New Year’s is one of my favorite holidays because it combines looking back and looking forward, two of my favorite activities. I love the chance to reflect on the 365 days that have passed and then make goals, dream and pray about the next 365 days, or in the case of 2012, 366 days. 🙂

2011 has been a very eventful year for my family, as I am sure it has been for other families as well. What I’d like to share is a countdown of the top quotes/scriptures/songs/journal entries that have had the greatest influence on me this year.

8. “The greatest enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but good choices which are not quite good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best.” —Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (May 25)

Subconsciously, this has long been a driving force in my life, but it came to the forefront of my mind time and again this year. I was faced with several decisions and this thought, this holding out for the best, was the main factor that influenced those decisions. I pray that I continue to have courage to focus on this truth!

7. Mary Englebreit’s artwork just flat out brings a smile to your face! I came across this poster on Pinterest this fall and it is the quote on my blog profile. Just to be is a blessing…with Christ, this is the absolute truth! And it simplifies your day to focus on that truth.

6. “Sorrows come to stretch out spaces in the heart for joy.” & “Where grows the golden grain? Where faith? Where sympathy? In a furrow, cut by pain.” —Streams in the Desert (Jan. 18 & 20)

Truthfully, I discovered this line about two years ago, but it was made even more real in my life this year. This school of thought will begin to make more sense as you see more of what happened in our family in Part 2 of my post. It is such a beautiful and hopeful image!

5. The final entry for Part 1 is a song by Selah called “All My Tears.” A group from my studio danced to this song about three years ago. It was beautiful and haunting…definitely one of my favorite dances. Little did I know that when we performed this in May 2008, it would be the last time that many of us would ever dance together for various reasons.
   Fast forward to October 2011. I received word that a friend of mine had been killed in a car accident. She was 20, and had been one of the dancers in “All My Tears.”  The morning of her funeral, I had been thinking of that very song, and as it turns out, they showed the dance at her service. That’s when it hit me. It is our passion as Christians who are dancers to dance for an audience of One.  Now she truly was in the presence of our Savior, dancing for Him…. Listen to the song below and just imagine…

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