With each passing year August 31st becomes more reflective and more visionary.  It’s the day when I look back over the past year; the crazy twisting and turning of the path that is my life.  It’s the day when I look forward, dreaming about the possibilities the next year holds.  It’s the day I take a few moments to thank God for blessing me with another breath, another moment, another day.  And yesterday was just that.  My birthday was filled with good people, great coffee, delicious food, challenging conversations, and sweet ice cream.  I was humbled to receive such thoughtful cards and gifts (one of my many love languages!).  I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Today I will share my top ten things that happened in the 2011-2012 year… Tomorrow I will share some of the things I envision for the 2012-2013 year!

#10: Clearing 4.00m – This was such a benchmark height in my head.  Thirteen feet was the goal to reach in the first year to know that I was on the right track with the whole pole vault thing.  When I reached it in Sacramento early April, I couldn’t help but come running off the mat screaming with so much excitement I could burst!

#9: Clearing 4.10m – To follow my first 4m clearance with a 4.10 clearance in the next meet was incredible!

#8: Competing at the Olympic Training Center – The opportunity to spend two weeks at the end of season in southern California competing against some of the best vaulters in the country taught me so much.  And challenged me to grow in what heights I would feel comfortable coming into the competition at.  It showed me that there is so much room for growth and what a newbie I truly was/am!

#7: Expanding the vision of SOAR – in March of 2011 when God gave me the idea of SOAR (Seeing Opportunity And Responding) I had no idea that it would become foundational in the way that I live and understand choices in my life.  It has challenged and impacted my relationship with God, and it has been incredible to hear stories on how other’s have been challenged to step up to the callings God has placed in their lives.

#6: Being a bridesmaid/ seeing Ohio family and friends – In June I was honored to be a part of an important day of my dear friend Courtney’s life.  Spending some much needed time with old family and friends, and meeting new friend’s like “The Birthday Club”, the entire trip lifted my spirits and I left completely encouraged!  I love them all so much!

#5: Growing Deeper in Community – October will mark two years since I arrived back in Clovis.  I am so thankful that this past year has brought a deepening relationship with my friends back home.  As the relationships re-establish it is so enjoyable to have deeper conversations that stir up questions and challenge one another.  These relationships don’t happen over night and lacking them can be the hardest part of adjusting to a new community.  But it’s great to be two years in and feeling more settled here in the central valley.

 #4: Coaching – I can honestly say that I had a unique group of kids this year; the kind that molds each personality together and becomes a team.  It’s such a blessing to sit back and watch the kids you invest in mature physically and emotionally.  My kids were dedicated and worked hard and reached most, if not all, of their goals (which in some cases were pretty high standards).  To watch their work ethic grow, to watch their performances rise, and to watch their maturity flourish when things didn’t go the way they planned was an honor to be a part of.

#3: My brother deciding to do “Internship/Residency” – Residency (and internships) at my church are designed to rock your world.  For those of you who know me and the Joshua program I was a part of, the internship/residency program that my brother has decided to enter into is a localized version of that.  The hope and desire is that the participants walk away equipped to be leaders in the faith.  The complete 180 that has happened in the past couple months of my brother’s life has got my head spinning and I love it!

#2: Going to London – What an opportunity!  Anytime you travel over seas you can expect an adventure, but I received so much more than that!  Being there during the Olympics kindled the fire that one day I want to be there as an athlete.  A lot of work is going to have to be put in just for the chance to make the team, but that journey became real in London, and its a journey I want to be on, no matter the outcome.

#1: Speaking about Christ on stage for the first time – While in London I had the opportunity to get up on stage and share a little bit about my story.  God created the perfect environment.  Though I have a passion for talking with people about Christ, having a microphone in my hand and being in front of a few hundred people is not my forte.  But I was blessed with a great interviewer who made me feel completely comfortable and able to articulate the words I prayed God would give me.  It stretched me and it challenged me.  And I found out… its kinda fun!

 

To sum everything up: it’s been another incredible year!