Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rachel's Favorite Things from 2011


2011 had so many wonderful highlights, I just wanted to do a post sharing them all together and thank the Lord for all He's done for us this year. :)

"My soul doth magnify the Lord" ~ Luke 1:6b

"O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together." ~ Psalm 34:3




  • We hit our 200 follower's mark! :) Thanks to all those who continue to follow our little blog. ;) We pray that God will use us!

  • Turned 25! :D
  • Continued in the book challenge...
  • ...and joined a media minimization for March (no more than 15 min. of email only per day; no tv)! At this point I was doing **3** challenges in March!
  • Completed the last month of the MOHL Bible Blast! It was so much fun, but also good to have that challenge. :)


  • Made plans for our TX friend's visit coming in June! :D
  • A trip to the CHAP conference in PA! We don't always get to go and this was the first time we've gotten to go *ALL TOGETHER!!* :D It was so much fun and it was a great family bonding time after so many hard times the past (then) 1-1/2 years of my dad's unemployment.
  • I published my first original recipe! Thanks Gooseberry Patch! :D *squeals*

  • the best part of this month was meeting 2 of our blogging friends: Sarah & Rose! :D Lord willing we'll be able to meet more of you, our dear blogging friends in future!

  • Celebrated Mom's 50th birthday with friends and family. :) {her birthday is in June, but we had guests then and mom was out of town I think? so we waited to celebrate till July.} I made a cake and lot's of delicious goodies - it was so much fun!
  • Trips to Longwood Gardens (fountain show!)
  • volunteered with our church's VBS {we've missed helping with this!! So much fun!}

  • Survived a hurricane {my first} and learned some valuable lessons about trusting God. :) {That made it to be a hurricane, a tornado, and an earthquake all in the *SAME YEAR*!!! :O}
  • Completed my first quilt!

  • Saw Sherwood Pictures new film, "Courageous"!! :D It. Was. *AWESOME!!!!!* {yes, I cried} coming to DVD January...EEeek! :D

  • Celebrated our 3-year blogiversary! :D
  • "More to be Thankful for..." (dad's trip to the emergence room) ~ Okay, this wasn't my "favorite" thing that happened this year...but it was another way we saw God working in our lives and that can't be missed! He is so good!

  • I started a new challenge on Young Homemakers ~ The 30 Days of Thankfulness Challenge! Each day myself and other blogger's (thank you to those who joined!) wrote about 1 thing that we were thankful for. :)
  • Entering in the annual Cake Contest for the Fall Festival at church with my Rose Cake design and yummy spice cake with pumpkin frosting. (I won).

  • Participated in a Christmas play at our church with my family! :) Such sweet memories!
  • Completed the last month of the Book Challenge 2011 having read 31 books!!!

* * *

A few favorite posts I *read* in 2011:
"Choose and Identity": by Miss Julia ~ This was one of my favorite posts I read this past year, by my friend Julia. :)

"Our Plans Must Fail" ~ "I never could have begun to imagine that the failure of my plans would mean the fulfillment of my dreams."

"Surrender the Staff...or the Snake": by Rachelle ~ This was only posted today...but oh what an encouragement it was for me! I didn't want you all to miss it! Please stop by my friend Rachelle's blog, Inspiring Daring, and read this amazing article about

"Luster" by our dear friend Ena (she's such an amazing writer!) - she was kind enough to let us re-post her lovely poem on our blog. It's about the real beauty of a young girl and not following after the world's idea's of beauty :) Enjoy!

"Better to be Happy Old Maids..." ~ by my sis, Jessica! A quote she shared from "Little Women" that really makes you think!

"Presenting Mr. Ashley Newton" ~ this is one of those "ouch" posts on courtship/singleness. ;)

{these are only a *FEW* of the good ones...I couldn't find all the ones I was blessed by... ;) I had these few bookmarked and saved.}

Favorite posts *I wrote* in 2011:
Being Daring in the Everyday Moments: part 1 & part 2 {a guest post on my friend Rachelle's blog}

Christ My Bridegroom ~ An encouragement in singleness and purity. :)
"...and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee." ~ Isaiah 62:5b

Lessons from Leviticus: Sin ~ Just some things God opened my eyes and heart to in the area of sin and what it means to Him to have sin in our lives...things I learned in my readings from the Bible.

