Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Recap....

January 1st

  Well it's official...January is  over (well almost) and it's time to check in with how I am doing in my weight loss journey.  I came into this year with some very large goals and in order to reach those goals I broke them down into some smaller goals.  I wanted to lose 10lbs a month and figured the best way to go about that would be to count my calories daily and work out six nights per week.  I also figured a good way to keep me motivated in my workouts would be to aim to run/walk 10 miles per week for a total goal of 40 miles a month.
January 31st
  I  started off great.  I had no problem staying motivated the first two weeks and tracked every morsel that went into my mouth.  So within two weeks I had lost 16lbs.  After that...things started going down hill.  I struggled to get in workouts and mileage, I stopped tracking the calories in some of my meals and before I knew it I had gained three pounds.  I was frustrated,  annoyed, and was really struggling to figure out how to get back on track.  Yet, somehow I did....at least in part...and this past week I lost four pounds for a grand total of 17lbs in the first month of 2012 (it's hard for me to tell by the pictures...but who knows...maybe you can)!  On top of that I've also been able to log 46 miles and had to add another hole into my belt (that's three new holes I've had to make in it since I bought the belt back in December!).
  It hasn't been easy...it hasn't been pretty....but if anything this month has proven to me that if I don't give up then....I've GOT THIS!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

God works in Mysterious Ways...

(Wallace Monument)
  When I was in High School I attended a church where every summer the members of the youth group could apply to go with the church on Youth Missions Trips around the country and the world.  For three summers I travelled with them (twice to Scotland/Ireland and once to Mexico), and although I absolutely believe that God used those trips to help form my world view, I have often struggled to believe that those trips did anything more than change those who went..as opposed to those who we were reaching out to.  In fact, in all the time I spent on these two week short term missions trips... standing in the town square handing out fliers and praying for people, participating in church "revival" meetings, and helping on work projects.... I really never felt connected to anyone we ministered to and honestly only led one person to the lord!  And as I graduated high school and started forming my own ideas about world missions, at the top of my list was the idea that true and effective missions work needed to be long term...
(Ground Zero)
  Fast Forward about a year and a half and I found myself interning at the New York School of Urban Missions (NYSUM) in New York City with other members of my junior class from Elim Bible Institute (EBI).  We spent three months volunteering all over the city....ministering to people at soup kitchens, Aids hospitals, homeless shelters, and even on the street.  This whole experience truly opened my eyes to the needs of so many hurting people in my own country...or even my own region (considering I grew up in CT, just a three hour drive from the City)!  And from this I began to form my ideas about world missions even more, feeling like if people are going to step out into Missions, they should begin in their own country....among the very people they are surrounded by every day...
(World Impact Oakland)
  Fast forward another year and a half again and I found myself this time having moved clear across the country to Oakland California to participate in a year long missions organization called Mission Year.  I had come to believe that Missions should be something that you do long term and that you should start in your own country and here I was ready to live it out.  I was living with four other white girls, in a Hispanic neighborhood, attending an African American church....reaching out to our neighbors, tutoring, volunteering five days a week at an organization that teaches life skills to foster children who are getting ready to leave the system....and what I  found was a belief forming in me that missions must be relational!  In fact, after my year of missions was up, I found that I had formed such a love and connection to the city and the people that I decided to stay and ended up living out there over the next several years.  I even moved deeper into the city began working for World Impact as a support staff member of their Oakland branch.  My continued life in Oakland led me to believe that Missions is also something you do every day of your life....it's not a program, or even something you can turn on and off....missions is something you are!
  Well fast forward to about six months ago when I found myself laying on the floor of my room crying out to God to show me where He was leading me next in life.  I had come to point where I felt like every time I had my life figured out, it would fall apart in my hands, and I really just wanted God to speak to me His will and His purpose.  I was expecting to hear something in terms of what I should pursue for a job or even in my education.  I wanted to hear clear direction about my life plan.  Instead....I began sensing God leading me to look back into short term missions!  
  To be honest...when the idea first came up, I stuffed it.  I thought I had learned all I needed to about missions for my life....Missions was something that was relational and done every day of life, but missionaries were people who were willing to give more than two weeks of their time and who began by reaching out in their own community.....and that was NOT me!  My ministry over the past several years had been to my own family and I had grown quite comfortable in that.  Short term missions just didn't match with my life... so I thought this couldn't possibly be God! But over the next several weeks the idea kept coming up.  It seemed the more I struggled with stepping out in ministries God had already called me to in my current life, the more I felt Him drawing me to a deeper commitment in the form of a short term missions trip.  Summer had been quite hard for me and it had forced me to trust God in a way that I never had before and after failing miserably at that, I had decided that I was NOT going to step out in faith like that ever again...and thus any feelings about Missions trips needed to go away a.s.a.p!  In fact, I recall telling a few friends how I was feeling about God and even missions, and asking them to pray that God would make the desire to GO fade away. I knew I couldn't honor HIM and keep growing in my faith without Taking this next step, but I was scared, so I needed it to pass.
   Well after much prayer and petition, tears and repenting....It became clear to me that Short Term Missions is something I am being called to do.  So I did a little research, found an organization that matched with my heart and stepped out to apply.  That was almost two months ago and since then God has constantly overwhelmed me with His faithfulness.  I stress a lot....I know I should put my faith fully in God, but often times I see the 18 million ways that something can go wrong and freak out.  God in His faithfulness however, has stood beside me in every one of these moments and shown me his hand at work, both in my heart and in this world.  He's opened doors for me to join a missions team, He's provided money for application fees and other paper work, He's opened other people's hearts to be willing to write reference letters for me, and He's given me a heart to step out in Him once again.....and thus this summer I will be spending a week in Quito, Ecuador ministering to orphans through an organization called "Visiting Orphans"!  I don't know how it will all work out, I don't know what God will teach me through this or where He will lead me after, I don't even know how God worked so much in my heart in the past several months to bring me to a place of saying "Yes" to Him and his ways....but what I do know is that He is God...and I trust Him!

