I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that 2012 was one for the record books. In all honesty, it was probably the best year that Josh and I have ever experienced and the blessings have been poured out in an abundance. You see, it was 2011 when we had the vision and the dream and did a lot of the work to make our life's dream happen here in the Bluegrass State, but it was 2012 that saw those prayers, the hard work, the financial commitment, and the worries and stress pay off when we planted TurningPoint Church in February. Since that day it's been quite a ride and as much as I'd love to tell you that life has slowed down, it certainly has not. If anything, it's just as crazy and just as busy as it was before launch, but it's... well... different I guess. Last year it was a frantic, busy pace with the added uncertainty of whether or not this idea of a church would actually be a success. This year it's been countless dinners with people who have come through our doors and want to learn more, new member classes, small groups, mom's group meetings, leadership trainings, and really just connecting with this new, and quickly growing, church family. And to say that we've seen some pretty incredible things would be an understatement. I've seen couples on the brink of divorce restore their relationships, a single mom discover the radical love of Jesus only to be followed by meeting the man God had for her, people break free of addictions, and folks who had turned away from God and lost all hope find true freedom, happiness, and joy. To think that this all just happened in the past ten months only makes me more excited for what's to come. But before I say goodbye to this one, I'm going to take one more look back at some of the highlights of 2012:
I celebrated my second birthday in my thirties... and I have to say, the thirties are good!
As I mentioned above, we launched TurningPoint Church. 285 people showed up that first day and it was more incredible than we had even imagined.
Our sweet Jacob turned two. He is the most energetic, stubborn, hilarious, spirited, bruiser of a boy that I know. I love him to absolute bits.
We spontaneously baptized close to 30 people, most of whom had either never been in church or had left for a long time and finally came back home. Included in that bunch were my sister, brother-in-law, and father-in-law. It's still the most joy-filled service I have ever been a part of.
Reminded myself that I still got it and finished a half marathon in decent time. Granted, I didn't do much for the rest of the year, but I think that will be changing in 2013. It was, also a great reunion with my Florida girls, who ironically, are mostly not living in Florida anymore.
Had a lot of fun times at the pool and in the backyard. I also went on my first business trip post-babies and stopped in to see one of my best friends before heading home. It was like a one-day vacation, which was only as long as I could stand without my family there, but lovely nonetheless. And just because it was still one of my proudest accomplishments, I think I should post this as my June picture to document this feat... yes, that's me. Please disregard the lack of vitamin D going on here. You might go blind:
Got away with the family to have some quality time and some much-needed R&R. I'm already making plans for this coming year's vacation as it was such a lovely time.
We made our first Ironman attempt... and it went very wrong. Sure, to most this would not be a significant addition to the year-in-review list, but the fact that we turned right around and kept on trying makes it important. If you want something bad enough, you never give up. I'm glad my kids will know that story as they grow up. Another big milestone was Jake's first day of pre-school. It took about a week for him to decide he likes it, and now it's one of his favorite places. He only goes 2 mornings a week, but it's a great time for him to be social and learn in a structured environment, and for me to get some one-on-one time with Lil and also keep up with work, the house, but apparently not the blog as of late. Ha!
Josh hit the big three-oh and our sweet Lil turned one. Josh and I celebrated by going to Louisville to see Wicked, which was pretty darn awesome and highly recommended, followed by dinner and the world's largest dessert. We also celebrated Lil with a lady-bug (or Lilly-Bug) themed party. I have to say, I know I'm bias, but she truly is the sweetest, happiest, most loving little girl on the planet. She steals the hearts of everyone she meets, which worries me for her teenage years, but is just a testament to her demeanor and personality. I want to squeeze her until her eyes pop out... in a non-creepy way of course.
We truly enjoy having four seasons here and really loved the fall this year. From the pumpkin patch to trick-or-treating, we really made the most of it. I also organized and led our first women's retreat, which really sparked my confidence, purpose, and passion to lead the ladies in our church well.
We heard the words, "Joshua Mauney, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!" over the loud speakers in Panama City Beach. Considering that he's worked toward this for a whole year now and was spending upwards to 25-30 hours each week in training, they were a sweet reward for the both of us. This month was also filled with friends visiting and the birth of my fourth nephew, Sam.
We celebrated our first Christmas with our TurningPoint Church family, which was pretty special. It was also the first Christmas that my parents live here, so we had lots of family fun. I fully intended on doing a recap, but now I doubt I'll ever get to it!
And just so that I'll always remember, here is the year in review in numbers of our church plant's first (almost) year of life...
- 65 - The number of churches that launched through the ARC this year
- 285 - The number in attendance on launch day at TurningPoint Church
- 365 - The number in attendance on an average Sunday
- 1000 - The number of individual, separate guests who have filled out an information card
- 40 - The number of people we have baptized
- 221 - The number of people who have committed or re-committed their lives to Christ since our doors opened
- 30,000 - The number of dollars we gave to missions this year, mostly to support new up and coming church plants
That last number makes me tear up a little. When Josh and I dreamt this thing up, one of our goals was to be a generous body... but God blew us away with what He could do! For those of you who are unfamiliar with church planting, this is definitely not the "norm," but I think it's a testament to the heart of the pastor, my husband. What flows over the head pours down onto the body and there is nobody that I know who works as hard, prays as much, pours into people, builds up leaders, and believes in this thing down to his bones as much as he does. I know it's not all about him, but I also know that God does His work through His people, and He's doing some mighty things here in Lexington. But... there's still work to be done!
If you want to see a glimpse of the bigger picture that we're a part of, please take a moment to check out these year in review resources from the Association of Related Churches. I think you might see a familiar face on the right of the page, and if you have the time, can download the video (it's about 3 minutes long) to see the full story of our church! Pretty cool, eh?
Happy new year to you and yours! I can't wait to see what 2013 brings!