31 December, 2012

Looking back at 2012

On the first day of 2012 I wrote a post about what I thought might be coming up during the year. There were less big surprises in 2012, a relief really!

  • We visit Australia in July. We certainly did. 
  • Motorhome driving holiday to Uluru while in Australia. This was the highlight of the year. This link will take you to all of the posts I wrote "on the road".
  • Increased professionalism of Japan Harvest (the magazine I'm an editor of) and increased responsibility for me there. Yes, this happened. I also became the Managing Editor of the magazine. More change has happened with the magazine this year than I believed possible.
  • More camping trips. We did three camping trips again. One was interrupted by a serious typhoon, where we had to find solid shelter for a day and night. Check out the post on that here. We also established a new tradition: camping on Thanksgiving weekend. 
  • At least one women's retreat and one mission conference. Yes, did this.
  • Another skiing trip with me to try out skiing next winter (hopefully I'll be injury-free) this time next year. After a year of varying concern about my knee, I did get to go skiing just before Christmas and it held up well. 
  • Keep blogging daily. 351 blog posts during 2012, and the blog was viewed 20,525 times during the year (barring today).
  • Keep going to the gym. I did, although not as often as I'd have liked at times. I didn't make it there during our time in Australia or for a month or two after that due to my knee and holiday busyness.
  • My eldest child turns 13. He did indeed. Now he's looking at 14 and moving into high school (year 9 in the American system)!
Here are a few things I didn't anticipate on Jan 1 this year:
  • My mother-in-law came to visit us in August for three weeks. She accompanied us on a camping trip to Nikko (north of Tokyo).
  • Wrestling captured our son's heart and I was shocked to find myself appreciating the sport too, in a different way to how you might suppose. See this post.
  • I wrote a 10 post series answering questions for a friend for her Bible College assignment. It began here and I was surprised at how people enjoyed the series.
  • Regarding blog surprises, this photo question post was one of the highest viewed of the year (possibly due to Simone blogging about it). Not something to brag about in my resume, but interesting nonetheless.
  • We had the first annual Japan Harvest planning meeting. It was a positive step forward, especially establishing magazine themes for the coming 12 months.
  • We held two Writer's Workshops, one in Tokyo and one in Kansai.
  • I travelled to Kyoto and Osaka, for the first time, and on my own!
  • I lost a tooth, actually it got wrenched out of my mouth by a dentist in Australia. Again, not something that makes front-line news.
  • One of the boys had the flu early this year, but it didn't pass to the rest of the family, thankfully.
So it seems I scraping the bottom of the barrel now.

One thing I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped, was writing. I was too caught up in managing Japan Harvest, and editing other people's writing. That job continues in 2013, but hopefully it will settle down a little and the processes we've put in place will enable it to run more smoothly and be less time consuming than it has in the past. We'll see if I manage to get some more writing done in the coming year. But that is really the subject of tomorrow's post.

We have many good memories from 2012. It's been a good year for the Marshalls as a whole. We've seen the boys grow (mostly) in good directions, especially our eldest. It also was the year that my first-born overtook me in height.

I started 2012 with this promise:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
And I finish with it too. I thank God for the good plans he had for me during 2012 and for giving me the strength to fully participate in them. I thank him for the Hope that he gave and continues to give as I face the future. I thank him for the Love that he gives, freely, that enables me to face the future, knowing that I'm loved.

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