For more information about any of the ministries and/or organizations listed above, check out:
www.nysum.org , www.missionyear.org , www.worldimpact.org , www.visitingorphans.org

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Getting a little "Spiritual" Up in here...

  Over the past few weeks I have been reading through 1st and 2nd Samuel. Now I originally started reading 1st Samuel because I wanted to know more about King Saul.  I mean, here's a guy who was the first King of Israel, the people's choice and God's.  Yet he ended up dishonoring God in such a way that before he even died God had rejected him and anointed a new King to take his place!  There's so much that can be learned from that!  And yet, as I continued to read through the book, I found myself even more enthralled with David and gleaming even more from his life, so I kept reading into book two.
  Now through out the years, I've heard a lot about David.  I grew up going to Sunday school and knew all about  his interactions with Goliath and Bathsheba well before I hit middle school.  Yet something I've never really noticed before about David is just how much respect he gives to God and God's "anointed" through out his life.  I mean, you always hear about how David was a man after God's own heart,  but when you really think about it...taking it all in....it's awe inspiring!
  Here's Saul, the King of all Israel, chasing after David...trying to kill Him.  He's thrown spears at David, backed him into caves, and pretty much neglected his entire country to get his hands on him.  Yet when David has the opportunity to kill Saul, he doesn't!!!  Twice he refuses to lay a hand on "God's anointed"!!  Not only that, but when Saul is eventually killed in battle, David goes as far as to kill the man who claimed to kill Saul because he stood against the "Lord's Anointed!!! That is amazing to me....To show that much respect for someone, despite how they have treated you, just because they were once anointed by God..... It just goes to show how much respect and honor David had for God!
   David's attitude here is also a HUGE reminder to me that it doesn't matter how other people treat me or make me feel, I am not responsible for them, I am responsible for me and how I respond to them!  I should be more concerned with whether or not my attitude honors God, than what I think somebody else's attitude is like!  That's a hard lesson....and it's even harder to live out!!!  Even now I can think of certain relationships in my life where I have been hurt by people in authority over me and my immediate reaction is to lose respect for them and not trust them any more.  But if I could only remember that God has given them the position and authority they have and therefore out of honor and respect to God my attitude in return should always be one of respect and honor, then maybe I too could be like David...a person after God's own heart!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Not Exactly What I Was Expecting....

