A Recap Of Sorts

Yesterday I started a long post (IMAGINE! A LONG, RAMBLING POST! FROM ME!) about how 2008 probably won’t go in the record books as my favorite year. I mean, it’s been an incredible year, but it’s also been an uncomfortable one. I feel like I’ve seen my selfishness and my sin through a magnifying glass, and there have been several times when I have thanked God for the refining and then asked Him if maybe it might not be time for a mountaintop. Just one. Just one little teeny mountaintop. Por favor.

I think God likes it when I use Spanish.

Anyway, the more I’ve thought about that post, the more I’ve realized that it pretty much reeked of whine. And I don’t like whine. So I’ve decided to turn my year-end (semi-) frown upside down and talk about some of the happy stuff of 2008. Because I like the happy stuff! Happy is good!

So. The happy highlights.

1) Uganda with Compassion International – Life-changing, heart-breaking and perspective-wrecking. It was all that and so much more. Marriage and mama stuff aside, it was the greatest experience of my life. The bloggers on our trip completely inspired me with their creativity, their hearts and their humor. I can’t express how deeply that week affected me, and how even now, almost a year later, it ripples. Every single day.

2) “God Speaking” by Ronnie Freeman – I bought this CD right before I left for Africa, and I listened to it almost non-stop on our flights. There’s this song called “The Other Side” that was playing when I landed in Chicago to meet the other bloggers, and it was one of the most moving moments of my whole life. I cried like a baby. And right now a song called “No Changing That” is playing on my iPod, and I’m all teary-eyed again. It’s one of those CDs where the lyrics hit me so hard that I could’ve sworn Ronnie Freeman had been reading my journal if, you know, we actually knew each other. I will love it for a lifetime.

3) Dave Barnes – He makes me laugh. And he writes a fine song. And he loves Africa. And Alex and I sang his song “A Lot Like Me” all summer long and we liked to break it down with some smooth dance moves when we’d get to the instrumental part. Good times.

4) Deeper Still Las Vegas – Unbelievably convicting and inspiring and moving. And a bit of a watershed moment for me. I’ve never been able to write about why it impacted me so much because I can’t really articulate it, but it changed the way I look at life in the Bible Belt. And as an added bonus, Melanie and I had an unexpected surprise in our hotel room.

5) The Monkey Alarm – Hands-down the hardest I laughed in 2008. Maybe even in this decade. Thanks for that, Shannon.

6) My podcast buddies – Melanie and Travis are like family to David and me, even if one of them whose name is not Melanie talks incessant Pathwords trash and makes fun of my accent since he’s from NORTH CAROLINA and all. I love them and their sweet families so much.

7) Carpool line phone calls with Daphne, Merritt, Emma Kate, and Melanie – It seems like at least a couple of times a week I get to carpool line super early. So instead of just sitting there, I call friends. I’ve had some mighty fine discussions / belly laughs / therapy sessions / vent-a-thons during those ten or fifteen minutes of wait time. Plus, Emma Kate has a knack for telling forty-two stories in ten minutes, so it works out beautifully. She has a gift, I tell you.

8) “The Office,” “30 Rock,” and “Saturday Night Live” – They made me laugh and clap my hands.

9) Compassion Gloria! Tour – David and I made a spur-of-the-moment trip to Nashville one Thursday night to see the Gloria! concert. So many sweet friends were there. The music was fabulous. It was HAPPY OVERLOAD for my relational personality. I smiled until my head hurt. And then we drove home.

10) Todd and Marti’s reception dance – I was totally, completely floored. So surprised. And I may have squealed.

11) The five year-old asleep down the hall – The little man has grown up so much this year. He is one of the funniest people I know. He wakes up happy. He loves school. He is loud as all get-out and prefers jumping to walking, but he still has such a tender, sweet heart. Last night he and his daddy were playing Wii, sitting side-by-side on an ottoman, and every few minutes he would reach up and pat his daddy’s back. Such a sweet memory.

