It is 2011 and I am excited for it, as 2010 brought so many wonderful things to celebrate: 10 years of marriage for my amazing hub & me; a new brother-in-law/husband for my sister dana; a new niece/daughter for my sister lindsey; new friends (and old!) to spend time with, fun new experiences with the boys, a new photography business…the list could be endless.

For many the new year brings resolutions and lists.  Promises for changes to be made, accomplishments to check off. Plans for new ideas, new things to try.  A commitment to do old things better — or just plain start doing the old things ‘for real’ this time. As much as I love a fresh start, a clean slate, a challenge, I’ve not been in the mood to make the leap and etch out these kinds of resolutions.

I’m the kind of girl that is more led by the intangible — the feelings that well up inside me.  I like to operate on love, laughter, friendship, and faith.  My days are full of spontaneity or intention based on how the Spirit moves me.  I like it that way. I feel the most accomplished by the things I feel verses the things I do.  (this photo is a perfect example – technically its not great/full of harsh, bright lighting, but its perfect to me because its my guys and their incredible/joyful laughter)

And then I saw this.  This, my blog friends, is a can’t miss.  This is my sister and brother-in-law’s personal blog.  They are both teachers, were married this past February, and together decided to spend a year teaching in China as a way to start their lives together.  You MUST watch this video of my sister giving out free hugs on a street corner in China on Christmas day.  As I watched my heart swelled, my eyes filled with tears, and I rejoiced.  I rejoiced in the amazing impact that one person could have on so many.  And as Brad pointed out, this is just like the impact Christ has on us.  Link here. (give it time if its slow to load…its worth it)


After watching it became clear to me that I can make resolutions that fit in with my nature and my current place in the world.  I resolve to make 2011 a year of touching others with Christ’s love.  From simple acts, like free hugs to larger acts based on the needs of those around me — I resolve give the best way I know how: with love, laughter, friendship and faith.  with spontaneity and intention.  with compassion and understanding.  And I promise to involve my boys as often as I can, so that they  can share in the blessings and continue to grow their hearts, souls and minds about what is really important in this world.  My prayer for 2011 is that we can all impact each other with great love and joy.  That we can all serve each other and make a difference.  If one person, on one Chinese street corner, can give so many hugs to so many strangers, just imagine what we can all do in 2011.  Off we go.  Together.

jen hunt - To Do: Add being more like Brooke Brown’s sister to my rapidly growing list of New Year’s resolutions. Thanks for sharing that. Beautiful.January 4, 2011 – 12:14 pm

Angie Thomas - What a talent God has given you! Your pictures are absolutely amazing. I am so grateful 2010 intersected our lives with LifeGroup. You are simply beautiful inside and out!

AngieJanuary 4, 2011 – 11:21 am

anne - oh man Brooke, that totally got me and didn’t expect it to. I just forwarded to my sis in law, a young life leader who I could totally see doing something like that. Thanks for including that. I wonder how it would take in NYC. I feel like people would just walk by or then again, may surprise us?

Anyways, happy New Year’s friend and hope to see you tomorrow? Love the laughter of Miles and Noah!January 4, 2011 – 10:38 am

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