  Week two of any weight loss journey is always hard.  The excitement of week one is over and now things are slowing falling into a routine.  Plus, if you're like me, you've just come off a really great weight loss and the chances of seeing any significant loss again are not that high (anyone else watch the biggest loser and thus heard of the week two "curse"?!?).  So I knew going into this week that I had to be very strict with my diet, drink plenty of water and get in all my workouts if I wanted to see results.  And for the first four days of the week I did great!  Then Thursday came, and all of a sudden all the little annoyances of the week started catching up with me and  I found myself slipping back into the comfort of drinking coffee like it's water (instead of actually drinking water) and giving in to a little extra snack here and there.  I ended the week having only met my water goal of 80oz four out of seven days and only working out five out of seven (although I was still able to meet both my goals of running/walking over 10 miles and burning over 4500 calories in my work outs).  Not horrible, but definitely not the kind of week I wanted to have!
  So when it came time to get on the scale this morning, I decided I would hope for the best and expect the worse.  I figured even if I only lost a pound I should still be happy considering I didn't give my all.  Well, when I looked down the scale told me I had lost another 5.5lbs!!!  5.5lbs.....What?!?!  This was not a great week....Yes I worked out and No I didn't full out binge, but a 5.5lbs loss on week two when I know I could have done better....ARE YOU KIDDING ME!  That means since the beginning of the year I have lost 16lbs!!! I have a lot to be happy about...and I am proud of all my accomplishments!  I feel like I am finally getting back my old self...but still learning new ways to deal with my issues (for instance I've done a TON of journaling this week)! 
  Now the old me would take this loss and see it as a sign that I don't have to try so hard, that I can still see results even if I am not giving my everything.  But like I said before, this journey is so different than any other one I've been on and therefore it's not just about the results, it's about the journey!  My desire is to give my very best to this...to honor God in it by not taking the easy route and not giving up and slacking off because it's more comfortable.  I want to continue on this journey knowing that my attitude is pleasing to my creator!  So heading into week three I've made a few changes.  For one I've created a workout space in our basement so I can no longer complain about not being able to give my all in my workouts because I might make too much noise in my room.   I also went grocery shopping and picked up a different variety of lunch selections so I'll can no longer complain about how sick I am of soup (which becomes my excuse for eating crap)!  I've also washed out all my water bottles so that I have no excuse for not carrying one around with me (It's amazing how often I will forgo taking water with me because I can't quickly find a clean bottle).  As you can see, I'm trying to prepare myself for a great week!  I hope you are doing the same!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What's REALLY going on here?!?!?....

  The last two days I have been craving junk like crazy!  I see chips….and I want them.  I see cookies…. And I want them.  I see soda and I want it!  And it’s not like I don’t allow myself to have these things ever, but not in the amounts that I am craving them!  Now, before I got back on track with this weight loss journey, there were times where I would go to the store, buy a huge bag of tortilla chips and a large jar of “chile con queso” dip and hide up in my room while I devoured it all in less than 30 minutes.  And although that might sound absolutely disgusting to some of you, I can’t deny that the thought of doing just that has crossed my mind in the past few days!
  The thing is, I’m realizing more and more that moments like that, where I binge…and do it in secret…. have a lot more to do with the issues of my heart than the hunger in my stomach.  You see, I could sit here and say, well obviously the reason I’m craving so much junk food is because I haven’t been drinking enough water (which is very true considering both yesterday and today I’ve barely gotten in half of my goal of 80oz of water a day), but I know even if I had gotten in 100oz of water yesterday I would still want the chips and cookies and soda! Those things have become such “comfort” to me over the years.  I run to them when I am feeling anxious or stressed or misunderstood or just plain out of my comfort zone!  I know it may sound funny but food has always been there for me.  And yeah after a binge I will usually feel eaters remorse and regret the choice (which I should perceive is going to happen by the fact that I feel the need to eat it in hiding), but in the moment…when I don’t know what to do, or where to turn, or how to express what I am feeling, food is there…and so I run to it!  The thing is, now that I know this about myself I feel I have the responsibility to look past the craving and discover what’s really going on in my heart….what “issue” is driving me to food? 
  To be honest, I think the root issue the past few days has been fear of what people are thinking about me.  I like to be perceived in a good light, I like knowing people think well of me and respect me, and I thrive with their support.  But lately I find myself becoming too overly concerned with what people think.  I’ve taken my eyes off of God and honoring Him, and started making decisions based on what will make people like me more.  I’ve moved God out of the center of my life and made myself the center of the universe…..and for that I repent.  When I give God his rightful place in my life, and I live my life for Him, then that fear of what people think of me begins to fade.  When I know  I am walking in the light and my heart is right with God, then it doesn’t really matter to me so much if Joe Schmo thinks I’m doing a good job or if Jane Doe thinks my motives are pure enough.  When I seek my approval in God, I am accepted…..and that gives me all the comfort I need, without the food!  So take a lesson from me... if you’re on this journey and find yourself reaching for that bag of chips, take a moment and really evaluate what’s going on in your heart and you might just find you don't need it, even before you take that first bite!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

How do you eat an Elephant?!?!...