12) People – From family to old friends to new friends, people have been the sweetest blessing of 2008. People I’ve known all my life and people I’ve known for just a little while. People at church and at work and at Bible study. People in Africa. People at conferences. People who sponsored kids through Compassion and donated mosquito nets and provided shoes for kids who don’t have them.

I feel like I was surrounded on all sides this year by people who are kind, generous and encouraging.

Thanks for that.

Happy 2009, y’all.

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  1. your monkey alarm post was the first time i ever read your blog…oh my…the tears and snorting…i’ve been back every day since!

    happy 2009 to you!

  2. You have such a way with words. After reading through your Uganda trip, I had to send your monkey alarm post to all of my friends. They loved it too! I just read Rock the Reception and had to stifle my giggles to keep from waking my husband. Happy New Year, Boomama!

  3. Waving farewell to 2008 is NOT hard for me and oddly enough a few of your best memories also are on the list of bests for your loyal readers. The monkey alarm for sheer what the heck laughter tops anybody’s list. Rock the reception was a charmer – especially for those of us dance challenged as it were. The older I am allowed to become the more I get it – good and not so good are all part of the package and mountaintops sometimes make me have a nosebleed. Amen and come on 2009 –

  4. Southern Gal says:

    I’m so glad I discovered your blog through Annie. You make me laugh and I need that laughter more than you’ll ever know.

    Oh, and I SAW that reception dance on TV! It must have been before I started reading your blog cause I was blown away to know that bloggin’ Ala-bammer lady was there. One of those ladies looks like Jamie Lee Curtis, too.

    Happy 2009!

  5. Happy New Year Boo Mama!

    I have to say that my 2008 was better because I discovered you, Big Mama and a few other blogs. You have made me laugh, you have made me say “awww!”, I have shed a tear and most of all, you have made me think.

    And for that, I am thankful. : )

  6. Okay, not to sound goofy or clueless (which I think I will)…please tell about Pathwords! Where is it and how do you access it? Or have I missed it in another post. Please do not think that I missed the whole point about your 2008 year-end post. It was a really good one, but I cannot stop thinking about your references to this game. Also, do we get any holiday Sissy and Martha stories? Pleeeaaassee?!

  7. P.S. Have you played the internet word game Eight1? Now that is addictive and so fun :).

  8. Happy New Year Boo Mama! This past year you have made me laugh till my sides hurt, cry till there were no tears left, and smile till my cheeks hurt. Thank you for sharing this past year with me. I can’t wait to see what 2009 has in store!

  9. Happy New Year Boo Mama!

  10. bye bye 2008! happy new year!


  11. Oh dear… I could say that just simply finding out about Pathwords turned my 2008 frown upside down..but in reality, it was finding out about you, BooMama! You truly are a highlight of my day, with your sense of humor that keeps your faith from getting too sticky-sweet. (that was meant as a compliment, although I’m not totally sure it came out that way). I don’t even know you and I can see the growth you’ve experienced through reading your blog. God is faithful, and He is good.. ALL the time. May 2009 be filled with many, many ways to glorify Him! Blessings….

  12. Your humor has helped me get going on many a morning this year. I started reading you this past summer and have really enjoyed our “times” together. Thanks for bringing a spark of fun to my days. Happy New Year!

  13. Sophie,

    Thanks for being the kind of friend, who cares and loves and turns her frown upside down. Mountain-top or not, you are a blessing AND you bless others so much.

    God is going to continue to walk with you all through this path–and it’s gonna be GOOD!!

    Love and prayers,

  14. The monkey post is still so stinking funny. Happy New Year.

  15. The enemy always want us to remember the things we don’t have or the things that didn’t happen. Thanks for looking at the Truth in your year!!

  16. Happy New Year

    Don’t you need to make a quick run to Tupelo???

  17. Great post! Thanks for sharing your joy (it is so much more encouraging than if you had shared your “whine”)

  18. And a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, Sophie! I hope it is the best you’ve ever had!

  19. Lotsa laughs and things to be thankful for in the past year if we put away the cheese and whine for a bit.

    Happy Old Year!

  20. {*clink!*}

    Here’s to a great ’09!

    Happy New Year!

