Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Vacuums and Other Blessings of 2008

2008. Only hours left of her. So, what will I take away?

My first full year of blogging. Which gave me an outlet and brought to me friends, old and new. I am especially grateful for all of my new writer friends, who can't possibly know how much their validation and readership has meant to me. Through them, I found new opportunities to sell my writing, and that always feels good. Because of them, I am garnering inspiration and the courage to do something with it!

I sold 8 articles this year, and was also featured on iVillage with "Stop at the Eleventh Hot Dog Until Next Month". That was cool.

I got to interview Nicholas Sparks!

Eleven years of homeschooling transitioned into a new phase of life when the kids went to school.

I had my first blogging miracle:

It was early in the year. I was studying the Law of Attraction after a bunch of hype on Oprah, and wondering if there was any validity to it at all. I read The Secret, and wondered even harder. While wondering, I opened my scriptures and received my answer, a manifestation of the Law right there. I realized the law of attraction is all just secular gobbledy-gook for faith. And I know there's validity to that. "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find."

At about this same time, my vacuum died. It was ugly, and after several weeks of lots of kids and no vacuum, it got uglier. I was testy, to say the least. I really, really like clean carpets, and we had no money to buy a new vacuum. I posted about my plight on my blog, and I day-dreamed of clean carpets. I visualized them. I pushed the vacuum in my mind's eye and heard that delightful sucking sound that gives me such a thrill. And that night, a miracle.

There in my inbox was a gift certificate for for the price of a vacuum--which happened to be on sale that week at Amazon, and which also happened to have a no sales tax and free shipping offer attached to them. And it was from a reader from another country whom I'd never before met, nor spoken to. Well, it was really from an angel. And her note said simply, something like, "We've been recently blessed beyond measure and are trying to share the blessings out a bit. Buy a new vacuum."

When I emailed her in shock and disbelief and complete humility, her reply was, "It's not just from me, Jenna. The moment I read your post I felt one of the strongest promptings I've felt in a long time. Your Heavenly Father loves you very much and wanted to ease this burden, I think. ~hugs~ I love you too."

She didn't know me beyond the words on my blog, and yet she was my sister, my angel. And I'll love her forever. I think of her every time I vacuum, and we call it our Miracle Vacuum. It's running strong.

That Law of Attraction, boy. That's some heavy-duty stuff.

2008 brought all but one of my siblings together for a reunion in Arizona. You remember that, in May. And I got to meet my sweet blogging friend, Piper, in person there!

2008 brought me the opportunity to write a play, my first play ever, and have it performed just a few weeks ago on a stage with a full set and everything in Arizona. Wow.

2008 gave me the opportunity to grow closer to my children, and to apologize to some people I hurt long ago in my past. Foolish pride.

In 2008 I made the decision to go back to school. Weeks away!

2008 gave me a minivan! And a wheat grinder! And some food storage! And my piano tuned, a most thoughtful Christmas gift from several of my piano students. (you know your piano is out of tune when your students' parents conspire to get it tuned for you!) I couldn't be more grateful.

2008 gave me so much more, in blessing and in hardship. But mostly blessing, I think.

2008 gave me room to grow.

Thank goodness for 2009.


Annette Lyon said...

That police story is purely amazing. Wow. You've had quite a year. Here's hoping that 09 has more ups than 08 and fewer downs!

(I'm so glad I've gotten to know you bloggy-wise. I hope to someday meet you in real life.)

Mrs4444 said...

I love your attitude; it was a great year. Also, when I read the car story, I saw the car as a metaphor for your marriage. Read it again and you'll see what I mean. Awesome.

Shop Girl* said...

Wow... you've certainly had quite a year. I hope that 2009 is less... eventful... for you. :)

I really like the style of your writing, it's open and honest, and I was really touched by the vacuum story. It's nice to know there are still some good people out there.

Luisa Perkins said...

What a miraculous year! You inspire me constantly.

Josi said...

It's amazing when it's all written out like that, isn't it? Let me add that you're equally a blessing to others--you've made a difference in my life this year and I wish you all the best in 2009.

Lesley said...

Wow, incredible stories! I admire your positive attitude in blogging. I tend to want to whine and moan and get it out in writing on my blog and am learning that's not always the best place. I am going to have a lot more faith this year, as I'm inspired by your story of faith.

jjgb26 said...

reading your blog had me sit down and think of my 2008 and realize that it was a great year and hopefully have a great 2009

Jen Gordy Burnham