  So they say "If you want to eat an elephant you must do it one bite at a time", or as my mind translates it...you have to cut it up into parts.  That's why before this year even began I sat down and came up with a list of all the things I wanted in 2012, and then I took that list and broke it up into 4 different types of goals, and from that list came up with 3 specific goals I want to reach by the end of the year.  One of those goals is to get back into shape...which in a lot of ways (although not in every way) breaks down into losing weight.  After that I took my weight loss goal and broke it down even more by coming up with some monthly goals, weekly goals and daily goals.  And it's those goals that have really kept me on track this past week.
  As I was saying in my last post, this change I am making is for life, and thus this time around I've been concentrating a lot on the long term.  For that reason I set my monthly goal at wanting to lose 10lbs a month....basically losing  2.5lbs a week which seemed both healthy and completely doable.  I also decided that I needed something to keep me motivated through out the week so I am shooting to lose at least 2lbs , as well as walk and/or run 10 miles, and burn at least 4500 calories in my workouts (meaning I would have to burn 750 calories per work out and workout  6 days a week) per week.  And finally, I am making a daily commitment to drink at least 80oz of water, workout for at least 30 minutes (except on my rest day) and to stick within a certain calorie allowance.  And that's how I've chosen to break down this elephant.
  Well today was my week 1 weigh in and to be honest, I LOVE week 1 weigh ins!  There's something about a week 1 that makes me so motivated and keeps me so on track!  Last year I must have had at least 15 week 1's...unfortunately I only got to have that many because I had at least 10 week 2's and then only like 5 week 3's before I would fall of the wagon and have to start back at 1 again!  Anyway, last week I worked hard, stayed on track, and really took time to invest in the mental/emotional side of my journey (another part that I've made goals for).  This morning I weighed in and before I even stepped on the scale I knew I was happy with myself, but I won't deny that when that number showed I had lost a whopping 10.5lbs in 7 days I couldn't have been more elated!  Not only did I lose my weekly goal weight loss of 2lbs, but I even surpassed my monthly goal in just 1 week (guess I'm going to have to come up with some more goals for January)!  I am very proud of myself!  I would have been happy with 2lbs...but 10.5lbs reminds me that I'm so much stronger than I give myself credit for being, and it pushes me to only want to keep going!  Plus one of the perks of reaching my monthly goal weight is that I get a reward...and today I went out and bought myself a new pair of slippers (which were on sale for $8!  Aren't they cute?!?!)!
 As far as my other goals go, I wasn't too sure if I would be able to get in 10 miles of running and/or walking in a week.  It is January after all...meaning it's cold outside and the gym is packed...plus I've only been running sporadically for the past several months so I was a bit nervous!  Turns out, if I put my mind to it, I can always make a way...and thus this week I walk and/or ran 13 miles!  Plus that helped me reach my other goal of burning at least 4500 calories in my workouts through out the week, by giving me a grand total of 5770 calories burned!  Yep...week week 1 is definitely my favorite!
  So how did week 1 go for you?!?!  Any milestones reached?!  Any other  moments of victory you feel like sharing?!?  Any ways I can help you out?!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Body is a temple...an epiphany of sorts...