"Having a Heart for God in the Craziness of Life": an MOHL post {this one's pretty self-explanatory)

"Content to be Single" ~ It's not easy being different from the world...and sometimes being single can be downright lonely (even in the midst of a crowd of people). But God has taught me and continues to remind me that I am His, He is in control, and that I can have "JOY"! Included in this post are some book suggestions on courtship, contentment, and singleness to the glory of God. :)

"Godly, Sisterly, Encouragement" ~ How God has used the area of friendships of all ages to teach me many wonderful things...

"Glorifying God in the Hard Times": and MOHL post ~ "...instead of wishing for a comfortable life, I wish for circumstances that will show off God's greatness and glory."

"Changing": an MOHL post ~ this one is about our devotional times and having a heart that desires God's word instead of just "going through the motions" of reading the bible. :)

"God's Plan for Your Year": an MOHL post ~ Some things God taught me at the beginning of 2011...that still reign true as we head into 2012. ;)

New Favorite Songs I listened to in 2011:

  • "Blessings" by Laura Story ~ sister in Christ from our church sang this and Jessica and I immediately afterward Jessica and I had to ask her what the song was. It talks about how the trials and hardships we face are the blessings and mercies of God in disguise. It's so true!
  • "In My Weakness" - this one talks about God's strength in our times of weakness and weariness.
  • "It's About the Cross" by a new-to-me music group, The Ball Brothers. Beautiful harmonies, powerful words.
  • "Courageous" - by Casting Crowns. I'm sure many of you know this one...written for the Courageous film that came out this year this song calls us to stand strong in the Lord and be courageous! :D
  • "The Precious Blood" by Sovereign Grace Music -- Just a beautiful song all around (my new favorite music group!).
  • "He Gives me Peace" by Christy Galkin ~ Peace in the midst of trials...this song never ceases to bless my heart and soul. :)


My word of the year turned out to be "anchor". Every year God chooses a word for's a tool He uses to teach me things about His character, about myself and how valued I am in Christ, and of the way God wants me to live, as well as ways to encourage me in my faith and Christian walk each day. :) I heard this word in many songs, bible verses, blog posts, and much more this year - "God-incidences". ;)


{source - my aunt shared this, I'm not sure if she took the picture or not}.

Well, so long 2011! :( It's been a bumpy, but great, year!
Thank you Lord for all you've had me experience this year...(good and bad).

Happy New Year!! May the Lord bless each of you!


Marie said...

I just went through your links and read some of those favorite posts... thank you for sharing!! :)

Rose H. said...

This is lovely Rach. I love how much of it just flowed out from your heart! :D Happy New Year, Rose

Julia said...

This is a great post, Rachel! I really liked reading through your year in tidbits! :D Like little M&M's! :D

Awwww, so glad you liked my "Choose an Identity" post. :D

Thanks for sharing those links to some of your favorite posts that you wrote this year! I will definitely be perusing through those! :D

I totally stole that cool 2011-2012 waves picture. :D I hope you don't mind... *ingratiating grin*

I know 2012 is going to be even more amazing and wonderful for the both of us! I'm so glad to be entering the New Year with you at my side as one of my bestest friendsies! :D

Love you very much!!

Chantel said...

What a fun post! :) I enjoyed hearing some of the highlights from your year and I was really glad to have you join me for last year's reading challenge, too! 31 books is impressive!!

I'm aiming for 18 again in the Reading Challenge for 2012. Will you be joining us again?

Rachel said...

Marie ~ I'm glad you enjoyed it...have fun reading the links! :) Thank you for stopping by and commenting! *hugs*

Rose ~ Aww, you are so sweet. Thank you my dear! :) Love you and Happy New Year to you as well!

Julia ~ "Like Little M&M's"...that is the 3rd analogy this week girl! ;) *giggles* Love it - you're so cute! :D Well, have fun "perusing". HeHe! Yes, I saw you "stole" the picture...looks quite nice on your blog too! *grin* No, I don't mind I borrowed it too. Aww, I'm glad to have you as my "Bestest Friendsie" too! :D *hugs* God is so good! :) Love you muchly too! Happy 2012 my dear!

Miss Chantel ~ Thank you very much! :) Thank you for hosting your's been a wonderful year of reading and learning and growing! 18 books is a great goal too! Yes, thank you I am joining for the 2012 challenge (and I just updated the sidebar button, actually!). :D Looking forward to another year of reading! I pray you have a wonderful year as well! :)

God's blessings to you all! :)