Wednesday, December 30, 2015

For Hodgepodge Auld Lang Syne

It's the last Wednesday Hodgepodge of the year. I thank Joyce for faithfully hosting this meeting each week, and for keeping us thinking with her challenging and entertaining questions. (I guess the readers should be the judge of the entertaining part.) With 2016 upon us, I look forward to a new year, new hope, new habits. I'm not sure what that will look like yet, but I've shared some random thoughts below in  #8.
Now let's get started with her questions and my answers. Make sure to click over to visit Joyce and the others!

1. Share a favorite memory/moment from the week of Christmas.

I always love our Christmas Eve service. I have attended the same church for most of my life, and I remember singing as a child on Christmas Eve, and the excitement of the story, the songs, and the candlelight as we celebrated the birth of our Savior. Our sanctuary is always beautiful, and especially at Christmas.
This year, I was blessed to direct this adorable group of children as they sang (oh so enthusiastically) for the service. They sang Away in a Manger, and Angels We Have Heard on High. The great thing about directing children, is, that by the time they get on the risers, it's really out of my hands. :) At that point, they are making a joyful noise to the Lord. It's all good, and always appreciated by those in attendance. That's Haleigh and Ella Kate, front row on the right.
We sang the Glo-oo-ria song in honor of Gloria, my assistant director and friend, who passed away the day after Christmas. Gloria and I have attended church together since we were small children ourselves. She liked to tell the kids stories about our days in the children's choir, many years ago. We will miss her.
This is a photo of Gloria and one of our little guys who wanted to try out the piano (right before he took off out the door.) :) Rest in peace, Gloria.

2.  If someone wrote a book about your life based on the past year, what genre would it fall under? What would the title be?

I think it would be a memoir. There are many, many memories from the year, but adding three new family members made it a year to remember.

Courtney has already come up with a working title, so I will use it to present:

The Stewart Recruiting Class of 2015.

Piper Jayne Davis, born to Bryan and Jennifer, March 9, 2015.

Courtney Stewart, married to Adam, March 21, 2015.

Cayden John Stewart, born to David and Shylah, September 8, 2015.

 3. What made you feel patriotic this year?

I have written about this before, but I always feel patriotic at Purdue games when I Am An American is read.

I am an American. That's the way most of us put it, just matter of factly. They are plain words, those four: you could write them on your thumbnail, or sweep them across this gray October sky. But remember too, that they are more than just words. They are a way of life. So whenever you speak them, speak them firmly, speak them proudly, speak them gratefully. I am an American.

4. What experience from this past year would you like to do all over again?

My whirlwind trip to NYC with this group to see Jimmy Fallon, seems like a dream, and I would love to do it all over again.

5. What song lyric sums up or is a reflection of your 2015?

I am a fan of Joey + Rory, and this song is one of my favorites. Joey is an Indiana girl, and  worked for the previous owner at the same vet clinic where Jennifer now works. She came to our farm years ago, with Dr. J, to treat our old mare, Teddy, who was suffering from laminitis. After taking care of the horse, we came into our kitchen to warm up, and share a bowl of soup. Joey commented on the school pictures of our kids on the kitchen wall, as she is also one of five children.

Today, she faces a cancer diagnosis, and is currently back home in Indiana in hospice care. Her husband Rory shares their life and their story in his blog This Life I Live. His beautiful words reflect their deep faith, their hope, and their love for God and one another.

Rory recently wrote:

And so as the New Year approaches, we will continue to believe and trust that what is waiting on the other side of the deep, dark wood is something even better and more beautiful than our minds can even imagine.

Please join me in praying for Joey and her family.

6. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate 2015?  (10=stellar) Why?

I'm not great with numbers, so I'll just say, there were stellar moments, some not so stellar moments, and everything in between. Life is like that. And we try, as best we can, to give thanks. In all circumstances.

7. What part of the upcoming year are you most excited about?

I have a couple of trips planned, including another cruise with my besties, and a family trip to the beach.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I love this video by the talented (and adorable) JJ Heller. It made me start thinking about some things I want to do this year.

Eat less.
Move more.
Put down my phone.
Be present.
Clean a closet.
Or two.
Learn something new.
Make dinner.
Look around.
Close the computer.
Take a walk.
Pray some more.
Give thanks.
Show love.

That's 16 for 16. How about you?


Wendy said...

Visiting from the Hodgepodge. Sorry to hear about your friend. Difficult times but your random thoughts and video are great.

Paula Kaye said...

I am so sorry about your friend. I lost my best friend 8 years ago this coming January! One of the hardest losses I have suffered. What a tribute to your friend!! I love your additions to the family. Such sweet pictures. Visiting from the link-up! Have a Happy New Year

Mary said...

Thank you so much for sharing the music video from Rory & Joey, as well as the link to his blog.
I'm just a tad bit envious that you went to NYC to see Jimmy Fallon! What fun!

Joyce said...

I've been following the Rory and Joey story. Heartbreaking and beautiful both. I love your 16 in 16. I might borrow that idea : )

Cathy said...

I enjoyed your post and seeing pictures of your added family members. You are truly blessed.

It sounds like you have some great things coming in 2016. Hope you have lots of fun.

I like your list of things in 2016. I just told hubby last night that I don't really like to make resolutions but my goal in 2016 is to live healthier. I want to move more and eat better. Hoping we both will follow through.

Happy New Year!