  So the other day I had an epiphany of sorts.  I was out on a walk thinking about where I've come in my weight loss journey, where I am at, and where I am going, when I realized that this is something I'm going to have to do for the rest of my life....working out and eating right and walking out this journey...it has no end.  Now I know that kinda seems like a "Duh!" comment, but honestly I don't think I ever considered it last time around.  The first time I lost 100lbs all I could think about was the day when scale would hit 160, when I would fit into my size 10 jeans, and when I would jump out of a plane (which was my reward last time for losing the weight....kind of like a celebration of sorts...and totally awesome...see pic)!  I was running after an end point....and when I reached it, I didn't know where to go from there (which eventually led to gaining a lot of it back).
  This time around my journey is completely different.  Even the reasons I have for wanting to get in shape are different.  Before, my weight loss journey was about vanity and proving people wrong....it was about trying to become happy with the person I was and to stop hiding in the shadows.  This time around, my whole journey is based in wanting to honor God.  So often this past year I've felt like God was calling me or leading me to do something but I didn't, because of my weight.  At times it was because I was afraid I wouldn't physically be able to handle it and other times I was afraid of how I would look to others because of my wieght.  I've moved beyond the place in life where I didn't know I was heavy.  I remember the day, looking at pictures and realizing how heavy I was and being absolutely astonished that I had no idea I was that big!  I will never forget that and now that I am closer to that weight again than I would like to be, it's impossible for  me not to know how unhealthy I am and look.  How does this honor God?!
  The bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?  You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.  So you must honor God with your body".  Now granted this verse is talking about not involving yourself in sexual sin, but honestly I think it can translate very easily into this weight loss journey.  I do not belong to myself, my life was purchased by the very precious blood of Jesus, and how I live my life....how I take care of this body and what I put into it...is in a sense another form of worship to God.  I want to honor God with my whole life, and if I don't take care of the very life...the body...He has given me, how is that honoring to Him?!?
  So now I am learning to see this journey not as something to rush though, something to push and shove myself around in, in order to reach some destination where all of a sudden life will be perfect (as if there is such a time and place!) but rather as an opportunity....a chance to experience life more fully, to do without holding back...to live, and love, and honor God with every  once of my being, every step of every day.....even if that means going for a longer run or forgoing some mint chocolate chip ice cream for a night ;)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"20 Seconds"...

  So this past Saturday I took my niece to go see the movie, “We bought a zoo” for our auntie and me day.  To be honest I wasn’t all that interested in seeing that movie, but Mad wanted to see it and I wanted to spend time with her, so I said why not (plus it’s a Matt Damon movie and I’ve been a fan of him since “Good Will Hunting)!  Turns out, it was actually a pretty great movie! 
  Towards the end of the movie there is a scene (you’ve probably seen in some of the promotional commercials) where the father is talking to his son and says, “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”  That quote just resonated with me so much and has actually helped me a lot as I’ve gotten into the swing of this New Year.
  As I mentioned in my last post, I am a fan of the New Year’s resolution…and this year I’ve made quite a few of them.  But making a resolution and keeping it are two different things….and that is where “20 seconds of insane courage” and “embarrassing bravery” come in.
  For example, on Sunday it was gorgeous out…in the 50’s, sunny…totally out of the norm for January 1st in New England.  I knew I wanted to get out and enjoy the weather, but I was nervous I might end up “getting out there” alone…even if I mentioned my desire to others...and so I almost just went alone.  That’s what I would normally do…go straight to the end result I’m expecting instead of being open to the what if's of life.  It’s just easier for me to do that than to get my hopes up and be disappointed or feel rejected.  But for “20 seconds” I had courage and put it out there on facebook that I wanted to hike and my sister responded and I ended up having a great time taking her and my two nieces on hike up a local mountain (we even got to enjoy an amazing sunset...as you can see in the above picture)!
  Then on Monday I was sitting down to write my first letter of the year (one of my main goals for the year is to be more “others” focused and thus I plan to write 52 people letters this year) and kept having this nagging feeling that I should write this women from church that I don’t even really know.  Normally, I would pretty quickly talk myself out of something like this.  All these thoughts about how she might respond, or what she might think about me, bubbled to the surface and it would have been so easy to just change my mind and go with someone more “comfortable”.  But this wasn’t about me….it was about sending a bit of comfort and encouragement to someone in need…and well for “20 seconds”  I found enough courage to place that letter in an envelope and stick it in the mail box. 
  And then there was the moment I decided to just put my feelings out there in an email to a friend.  One of my resolutions for this year is to “confront and communicate before things escalate” (as you can see from the note card I have hanging on my wall) and well communication isn’t always my best skill.  You see, normally when I’m hurt or angry or frustrated by someone or something I will bottle it up.  It’s 100% easier for me to just take the hit…grin and bear it…silently work to get through whatever the circumstance is as quickly as possible.  But what usually ends up happening, is I just get more upset…more hurt…and before I know it I’m willing to cut that person out of my life, making my world just a little bit smaller.  It’s such a risk to me to be honest with those kinds of feelings…to tell someone they hurt me and how, trusting that they will actually listen, understand and care.  But as I sat at my computer, I realized that even if I put it out there, shared my feelings, and was rejected, the outcome wouldn’t be much different than me just never really talking to them again, so with my “20 seconds” of courage I put it out there…said my peace…and realized being honest is what makes a relationship more real!
  Now I know none of this may seem overly spectacular to any of you, but I’m not looking for the spectacular…..I’m looking for abundant life….the kind of life that comes from those “20 seconds” of courage...and the kind of courage that comes from God and when acted upon makes life worth living!  And so far this year (all four days of it) have been filled with the abundancy of life!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Out with the Old, In with the New...

