Looking back: 2013


2013 started off with a “blahhh” as I battled through 10 days of the worst case of flu I’ve ever had in my life and somehow, miraculously, Ben and Cadence did not catch it.

I caused a bit of a stir by questioning whether or not we really know what it means to be “pro-life.”

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My not-yet-one-year-old ate coffee grounds…and loved them.

I began praying for immigration reform in a big way.

I linked up with my writer friend Kelly and wrote this piece about how my daughters birth (and really all her life following it) turned me into a feminist…and then Rachel (freaking) Held Evans tweeted it and put it in Sunday Superlatives.  (fan girl moment MAJOR… for like the next month and a half.)

RACHEL!
I took a preaching class, and conquered my fear of public speaking.  Or at least I can stand on a stage without holding an instrument and not pass out now.

A couple of my lenten posts got picked up by FaithVillage.

Cadence was dedicated and had the most outlandish first birthday/we survived year one of parenting party ever.

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I made vegetarian sausage gravy for the first, and then second and third times.

I stopped shopping at Victoria’s Secret and their sister company, Bath and Body Works thanks to this crazy product line, because my daughter is not a sex object.

My friend Ben wrote a play, and it was awesome.

I, along with almost everyone else, watched with bated breath as Malala returned to school and shocked the world with her bravery, poise and commitment to peace.

The Catholic Church picked a new Pope…and we all began to wonder if it was okay to have a crush on the Pope.

I further explored gender roles and prejudices in the Church…and I called us all idolaters.

I learned about Christians for Biblical Equality and promptly joined them.

Some teenagers in our neighborhood wrote a rap and were awarded 30 fruit and nut trees for our neighborhood, and now we have a cherry tree in our front yard.

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A child told me that God doesn’t love bad guys, and I realized how incomplete of a Gospel we tend to preach.

My blog got a facelift thanks to the incredibly talented and gracious Doreen Piper and Beth Veglahn.

I went to counseling for a few months to work through the trials and transitions of life and becoming a mom, and it was one of the best decisions ever. Ever.

We went to see both our families of origin for vacation…
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Then on to North Carolina and we hiked a mountain in the pouring rain, because these are the things memories are made of.
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Ben and I celebrated three, THREE, years of life together as married folks.
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We took a van full of 3rd-5th graders to camp in the north woods and everyone survived.

I turned the church building into the city of Metropolis and became a super hero for a week.

(credit: Robyn Vining)

(credit: Robyn Vining)

There was a court decision in Florida that ripped wide open the deep racial wounds yet healing in the U.S. and I asked us all to listen and listen hard.

I found the ugly side of the beauty industry.

I preached my first sermon.  I did not die.

I spent the weekend in Pittsburgh soaking up wisdom at the CBE conference and hanging out with my beautiful sister-in-law.

Then I got to write a conference review for CBE’s Mutuality.

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We went to New Orleans with our church for CCDA’s national conference and I totally fell in love with the place.

Our church hosted a weekend with International Justice Mission, and then I wrote about how we get justice and mercy mixed up.

We discovered why Halloween is really scary.

Our pastor wrote a book. I’m in the process of discussing it here.

We joined the children’s museum and Costco on our “stay”cation and enter the ranks of full-blown grown ups.
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I tried to make this Christmas a little more sustainable.

I preached again, at least half a sermon (on Mary), and didn’t even shake in my boots this time.

I realized that:

  • You can state your opinions and beliefs very strong and very loud, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be heard.  You have to earn that right.

  • That sometimes you do just need to stop and smell the flowers.

  • That being in right relationship is more important than being right.

  • That we’re all just working our faith out the best we can, even the people that drive me nuts.

  • That there is such a thing as too much coffee or coffee drank too late in the evening.

  • That seasons of life really don’t last forever.

  • That it’s okay, and recommended, to ask for help.

  • That the only person who expects me to be perfect is me.

What I actually read in 2013

(you can see the COMPLETELY audacious plan here)

Half the Church – Carolyn Curtis James
The Practice of the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence
Unseduced and Unshaken – Rosalie De Rosset
Bossypants – Tina Fey
Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
The Eternal Generation of the Son – Kevin Giles
Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg
The Education of the Child – Rudolph Steiner
Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes – E. Randolph Richards and Brandon O’Brien
Dangerous Presence – Jason Butler
Exploring Exodus – Nahum Sarna
Formational Children’s Ministry – Ivy Beckwith
When We Were on Fire – Addie Zierman
A Love Like No Other – Pamela Kruger
The Real Mary – Scot McKnight

Here’s to 2013!  2014 has some big shoes to fill.
What are your top moments from the year?

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3 thoughts on “Looking back: 2013

  1. There’s such a thing as vegetarian sausage gravy? ooOOoh. interesting!

    Also – preaching class – what was that like, big takeaways? Did they talk about how to make any topic into three good points? 😉

    • Hi Beth!
      I used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for plain ol sausage gravy but substitute 1 package of Field Roast Italian Sausage and between 2-3 TBSP of butter instead of real sausage. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/03/drop-biscuits-and-sausage-gravy/

      My biggest takeaway from preaching class was actually to remember that – for the most part – everyone in the congregation wants you to succeed too. They’re not sitting there waiting for you to mess up, they’re not hoping you flub your words or forget one of your points, they want to hear a good sermon as you want to preach one.

      Thanks for reading! Happy New Year!

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