good and Beautiful GodIn response to a facebook post of flannel week (the week between Christmas and New Year), I hope to begin the journey of falling in love with the God Jesus knows with other like-minded women in the next couple of weeks as we take on a curriculum for Christlikeness.  If you are interested in joining the journey, just let me know.  We’ll meet once a month while taking on James Bryan Smith’s Apprentice Series.

4. That I should have used as much moisturizer on my neck as I did on my face
Looking at current photos, I have to agree with Anita Renfroe, “All a woman really wants before she dies is one, good picture.”

5. That artificial sweeteners encourage overactive bladders
Women over 50 should just bite the sweet bullet and use the real sugar. I watched Dr. Oz only twice this year and discovered he really does know what he’s talking about when it comes to Vitamin C for leveling my kind of stress, and artificial sweeteners lead to over-active bladders.

6. That I want to live with my man
In the fall of 2011, my man was laid off from a company that recruited him only a couple of years before. His tenacity at finding a new job in this, less than generous, economy found him employed by 4 different companies in the first three months of 2012. The last one caused us to set up an apartment in North Carolina for him for 8 months. Even the tweeners in our church were praying that Mr. Bob would find a job to bring him back home…and God answered those prayers with a fabulous, “Yes!” My old “roomie” returned the first of December and I am thrilled beyond words. We are meant to grow old together and I am honored to be his Mrs.

7. When going to doctor’s appointments, go with a girlfriend
If you want to laugh your head off, share stories, be wonderfully distracted from a scary procedure, and entertain the nurses and other medical staff, go with a girlfriend. Even a colonoscopy….go with a girlfriend!  I am available to pay it forward.

8. That we can live on less than we thought
Refer to #6.  If God can multiply fishes and loaves, numbers are easy.

9. That I can love more deeply than I ever dreamed
On Good Friday, Baby Girl gave birth to Mr. Yummy. I was there. He is so much fun. But watching her become this fabulous mother is the most beautiful thing I have ever observed.

10.  Just add more “white” when you want to lighten a paint color
A “Duh” moment, I know…but it was pivotal for me.  I had begun to over-think things.  Alot of things.  I discovered that I think things to death on my own.  It is so much easier and it is safe to invite others to join the journey of discovery.  I also realized that I have beautiful women who share the road with me.  Very gifted women.  Very kind women.  Very funny women.  Very generous women.  May I be the friend to them they are to me.

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever.”  Deuteronomy 29:29