I hope you had a wonderful new year and a very merry Christmas! I have certainly enjoyed a break from blogging but also excited to be back. 2012 was an incredible year for us. Our ministry and our family has never had a bigger year than we did in 2012. Here are my 12 favorite events from 2012 (in no particular order)…
1. Code Orange Revival. Although it feels like a lifetime ago, this did, in fact, occur in 2012. It was a whirlwind 2 weeks that had a significant impact on my life personally and on the life of our church.
2. Elijah’s baptism. There is nothing like seeing your firstborn express their own belief in Jesus. What an incredible moment.
3. Trip to Hillsong Australia. I was so proud to accompany my husband to Australia and hear him preach at not only one of the most influential churches in the world, but also one that has impacted my life personally.
4. Banner Years. Elevation is filled with moments where God came through. Banner Years is one of those moments for me. Our church believed God for something big. My husband and I gave sacrificially along with the people of our church and God multiplied it. My faith grew yet again.
5. Greater, a NY Times bestseller. When my husband released his 2nd book this fall we had no idea how it would be received. We were blown away at the response it got as the book made it’s way to the New York Times bestseller list.
6. An incredible vacation. Halfway through this crazy ride, we took a family vacation. The trip was a breath of fresh air for all of us.
7. Abbey turned 1. The first birthday is significant because you realize that you made it and if you can make it through the first year, you can make it through the next 17.
8. 7 Mile Miracle. Our team wove the most unbelievable Easter worship experience and many people came to know Christ.
9. Graham’s birthday trip. Our Graham Graham turned 5 this year. We snuck away for three nights with just him and had a blast. It is always so special to spend time alone with one of our kids!
10. Best Christmas ever. Because of our amazing weekend support team, I was able to sit and hear my husband present the gospel 10 times that added up to 34 worship experiences city wide (plus one in Toronto!) and I got to do fun stuff with my children in between. There is nothing like watching people stand and give their lives to Christ and there is nothing like doing church as a family.
11. 10 year wedding anniversary. My husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage this June and we can honestly say we not only still love each other but we also still like each other.
12. I officially took up tennis. I began taking lessons this summer for the 2nd summer in a row, only this year, I kept it up. I have played tennis almost every week since July and am loving it. If you know anything about me, you know this is huge for me as it is the longest I have ever played a sport (and actually the only sport I have ever learned).
10 years ago, on the hottest day in the history of outdoor weddings, I made the best decision of my life (besides giving my life to Christ) when I said “I do” to my husband.
Steven Furtick is a true man of God and I can’t believe God picked me to be his wife.
I cannot wait to see what the next 10 bring. If it is anything like the first, I am in for an amazing ride.
Getting to know people is fun. My friend, Nicole, has a phobia of vomiting. My mother will not drink coffee without half and half. My sister, Emily, always has a piece of gum in her mouth. My husband likes the small spoon, not the table spoon.
Today I thought I might share a few things you may not know about me…
- After having Abbey, I no longer like Dr. Pepper anymore.
- I love the show Downton Abbey. I feel like something has finally replaced ER in my heart.
- I have always thought myself to be a talkative person. Turns out I deal with stress by sleeping, not talking.
- I have decided our family is going to take up hiking walking. So far we have been to the Carolina Raptor Center and the trail at a local park. I got an Ergo Baby so there is no turning back. My husband doesn't know this but I am plotting a trip to a state park (maybe this Friday).
- Although I am a chronically late person, I am doing better about being on time. Turns out having to be out the door at the same time every day for kindergarten lit a fire under me.
- I prefer Instagram to Twitter. So far there are no meanies on Instagram.
- I don't consider myself an avid reader. I do consider myself an avid collector of books I would like to read.
- Most weeks, I only wash my hair 2x a week.
- I rarely sweat, even while working out. This would explain #8.
- I know nothing about plants and cannot keep them alive, however, the parsley in my herb garden has managed to live through heat of the summer and the mildly cold winter with no attention whatsoever. I think it's parsley.
I hope today you will take a second to love the little things about the people closest to you. Have a great day!
Today I want to take one last time to look back at 2011. It was a busy year, a year that God came through on many big things. But also a year where I was stretched spiritually grew a lot. So here are 11 highlights from 2011 (totally stole this from my friend, Stephanie’s blog) in no particular order. I also included links if I had blogged earlier this year.
- Celebrating our 5 anniversary with our Elevation documentary
- Having Abbey, our sweet baby girl
- Elijah starting kindergarten
- Preaching on Mother’s day and Labor day. Accomplishment!
- Moving my in-laws to Charlotte
- Trip to Haiti
- 3D Easter
- Trip to London
- Graham’s batman birthday party (our first sleep over)
- Spontaneous baptisms at Elevation
- First Christmas morning with just our family at our house
Happy New Year! Thanks for giving me a blog vacation.
I love time off. There is something about it though that makes you appreciate the regularities of life. Today I am back to our routine and ready for it. I am ready to face the year head on.
I haven't always been a believer in setting New Years resolutions. They seemed silly to me. But after being married to a man who takes setting goals and attaining them very seriously, I am becoming more and more of a believer. So what if I only accomplished 60% of my goals from last year. I moved forward. I made progress. And I am proud of what I accomplished. If you don't set any goals, you are guaranteed not to accomplish them.
2011 was amazing.
It was a huge year for our church. We celebrated our 5th anniversary. Doubled in size. Baptized 2000 people. Opened 2 new campuses. And really matured internally as a staff.
For our family is was incredible. We added a 5th member to our family, yeah Abbey! We also moved my in-laws to Charlotte. Oh, and my baby started kindergarten.
Personally, I saw a side to myself that I didn't know was there, in a good way. I grew up a lot. In my relationship with God, my personal habits and relationships. I did things I never would have been able to do 5 years ago. I was not perfect, but God stretched me this year and then He came through and for that, I am a better person.
I am ready to leave 2011 behind. Ready to move forward. I have goals for my home, my kids, my personal life and habits and more. I am not done setting my goals for 2012 (who says you have to be done by Jan1?) but I will finish them. One things for sure, I am going to read more, I have set a goal to read 12 books this year.
I hope you will take some time to look back and look ahead. Keep moving forward. Keep letting God work on you. And you can trust that the things God has in store for you this year, good and bad, are going to turn out for your good.
Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way.
My mom gets the credit for purchasing 99% of my Christmas presents (what must it be like to be a man and really only have to worry about purchasing only one gift, your wife's?). But I remember one thing my dad did every year… he stuffed our stockings with new pens, pencils and highlighters.
Girls love colorful pens and pencils. It was always so much fun to return to school in January armed with a arsenal of fresh ink. Maybe what made it meaningful was that he went to Office Depot and picked out pens for our stockings. Whatever it was, my sisters and I loved it. It became part of Christmas. As much a part as my mom always letting us open one gift on Christmas Eve.
I am not sure what traditions will evolve in our family. I love buying my children a new ornament every year. This year Graham picked Batman and Elijah picked Star Wars. I have also read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever two years in a row (well we have a chapters left). We'll see.
But I think the thing to keep in mind is that the things we remember about Christmas are not always the most expensive things. It is the little moments, and the kept traditions no matter how small they may seem to others, like new pens, that seem to stick in our memory and define Christmas for us.
There are only a few weeks left of summer. How did time fly so fast? I love summer, I am always sad to see it go.
This week I am taking a virtual vacation. I have never officially taken a break from blogging, and I think it is time.
I will still tweet some. If you don't follow me on twitter, you can at twitter.com/hollyfurtick.
So here is Abbey waving goodbye in her sweet little lobster outfit. I will be back Monday! Have a great week.