Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Thanks for 2014

The last few hours of the year 2014. My son sits close by, watching fireworks.
We both prefer watching them from the warmth and safety of our home.

Looking back, I just want to write: 
Thank you, God, for this year.

In 2014, I got the gift of walking again.
A year ago, I was waiting for the second operation on my ankle. It was successful. After that, months of healing and exercise. These days, whenever I climb up stairs, walk briskly, run - I'm thankful.

In 2014, we had some great family times.
Everyday work and school: it's such a blessing to 'do life' together.
Holiday and weekend trips, board games, etc. are just icing on the cake. Fun, nevertheless.

In 2014, my 'work life' changed.
New tasks and responsibilities in these last few months. Lots to learn. Wonderful people to work with. (Though I'm still able to work from home.)

In 2014, I read a lot of good books.
Among the novels I read in 2014, these are my favourites:
Marilynne Robinson: Gilead
and Lila

Way back in February, after reading Gilead, I knew it was going to be one of my biggest favourites for this year. 
I'm so glad that I was able to read Lila this year, too.

Lucas, Jeff: Helen Sloane's Diary
and Up Close and Personal

I smiled, laughed and cried my way through these "diaries."
British sense of humour.
A loving, though not uncritical look at contemporary (evangelical) Christianity. 
Jesus is wonderful - despite the quirks of His followers.

For some reason, I found it really hard to pick non-fiction highlights. I've read plenty of good books, but to choose books that really stand out, that I still remember and refer to after several months... I wonder why that's more difficult this time. 

I've read Ann Voskamp, Shauna Niequist, Brene Brown, Gretchen Rubin - the sort of names that are on many people's 'best of' lists. Lisa-Jo Baker's Surprised by Motherhood was a great book, too.

I've enjoyed those books. They've given me lots to think about. Even though I'm not writing down and counting "a thousand gifts" every day, the book has made me notice the blessings of everyday life in a new way.

But I just can't put my non-fiction reads into a "top of highlights" list. Not this time.

Overall, I have read a lot. On my list, I have about 129 books I've read or listened to as audiobooks. About two thirds non-fiction, one third fiction.
Two thirds in English, the rest mostly in Finnish.
Roughly a quarter have been e-books, which is a new thing for me, but apparently it works. (I've been using the local library's Overdrive borrowing system A LOT.) I love e-books especially for travelling, though I'll never rely on just the tablet: what would I do when the battery runs out? ;-)

Let's see what kind of books and adventures 2015 will bring.

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