2011 in Review

me practicing at the examiner's for my piano exams - I loved the baby grand!

Eighth December, 2011.  It’s hard to believe this year has almost come to a close; it has zipped by so quickly!  Looking back at Twenty-Eleven, it’s been full of so many highlights.  It has been an amazing year for me – I have learnt so much this year.  It’s been a year of stepping out into new and different things, doing hard things, going deeper in my relationship with God, and learning about God’s world and His purposes for us.

I was thinking the other night – this year has been like a roller coaster ride you see on the Monopoly board or on ads for Disney land.  Not that I’ve never actually been on a roller coaster but this year has felt one big ride.  God bought me a ticket, strapped me in, and whispered in my ear, ‘hold on!’ and then he takes me on this topsy-turvy, upside-down, inside-out journey that can be very unnerving but at the same time, I don’t want it to stop!

God’s worked in me a lot this year.  C.S Lewis paints a beautiful picture in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  When Aslan appears to the boy-turned-dragon Eustace, he tells Eustace to ‘undress’ before going to swim in a waterhole.  Eustace tries to shed his scales and eventually does lose a thin layer, but it doesn’t change him.  He tries again and a third time, but nothing happens.  Eventually Aslan steps in to shed his scales for him.  Aslan’s claws go painfully deep into Eustace’s skin, and it hurts Eustace so much he thinks he will die. But, when Aslan is finished, Eustace is finally and completely free of dragon-hood and the horrible scales that surrounded him.  God does that to us too sometimes – he reaches down and pulls off ugly scales, and it hurts, but we come out clean, free and refreshed.

I took piano exams for the first time in August (theory) and October (practical), which were some of the hardest things I’d ever done, but boy it felt good afterwards!

John 15 has become a favourite chapter of mine, on abiding [living, walking] in Christ and loving our neighbour.

God’s been shaping in me his vision for his Church – His bride – and I’m not just talking about Sunday mornings, but how Christians are supposed to act and live towards the world and towards each other.

Mum, Dad and I have had lots of conversations on school.  I’ve had to accept that homeschooling, and the things I will learn, is allowed to look different than a public school system, and that I have to have faith in my parent’s God-directed decision to homeschool me.

God has taught me a lot in the last six months on my identity in Christ – more on that later!

I’ve been praying all year for God to teach me to pray better, and I think that he’s answered that prayer.

The Law has been bugging me for a few years.  A few weeks ago Mum and I spent an entire morning talking about the Law and how Christ fulfilled it all, so that I could be free from it.  He wants His Law to be written on my heart (which can happen thanks to the Holy Spirit given to me) instead of on tablets of stone (see Jeremiah 31, Hebrews 8)

I’m sorry to say that I’m not really happy with my blog and my consistency, but I want to improve that.  Thankyou all you lovely people who encourage me just by commenting and all you amazing bloggers I’ve *met* this year!  Please continue to bear with me – I’m slowly learning the direction to take with this blog and what it will look like!

Love to you all!

xo

Jess

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