Hello friends & Merry Christmas!
If you're coming to this blog for the first time because you received my Christmas card with the address - welcome! I decided to add this link to my Christmas cards in hopes that this blog will continue to keep those who care enough to read, updated on my life. In the past I have frequently included a letter with my Christmas cards and this year I thought, 'why not put it on the blog?'. This way those of you who won't receive a card can still read it and those of you finding your way here two years after it's birth, will also have it.
2011 has been a big, beautiful year for me. This month I complete my second year as a homeowner to which I am grateful to the Lord for allowing me to survive with only one fall down the stairs, one broken door handle, and one new microwave! Whew. I will admit sometimes owning a home makes me feel old and when that happens I make a few good jumps on the bed, which no one can tell me I can't do anymore!
This year 'the batch pad' as I've so affectionately coined it has seen many visitors, a roommate, a few parties, and lots of love. My Mom stopped in and made some beautiful changes and additions in the spring. My sweet sister Rae and brother-in-law Chris made their first trip to stay with us, while in Florida for my sisters baby shower. My best friend Candy visited twice and with her husband, Josh, one of the times. My friend Ashley from my high school years in Carmel, IN made her first trip to Tampa/the batch pad in the fall bringing with her great memories and making new ones. Many others have come for a meal, a movie, a sleepover, or just to witness my grilling mastery.
2011 brought my Dad here briefly for a game, some nachos, and a big cup of frozen yogurt. It took me to Indianapolis, Baltimore, DC, New York City, St. Louis, Raleigh, Pittsburgh, Lexington, Minneapolis, and more for both work and play. It brought with it my 2 year anniversary at my current job with All Pro Dad as well as three and a half years of membership at my church, Grace Family, where I have never felt more at home.
In 2011 I ran a 5k (I use ran loosely). I read over 30 books. I began writing my first book (which may or may not ever be read by anyone but me). My blog reached 45,000 views. I willingly spoke in public on several occasions. I lead a small group bible study in my home. I wrote well over 100 handwritten letters after my 2010 commitment to be more thoughtful (and 'old school').
This year has brought new experiences, new challenges, and new opportunities. I continue to be blown away by the Lord's patience, provision, and persistent love of me. I am eternally grateful for the frienships the Lord has provided and the incredible people He's placed in my life for this season and I hope, many to follow.
On December 4th, the Christensen/Breslin clan welcomed sweet Noa June into our crazy families. My sister put it perfectly when she wrote, ' how appropriate that our Noa joins us during a season of thanks for all of the Lord's blessings, of which she is one of the greatest'. Sweet baby Noa is an answer to so many prayers. I hope that in the close of 2011, in 2012, and beyond I am able fulfill my new role as an Aunt with grace, love, adoration, and a whole lot of fun! I am blown away by how much I loved Noa before she had even arrived.
Noa was a great reminder to me of the Saviors love for us. That at this time, so many years ago, his Son was born to save us - me & you. What a beautiful image of the Lord's unfailing love for us and how grateful I am for that this Christmas and always.
I'm humbled by the blessings 2011 has brought, not the least of which is each of you. I look forward to doing life with you in 2012 here on the blog, in real life, through letters and phone calls, and by praying for you and with you. This has been a bit of a 'desert' year, one to remember all the Lord has already done and his promises for the future. I have never felt more blessed or more excited for all the Lord is yet to do with me.
May I close this letter by sharing that I spent time studying 1 Samuel in recent months and I wanted to share this verse as a prayer for my own life, for yours, and a challenge to us all:
'Be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you' - 1 Samuel 12:24
All my love,