I say it almost every year (about this time), but I want to say it again: "What a year!" What a faithful, gracious, loving, wonderful God we have! Some of the "significant" times of 2011:
1) Worked at the hospital on New Year's Day. I volunteered for this day, because I'd rather work--get the holiday pay--than to hear coworkers whine about having to work...just give it to me.
2) TWENTY-THREE inches of snow on February 1st. The very first full day of Founder's Week at the Moody Bible Institute (here in Chicago) saw the 3rd largest blizzard in recorded Chicago history...it was breathtaking, awe-inspiring, and DEEP. That large shovel in my hall closet came in real handy....because we had 7-feet drifts against the front door of my apartment building at the time...
3) My 49th birthday was on a Sunday...and lots of friends were so kind to celebrate with me....wonderful food, deep fellowship, and I felt truly loved. The 50th is coming up....
4) I moved from my beloved Logan Square to East Rogers Park....I really didn't want to move, but due to the "downsizing" in my paycheck, I couldn't go any further in the hole than I already had fallen. (After all, I'm not the Federal Government...)...but the LORD provided a wonderful place. My friends, Joel and Janet Ristuccia moved from the apartment they were renting on a Thursday, and I moved in two days later--that Saturday. I'm grateful for good neighbors, a nice place to live, and for God's provision in my life.
5) My Grandmother Fields graduated to Heaven on May 17th...and thanks to the generosity of a precious friend, I was able to fly to Alabama, and be there for the viewing and funeral. This was also a treasured time of seeing friends--some I had not seen in 30 years or more....Granny is in glory....rejoicing, worshipping Jesus....and we'll see her again very soon.
6) On June 27th, I assumed a new position at Rush University Medical Center. I became a Clinic Coordinator 2 in the Rush University Medical Group Float Pool. I am still a full time employee, but now I work all over the Medical Group....and so far, so good. I have a wonderful supervisor, and work with some tremendous people....and I have my weekends free!
7) The Lord has brought some very special friends into my life...who have won a place in my heart very quickly...one is a high school teacher/football coach---and now a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corp. So very proud of him...Brandon, you are a wonderful man, and tremendous friend.
8) Had the wonderful privilege--again thanks to the generosity of a precious friend--to attend the Homecoming Weekend festivities at my alma mater, Lee University in Cleveland TN. Had the glorious thrill of seeing so many people that I have loved for so long...and who have loved me through it all. I can't begin to say what this meant to me.
9) Worshipping regularly with my Moody Church family---the very center of my "universe" here in Chicago....and God has been so good.
I'm excited about 2012.