I am not a very good Christmas card sender.
I love photo cards and long, newsy letters that catch me up to speed on the lives of all my friends and family…but, alack, I rarely send them.
I have real “Christmas card slacker guilt” struggles – and well, it’s already past Christmas. So there you go.
Contents include: a short year in review, a few of my favorite things, and upcoming adventures (and it’s not very long)!
So, imagine you are opening a beautifully thick envelope. Smell it (it smells like cupcakes), and enjoy the red and silver confetti that falls all over your clothes and your floor. Here’s this year’s picture:
Brady and I had the awesome privilege of spending 10 days in Jordan and Israel. It was overwhelming and awe-inspiring all at once. Read the post (with lots of pictures and highlights!) I wrote about it here.
A short year in review
This year I was, because of my book Choose: An Invitation to the Best Day Ever Adventure, able to visit, speak, and lead worship at Madison Correctional Facility.
Because of MANY friends and family, I was able to give a book to every single girl who attended my speaking sessions. I wrote all about it in this post.
I have enjoyed traveling all over the midwest, hanging out with friends and talking about Jesus. Just before Thanksgiving I was privileged to speak to the staff at Shepherd Community in Indianapolis. They are doing some amazing things in that city. You should check them out!
Brady continues to be the best husband in the world (sorry to all the other husbands of the world, but it’s true). His vision, creativity, and unconditional love make me better. He sharpens me. Check out his blog, here – pretty good stuff.
Kayden keeps playing guitar and writing songs. She is halfway through her eighth grade year, which means that next year she will be at the HIGH SCHOOL WITH ME! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!
I can’t believe she is growing up so fast.
She recently played Wendy in her school’s production of Peter Pan. She also plays guitar for her youth group and continues to write music. Check out her YouTube channel here!
My favorite things
Here are just some faves from the past year!
My absolute favorite pencils: Blackwing
There is an artist I love to follow (his name is Austin Kleon) and I first learned about Blackwing from him.
For Christmas, my husband searched and searched for EVERY PENCIL Blackwing has EVER made. Gifts are my love language and Brady is SUPER good at gifting.
Here’s a little about Blackwing if you want to join the ranks:
Blackwing pencils were originally introduced by the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company in the 1930s. Their cult following included John Steinbeck and Chuck Jones, who proudly used Blackwings to create Bugs Bunny and many other Looney Tunes characters.
Despite this following, they fell victim to cost cutting measures in the 1990s and were discontinued. But, that didn’t stop devotees from paying as much as $40 per pencil to seize unused stock. In 2010, our company drew from nearly a century of experience in the pencil business to access the best materials in the world and bring Blackwing back for a new generation of writers, musicians, and others seeking a more natural existence.
Today, a portion of every Blackwing sale benefits music and arts education at the K-12 level.
New Favorite Coffee Shop: Mocha Lounge Fort Wayne
This local shop is fantastic. And it doesn’t hurt that the entire coffee shop is black and white. If you know me well, you know that my classroom, my wardrobe, and my favorite colors are black, white, and red (with a little gray thrown in here and there).
Book that’s making a difference in my life: The Practice of the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence
This year I read 29 (and a half) books. This was the most impactful. A very humble man, Brother Lawrence spent years practicing the presence of God – and his letters and thoughts are convicting and inspirational. Everyone should read this book. Right now.
In the words of this humble seventeenth-century lay Carmelite, “we must trust God once and for all and abandon ourselves to Him alone.” This difficult task necessarily requires perseverance and continual conversation with God in all activities great and small: “speaking humbly and talking lovingly with Him at all times, at every moment, without rule or system…” In reading these conversations, letters, and spiritual maxims, we learn the key to endless joy.
Upcoming adventures (or my “phrase” for 2019)
This year, 2019, is going to THE BEST YEAR EVER. I know, I know. I frequently use my mantra: “Today is the best day ever because if today were my last day, I would want it to be my best day. Therefore, today is the best day ever.”
But recently I felt that Jesus asked me to take that challenge to the next level. No matter what comes this year, I have CHOSEN to make it the Best Year Ever. And I’ve challenged my friends to do the same. So in January, I am hosting a 30 Day Challenge. We’re reading my book together, discussing the book, and making a CHOICE for 2019 to be the Best Year Ever.
Blessings to you and yours this year,
Carrie (and family)
My most popular post of all time: 10 reasons you don’t NEED a boyfriend (or girlfriend) in high school
My post about our fast: Eating to Live: why I will never diet again
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