There are only 2 days left of 2012. How did that happen??? Honest to Pete, I think I blinked and the year passed.

I become embarrassingly reflective at this time of the year. It’s been a doozie!

Definition of DOOZIE: Something that is extraordinary or outstanding of its kind: The storm was a doozie, with winds of fifty miles an hour.

If you’ve been following along with us for a while now, you may remember that we ended 2011 with me hitting a deer and totaling our van and Mike breaking his right hand.

2012 brought new adventures and certainly highlights …

In February, Mike and I went to Israel for 9 days. It was the single most life changing trip I have ever taken. [It’s the reason I am leading a trip there this March!]

Kadi (17) started PSEO (Post secondary education option … doing college while finishing her last two years of high school) in the fall. That meant I was really only homeschooling 2 — Ben (12) and Caleb (10). That idea hadn’t quite soaked in before we decided to become the daycare providers for our sweet little Sean (5) and Zach (7). These two have spent every third weekend with us while their mom worked 12-hour shifts for a couple of years now. Recently, their mom moved to all 12-hour shifts which required that she have evening childcare. We offered to jump in. To make a long story short, I’m homeschooling Sean for kindergarten on the days he is here, which means I’m back to homeschooling 3.

Coordinating Women’s Ministries at Calvary Evangelical Free Church was MUCH simpler in the second year! (Thank you, God, for that mercy!!)

In October my book, When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart was released with New Growth Press. Wow. that had highlights of its own.  Here are 10 things I learned with the release of my first traditionally published book:

  1. Grace ~ when my name was spelled wrong on the cover.
  2. Quick thinking ~ when radio interviewers asked sticky questions
  3. Power of prayer ~ when I came under significant spiritual attack on my trip to Tampa
  4. Navigation ~ as I traveled to AR twice and FL once … all by myself … and drove around!
  5. The art of being undone ~ I’m not sure I had to learn this, but words are inadequate to describe what happens to my heart when I hear from broken readers who are finding Hope in the pages of my book and in His Word.
  6. Gratitude ~ for all the people who read my book and not only gave it favorable reviews, but continued to promote it.
  7. Forgiveness ~ for that one reviewer … and for that one interviewer … (’nuff said)
  8. Courage ~ to put my heart and my story out there again and again. I had no idea … (it’s a good thing too, or I might have changed my mind!)
  9. Humility ~ when I had a wardrobe malfunction and it was captured for all to see and couldn’t be undone. Ugh.
  10. Appreciation ~ for God’s perfect timing. He knew what publishing this book would cost us and He waited until we were most prepared.

God also opened several doors this year that were so obviously His doing that we couldn’t miss it!

  • A new partnership with Harvest USA that will allow me to speak with Ellen Dykas in Atlanta this coming April. Yay!
  • An invitation to be interviewed by Dennis Rainey and Bob LePine at FamilyLife Today for 2 shows!
  • Endorsements from people whom I respect so much
  • A new contract with The Robinson Agency out of Atlanta who will handle more national speaking opportunities. [I am still blessed to keep my working relationship with The Barry Agency out of MN for Midwest speaking opportunities!]
  • A contract for Parenting On Your Knees: Prayers and Practical Guidance for the Preschool Years to be published in January 2013 with Pix-N-Pens Publishing!
  • An opportunity to lead a group (which will include my mom and daughter!) to Israel in March.

Friend, I am thunderstruck by all of this. You see, I can’t help but notice that God is all about creating DOOZIES! He takes that which is absolutely ordinary and uses it in extraordinary ways. Consider the Christmas story and the fact that He chose to use a young virgin to carry the Messiah, a manger to cradle a King, a baby to save mankind, and a star to light the way.

And then I stop in my tracks and consider what He is choosing for this farm girl who only aspired to be a wife, a momm,y and a teacher, if I could be so lucky. The thing is, when I said “Yes” to do whatever He asked of me, He didn’t say “No” to the wife, the mommy, or the teacher. He said “Yes,” and then He tacked some more on there …

This is my life work; helping people understand and respond to this Message.

It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details.

When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians.

God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.

And so here i am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ.

~Ephesians 3:7-8, The Message*


DO TELL … Did you have a doozie of a year? How did God make it extraordinary or outstanding of its kind?

[*Dear Reviewer: I did get the message that The Message is a turn off for you and apparently diminishes any value of what I might have been trying to say. I still like The Message now and then and will continue to use it.  You are free to look it up in the KJV. I won’t be offended.]