  21. Your “monkey alarm” post was one of my highlights of 2008, too HaHa! I was in your neck of the woods this past weekend visiting family. http://www.flickr.com/photos/39751759@N00/3153663183/ Hope you have a great new year!

  22. Starting to blog has been a great adventure this year (I would say greatest but I did become a grandmother so that has to be number one!) and then discovering other bloggers like you…well, that just is icing on my cake. I always look forward to reading what you post. Best to you and your family in 2009.

  23. Right back at ya.

    Fun to think that new doors that will open to things we can’t even picture in 09, isn’t it?

    Have a safe and happy NYE!

  24. That should have read: “Fun to think that new doors will open to things…”

    I gave you an extra “that” because I like you.

  25. I love ya! H

  26. Oh my goodness, I saw that Rock the Reception episode! I remember feeling so terribly sorry for that poor fella! But what a great job he did! And your Monkey Alarm is still one of the funniest posts I’ve ever read! Thanks for making me smile this year.

  27. Happy New Year, BooMama! I appreciate your take on the world. You make me laugh out loud and think about life in new ways. Rock on, friend!

  28. Happy New Year, Sophie!!

    Love, Mis

  29. Maybe 2009 will be the year that we, you know, actually meet face to face.

    A girl can hope :)

    Prospero Ano Nuevo.

    Yes, God doth like it when we speaketh the Spanish.

  30. Wishing you a blessed New Year Friend! You are such a gift to all of us “friends” who get to read your thoughts and stories and experiences each day. Thanks for all the great posts & looking forward to a great year ahead. May God be the Glory! Hugs to you, Kim

  31. I have a quesion. This may not be the place, but I am hoping someone can answer for me. We currently sponser a child in India through an organization that is not Compassion International, we got started at a Casting Crowns concert last year. Lately I hear more and more about Compassion. Can you, or someone who knows tell me what might make Compassion better since we are looking into taking on another child. I mean I can go their website, so don’t just send me a link, they all say basically the same thing. I want something first hand. Thanks so much for your time!

  32. You and BigMama crack me up! I found you guys from Angie Smith’s blog back in July and I’ve been here ever since. So glad to have “met” you both. Thanks for the laughs!

    Happy New year to you and yours!

  33. I like your approach to your 2008 recap. You made me start thinking of the positives to the past year instead of the negatives… thanks! Happy New Year!

  34. OK, BooMama, I just have to confess. I have started going in to my profile and DELETING the line that says I’m taking on the Pathwords challenge, because it showed up so much there that it was embarrassing. I do believe that hiding evidence is one of the hallmarks of addiction; is there any PWA* group that you know of that I can join?
    *PathWords Annonymous

  35. Just wanted to drop by and let you know that we are in the process of making your cornbread recipe to go with our lucky peas and peach cobbler. You have won my husband over with this recipe. And he’s the one that cooks it…

    Happy New Year!

  36. Right back at you, m’dear. And, by the way, it’s a testament to your fine writing skills that when I read the monkey alarm (TM) story I laugh harder than I did when it actually happened. ;)

  37. Happy New Year! I love, love, love Dave Barnes- so glad you put him on here!

  38. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  39. What a fun recap of 08. Happy New Year to you!

  40. Sarah Kate in WA state says:

    For making me laugh, for making me cry, for making me think, and for challenging me to keep my focus on Him…..thank you!! May 2009 be filled with His goodness and grace for you and your family.

  41. Amanda M. says:

    I’m so glad that you included Deeper Still Las Vegas and Melanie/BigMama on your list…they are on my Happy Thoughts of 08 list too!

    I’m sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what God will do in 09!!

  42. We were just at a wedding this weekend, and in the middle of the oh so tender bride and groom dance, you heard a big ‘needle scratching the record’ sound, and the music changed to crazy and everyone in the wedding party ran for the dance floor and started gyrating all over the place. Made me giggle outloud! I expect that couple is going to have a FUN marriage.

  43. Wow – I just recently discovered your blog and reading some of these old posts made me laugh out loud at work! Thanks for that.