Happy New Year everybody!  So I know a lot of people who claim that although they love the freshness of a new year, they don't like all the hoopla around making New Years Resolutions!  While I get what they are saying, I LOVE it!  There's just something about starting off new and having a goal or two that your working towards, that makes me hopeful and excited about a new year!
  Last year I had two main goals for the year.  One, I wanted to run 11 races and two, I wanted to read 50 books.  Unfortunately, due to injury...and well lets be honest, a complete lack of confidence and/or commitment... I only completed 1 race.  That was definitely not the track record I was going for, but it's certainly fired me up to get back in the game this year!  On a brighter note, I did complete 45 out of 50 books this year...with about 6 others that I am currently half way through as of this moment !  Here's the list of the books I did finish...

1.) Friendship for Grown-ups (Lisa Whelchel)
2.) Lessons from San Quentin (Bill Davis)
3.) The Noticer (Andy Andrews)
4.) City on our Knees (Toby Mac)
5.) Messy Spirituality (Mike Yaconelli)
6.) The Hole in our Gospel (richard Stearn)
7.) Tattoos on the Heart (Greg Boyle)
8.) The Christian Atheist (Craigh Groschel)
9.) Follow me to Freedom (Shaine Claiborne)
10.) Under the overpass (Mike Yakowski)
11.)The Cross and the Switchblade (David Wilkerson)
12.) O me of Little Faith (Jason Boyett)
13.) Evolving in Monkeytown (Rachel Evans)
14.) Stuff Christians Like (john Accuff)
15.) unconditional (Brain Zahand)
16.) Gollywhopper Games (Jody Felman)
17.) Dying to meet you (Kate Klise)
18.) Weird (Craigh Groschel)
19.)Reasons for God (Timothy Keller)
20.) Is God a moral Monster (Paul Conan)
21.) Radicial Together (David Platt)
22.) The Reign of Grace (Scotty Smith)
23.) Herbert's wormhole (Peter Nelson)
24.) Over my Dead Body (Kate Klise)
25.) Judy Moody and the Not bummer Summer (Megan MacDonald)
26.) Stolen Children (Peg Kehert)
27.) Traveling Mercies (Anne Lamott)
28.) An Angel From Hell (Ryan Conklin)
29.) When You reach me (Rebecca Stead)
30.) Lemoade Wars (Jaqueline Davies)
31.) The Problem with the Puddles (Kate Feiffer)
32.) Middle School the worst years of my life (James Patterson)
33.) Dear Mr. Henshaw (Beverly Cleary)
34.) Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not reading (Tommy Greenwald)
35.) Prodigal God (Timothy Keller)
36.) Not a Fan (Kyle Ingelman)
37.) Kisses from Katie (Katie Davis)
38.) Starving Jesus (Craig Gross)
39.) Revolution in World Missions (KP Yohannan)
40.) Safe People (Henry Cloud)
41.) Imaginary Jesus (Matt Mikalatos
42.) Stumbling into Grace (Lisa Harper)
43.) Beautiful Outlaw (John Eldredge)
44.)  Because of Mr. Terupt (Rob Buyea)
45.) My life as a book (Janet Tashjian)

  For 2012 my two main goals are to write 52 letters/notes to the people in my life (basically one a week) and to get back into shape (along with half of america). I have lots of other little goals as well, but for now that's all I'm going to share.  I'm quite excited about this new year and all that it holds...I hope you are too!