Monday, December 31, 2012

Walk With Me Through 2012...

We have made it to the end of another year! I think this is one of my favorite posts to write each year; this will be the 4th year for me to blog about {A Year in Review}. It is just such a good way to stop and reflect over the past year and on all the Lord has done. He has certainly shown His faithfulness, and I am so thankful for all He has done in our lives!

In January, I was excited about the fresh start and new beginning that a new year always seems to offer. I was beginning to feel the Lord's grace on my life, as He was gently whispering to my heart and restoring my weary soul. My challenge was to listen to what He had for me and truly experience His presence. Mike and I had been praying for an opportunity to open up our home for a Bible study, and in January we met for the first time. It was exciting to see new faces and the potential for a body of believers to share life with. I revived an old hobby and began crocheting again, a fun past time that I hope to continue. I was also blessed in countless ways by my sweet husband, who was reminding me of his selfless love in the little things.

February was full of celebrations: a girls weekend, my birthday, Valentine's Day, and a sweet friend's lingerie shower. Mike spoke at a men's retreat, which gave me some good girl time with my mom and Laura. For my birthday, Mike took me out to dinner for tacos and margaritas, and he surprised me with a basket full of crochet items and Sprinkles cupcakes! For Valentine's Day, I went the cheesy route and made him as many overly-cheesy valentines I could think of. He put together a thoughtful basket of all of my favorite food items :) My sweet friend Kelly had her lingerie shower, and it was fun to bless her before her wedding!

The month of March was a month of long-anticipated and prayed-for change. We had been praying for the Lord to provide another job closer to home, and He provided abundantly! I said good-bye to my friends and co-workers at Wortham, and started working at Independent Bank. This was a HUGE answer to prayer and an incredible weight lifted off my shoulders. We were so blessed by the way the Lord provided for us, and it has been such a great story to share of how He has taken care of us!

In April, I found myself adjusting to the new {fantastic} work schedule. I started to feel "normal" again and as though I actually lived (and not just slept) in McKinney. I finally felt like I had the energy and time to dive into other things outside of work. I was helping a friend plan her wedding, helping fulfill Bridesmaid duties for my sister-in-law, and getting more connected with people in our home group. We celebrated Easter with my brother, as well as both of our moms' birthdays, and I received a sweet gift for my first Administrative Professionals' Day!

In May, we celebrated our 10 month anniversary, and I was reminded of several blessings in our first few months of marriage. I was helping our friends Matt & Daisy with last minute wedding details, and it was nice to help make their wedding day special. I attempted a Photo-A-Day challenge, but would later realize that I preferred {iPhone Rewind}.

I started walking through a Sermon on the Mount Bible study in June. I was in desperate need of an organized study, and Laura was all too generous to walk through it with me. We had a couple other girls from home group join us, and it was such a blessing. Lindsay and Ben got married, and it was so fun that Mike and I both got to be in the wedding party. Their wedding was a BLAST, and it was great to be a part of their big day. My parents came to the wedding too, so we got some extra time with them, which is always a blessing. And my sweet baby Sasha turned 5!

In July, my parents came back into town (which was awesome!) and we were able to celebrate Father's Day and my brother's birthday with a Rangers game and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer (their pick!) We also celebrated our 1 year anniversary! It was hard to believe that the first year had gone by so fast. But we are so thankful for our first year. Mike surprised me with a new top layer for our wedding cake, as well as a frame with our wedding notes to each other. It was the perfect 1st anniversary, and I am so thankful for my sweet husband!

We were in the midst of applying for a church planting residency in August. The Lord had been forming a growing partnership between us and our new McKinney church, and we were seeing Him provide in incredible ways. The assessment process was pretty intense; but we were so humbled by the church's heart in wanting to be a part of church planting, specifically with us. I was connecting more with the girls in our home group, through Bible study and our first Pinterest Party. We also got to spend a week in Colorado on vacation. We stayed at Wind River Ranch, and it was such a great chance for us to get away and have a relaxing week together. I climbed my first mountain! :)

In September, we said goodbye to life BCP (Before Church Planting), and Mike officially started as the Church Planting Resident at Christ Fellowship. We also said goodbye to summer, and transformed the house with Fall decorations. The weather didn't quite follow suit, but that's ok :) I finally made a doctor's appointment for the stomach/intestinal issues I had been having, and they found H.Pylori in my stomach. I was on a 2 week intense antibiotic regimen, in hopes that that would fix the problem. We rejoiced with our sweet friends as they welcomed their 2nd baby! We also enjoyed an afternoon of pumpkin carving with our home group.

I wrote my 300th blog post in October. We launched our ministry website, which was really exciting! Mike's brother Bryan helped us by producing a video for us to share with potential supporters about our heart and vision for McKinney. We headed down to San Antonio for a weekend; Mike went on his first hunting trip with my dad and brother, and I enjoyed a girls day with my mom! We were blessed with an impromptu date night at a pre-season Mavs game, with helping at Habitat for Humanity, and with serving at the Kids Karnival (as Clark Kent and Lois Lane!)

In November, we made an unexpected visit to the vet with Sasha. She broke her nail near the bed and had to have it removed; it was probably more stressful for me than it was for her! Unfortunately, my stomach/intestinal pain returned, so I was back in the doctor's office looking for more answers. We headed to Waco for a Baylor football game, where I was able to share my alma mater with Mike and then enjoy a sweet victory over #1-ranked Kansas State! We also started the {12 Dates of Christmas} and celebrated Mike's 31st birthday!

December started off with the fun surprise of Laura's engagement! I am SO excited that 2013 will be filled with planning for my best friend's wedding :) December was also filled with some more health issues, as I ended up in the hospital for my stomach/intestinal pain to eventually be diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. We announced our Pray nine3eight campaign, so be sure to connect with us and join us in praying Matthew 9:38 over our church plant for 100 days! We hosted a Carols & Cocoa event at Starbucks, which was a fun way to connect with the community and sing of Jesus in public. We got to spend lots of time with family over Christmas, with 2 McCullough Christmases, and then a week of fun activities with my family.

We have been so overwhelmed by all that the Lord has done in 2012. We constantly reflect back on everything that has happened in such a short amount of time. We are definitely excited about what the Lord has for us in 2013. It will certainly be a year of new beginnings- figuring out life with Crohn's Disease, planning my best friend's wedding, and moving forward with the exciting changes in our church plant. But we cannot wait to see what He has in store for us!


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