Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Year in Review--2013 Part 1

When the year comes to a close, I like to sit back and reflect on all the things the Lord blessed me with, the lessons I learned (both Spiritual and physical), and the many wonderful memories I made.
 Just to forewarn you, I'm going to write this post as if I am talking with you; I'm going to share and reminisce the moments that made up this year, so it might not be very systematic.  If you find this post to be a little "here and there and everywhere", just realize that I already warned you.  ;) 
 And I also should add that it will be a rather long post because it's really not feasible to stuff my family in a small description.  ;)  However, I will put it into two parts so that you will have a chance to breath half way through...

I will start with the Top Five Spiritual lessons in Part 1 and save the physical lessons in Part 2.

1) God is always in control.  Even when you feel like life is falling down around your ears, unbelievable things are happening, and nothing is ever going to be the same again, He is there... working behind the scenes with His hand of mercy upon you.

2) It is amazing how the Lord orchestrates things!  Time and time again I was so surprised to see God open doors that I would never expect to open right in front of my very nose!

3) Sin destroys.  It rips families apart, crushes relationships, and leaves painful wounds that may never heal.  I have been deeply grieved to see many people turn from The Way and fall due to sin rooted in their hearts.  Check yourself.  Our hearts are desperately wicked so that we don't even know what is in them (Jeremiah 17:9)

4) God has given us the power to do what is right, we are the ones that must choose between right and wrong.  When you make the wrong choices, repent and ask the Lord (and who you may have wronged) for forgiveness.  And I'm speaking from experience (thank the Lord for His mercy!).

5) Friendship is so sweet.  Be thankful for the people that you can call friends.  I have been so blessed by some certain friends that come to mind and how they have impacted my life.  On the coattails of this, realize that God brings amazing people across our lives and each person you meet is a Divine appointment.  Sometimes it's to help them, sometimes it's to help us.  You can learn something from anyone, but we must be humble and teachable.


I started the year off with a few lessons from my other violin teacher (oh!  How did I do that to my hair?!).  She is a Scottish Fiddler as well as a Classical violinist that has a lot of training in Baroque interpretations.  Because I was competing in a concerto competition with a Bach violin concerto (no, not the best competition choice, but it was all I had ready at the time!), I took a few lessons to really get the Baroque style down.

Three days before the competition, the back problems that I had been having for about a year totally climaxed and left me almost unable to stand up.  It was insane!  I will never forget what it feels like to try whip through a Bach concerto that sounds terrible because you are only focusing on standing up!  After my brother told me that I was sounding really bad (that's always great to hear three days before you have to perform), I hobbled off saying that I could barely stand up... my siblings were kind enough to offer the services of a wheelchair they don't have (no thank you!).  Thankfully I was able to get squeezed in at the chiropractor's office and praise God, I could stand without having too much pain by the day of the competition.  He is so good!
Jordan and I afterwards.  I do remember that it was very cold that day...

 Shiloh and I are Glock Girls!

 It was a huge blessing to go from this...

 ...To this!
The Lord blessed our family with a "new" van.  Because it was a Federal Detention van, there were bars on the windows and a heavy metal divider between the driver and passengers/criminals.  Before Jordan redid the van, we had fun putting together a video about... well, why don't you just watch it here!

And just as a side note, quiet moments on one of our car rides is rather rare...

Sharpshooters!  (Well, sorta.)
I love how we all have two rifles.  ;)

Helping this guy get a bull's eye.


I took over Directing for our World Changing Production movies!
 This was probably taken at 10:00pm when we started filming.  ;)  No, you don't get to see the picture of us wiped out at midnight when we finished!
This was such a fun movie to write and make: Terrific Results

Jordan won a concerto competition and played with the Jewish Community Orchestra.
This picture is Shiloh and Jordan after the rehearsal, while Eden and I...

 ...Are home alone and getting ready to have some treats...
(And the sign in the back is asking if it has a Kingdom purpose.  Yes, it does.  We are having sister bonding time!)

Jordan played a fantastic concert!

Quick!  Everyone is dressed nice and at the same place and the same time... Get a family picture!  (The story our of lives...)

This boy just melts my heart.

We took a family mini vacation up to Seattle Children's hospital to have Judah's heart checked.
Apparently this is the expression I make when I try to convince people that I'm not married...

Judah with one of the many test and heart monitors he had/has to have.
 Praise God, his heart is doing very well!  He also celebrated his One Year Anniversary of his heart surgery.  We are all so grateful for the Lord's care and protection over Judah.

While on the hospital grounds (Seattle Children's is a spectacular hospital!), we had fun hanging out and trying to look artsy.  ;)

Ballet pose!

 Spending time with special friends!

This is how we watch livestreams from the various conferences across America.


 Random picture after filming an audition.

Jordan played Saint-Sean's Piano Concerto No. 2 and I accompanied him on the other grand.  We had such a wonderful time doing this competition together and it was the first time I had an adrenaline rush before a competition (due to the fact of a not so good stage hand).  What do you do in a case like that?  Keep smiling.  Your audience will never know.
 I was so glad to have an excuse to practice piano again!  And I was totally thrilled when the Director of Piano Performance (at the university were the competition was held) asked me if my brother and I did piano duets "all the time"!

Jordan wins the Oregon Symphony's Wiscarson Competition!!!
(And we still need to film that piece...  I won't forget!)

 Playing Celtic prelude music with our Choir Director.

The highlight of our choir performance was getting to sing a trio with my sisters.

Enjoying the company of friends at a party after our closing choir concert.

The life of an Extrovert is awesome!

 Impromptu singing with friends.


We officially name our sibling quartet: One Accord.  And we got to play our first big gig!
 Mic check.  (Yes, I look guilty..)

One Accord!
Irish Ceili Dancing!
The dance events are the events that our family will not miss.

The event of the year is the annual Christian Heritage Conference.

Singing in the chorale is the highlight of the conference!

 At the conference I got to meet my special friend, Madi A. in person!  It has been such a blessing getting to know her.

It was great meeting Susi K. as well, who I have enjoyed being "email pals" with.


Out on the town with Judah.

Maybe May was a slower month?  Naw, we were just too busy to take pictures!


Hiking seemed to be the theme of June and boy did we see some spectacular sights!
 Siblings at Beacon Rock.
(The best part about this picture is the illusion that my hands are much bigger than they really are.)

Eden and I braving the waters of Lake Oswego!

A massive tree that we saw on our hike through the Lake O territory.
(By the way, this was when I found out that hiking in flip-flops isn't the best idea, but climbing trees barefoot is.  However, I managed to make it through the whole way without stepping on poison oak.  Just kidding!  There wasn't any.)

Do Not Disturb!

Part 2 will be coming before the year is out!  (In our house that means 11:59 at night...)


Madi said...

Thanks for sharing your year with us! It's awesome to look back at good times through photos. ;)

Bethany said...

It was fun (and maybe even hard) looking back over this year. Yes, I love at pictures! ;)

Elanee said...

Thank you for sharing Bethany!!!!! Your top five spiritual lessons this year are so similar to what God taught me this year as well. It is so good to be able to trust Him in the hard times. Thank you for your encouragement to me over the past year/s I have been so blessed by your example of trust in God, and standing strong in Him when everyone else seems to be compromising.

It was great to see pictures of your year, and your comments were hilarious as usual:) I think God gave you a special dose of humor when He created you:)
And BTW I'm still waiting to hear that piano concerto;)

Bethany said...

Thank you, Elanee! I am blessed by your encouragement as well. :)

Ha ha! You make me smile. ;)

Yep. And the other day I wrote down a list of piano stores so I could find a location with two pianos. :D