My commentary on educational and other enriching activities that cause me to grow in knowledge, skills, and self-understanding, leading to personal fulfillment.

Celebrating 22 Years and a New Year

Today is the 22nd anniversary of my marriage to Jim. In some ways it is hard to believe it has been that long (I do not feel 22 years older); in others, it certainly does. Jim has been kind to me in 2014: three kitty sisters have joined the family over the course of the year. He unexpectedly gifted me with a beautiful and delicate necklace today for our anniversary.

2014 has been a year of both joys and disappointments…and a lot of changes for me and for various family members. I grieved the loss of my oldest and beloved cat, Calleigh duTwain, in June. I miss her sweet face and quiet love. I am fortunate to have retained all three of my part-time jobs. It is a blessing to work with my cousin MJ at Wayne State University and my sister Melissa at church and Birmingham Bible Institute. I have also assumed the role of webmaster for the church website, which I am enjoying. This fall I participated in a wonderful–and personally challenging–Bible study, Behold Your God, with my mother, sister, cousin, and niece Sarah. The biggest earthly blessing this year is continuing to share a home with my mother, who turned 90 in July. God is so gracious to allow me (and the others in the family) the benefit of her companionship and her counsel for as long as He has. The gift of time is so important. I am celebrating all of these things.

Tomorrow begins a new year, and we cannot know now what it will hold. I do know that–whatever comes–I have a God who does not change (Hebrews 13:8) and who can be trusted to work all things together for my good because I love Him (Romans 8:28).

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Time for a Break

The first Tuesday in December is typically the last night of the Birmingham Bible Institute fall semester, and so it was this year. Students in my Hebrew 7, Greek 7, and/or Greek 3 finished their course(s) with honor. Now it is time to take a break.

I was sorry to bid goodbye to Phil H. a week earlier. Phil took Greek from me when we were still using the first edition of Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek, and returned last winter to refresh his Greek skills. He and his wife are moving to Ohio, and I wish them God’s many blessings.

Although I will miss my students for several weeks, I am glad for a chance to rest and renew my strength (Isaiah 40:31). The reduced energy level associated with fibromyalgia tends to get worse with the coming of the winter months, and it is certainly true in my case.

I will also enjoy the opportunity to spend more time with my feline family. Currently numbering eleven, they range in age from 17 (“Googlie Girl”) to 2 (the sisters Jou Jou B, Jolie Fille, and Jenise). Jenise in particular–as the newest member of the family–is still acclimating to her new surroundings and will, I hope, benefit from some extra time and attention from her human mom.

Above all, I am looking forward to celebrating the births of my sister, Melissa, 59 years ago; and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, over two millennia ago. I am so grateful for God’s gracious gifts (2 Corinthians 4:6)!

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