1. Godly Christian husbands for several of the many single female friends for whom I have been praying (for some for years!). The average age of the brides was mid- to-late 30s.
2. Healthy babies for married couples I know. I am particularly thankful for my little niece, who is my goddaughter. She learned to crawl, to clap, and to stand up by herself this last week, and I am besotted by her cuteness and proud of these eighth-month accomplishments. It was also so special to be there at the birth of my honorary nephew in VA. He is adorably round.
3. Good physical and mental health for me—no major depression, and the OCD is under control, the MRI and EEG scans were normal (and I got a migraine diagnosis at long last), and I didn’t break any bones or lose large quantities of blood (hey, in my family, that’s something!).
4. Passing my Russian language exam. Fourth time’s the charm!
5. Getting into the Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Diseases MS program. (Boy, I hope those turkeys give me a scholarship next week!)
6. A successful year selling my jewelry—I finished the year out of debt to myself, after some thirty-six months of in-the-red operations. And I have plenty of components, packaging and display materials with which to proceed.
7. Continuing and new friendships. God has blessed me by giving me a good Bible Study (and full of kindred spirits) to attend, and Christian friends on Georgetown campus, where they are sorely needed. He has encouraged me further by maintaining my relationships with dear ladies in DC, IA, VA, NC and SC and Russia, some of whom have been close to me for more than ten years. It is hard indeed to wallow in loneliness with such a great cloud of witnesses just a telephone call or an email away. And of course, I am most grateful of all for my relationship with God Himself—getting to know His character better is something I’ve relished this year and look forward to most in 2006.
Resolutions for the new year? Not really. Beyond-wildest-dreams hopes? Of course! Lessee…
1. Get first book published.
2. Oh, heck: get first article published in refereed history journal.
3. Be awarded National Endowment for the Humanities translation grant, so that I can go back and forth to Russia and finish “Two Motherlands, Two Fatherlands.” Get a book contract for its publication in Russian and in English by major firms.
4. Finish the MS in Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Diseases program and graduate in December.
5. Pass my History Ph.D. comprehensive exams and apply successfully for dissertation research-grants.
6. Have a fantastic romance and fall in love and get married to a good-looking smart and kind Christian guy and be pregnant with triplets by this time next year.
7. Win a jewelry design award.
8. Commission a tiara from Ricky Frank and wear it at my wedding.
9. Get my two volumes of Voyage into the Levant preserved, restored and rebound by a professional bookbinder.
10. Learn to dance. Better. This one might actually be doable. Anybody for volunteering to be my partner?