There is really a lot I could say about this year. There was a lot of bad moments, but there was also a lot of good. One big thing that really shattered both my wife and me. Then there was another moment that led to a big life change which is coming in 2014. To be honest it has been a little hard for me to sum up the entire year as I have a lot of mixed feelings on 2013. On one hand I want to just write it off as a bad year, but on the other hand there was so much good that I want to hold on to. So as one of my favorite writers put it recently: “If we are going to heal, we must find something meaningful that came to us because of our tragedies.” –Donald Miller
So let me begin with the bad just to get it out of the way:
This year we got news that the church that I have so loved working at was running it’s third deficit year in a row. Due to that they were scaling back the position of Youth Minister to part time. This led to the decision that we needed to move on. We have been looking for a new place to go and have had some very promising leads. This is the moment that is leading to a big life change for us. It is very difficult for me at the moment because I have been juggling a lot of things in my mind about this. This has happened to me a few times over the past 10 years. After working in a church for 2 to 3 years there is something that happens that suddenly we have to part ways. I’m very tired of moving. I really just want to put down roots. I don’t want to be nomadic anymore. But as so many have told me recently this was the life I was called to. The unstable nomadic life kind of goes part and parcel with any ministry position. Needless to say, it’s tough. But one of the most wonderful things about this is that I have my wife with me now. Something that I have been reminding myself over and over is that wherever she is that is home for me. I really miss my family, and friends. But where she is I have those things. So I’m excited to see what we are able to make of our new beginning wherever we end up.
If you watched my Sermon from the 15th you will see that my wife and I endured a rather traumatic event this year. I don’t wish to rehash this or my feelings on the matter as I am still healing from it. I am still trying to find the meaningful things that have come from this tragedy. To be honest it’s been difficult as I have been trying to stay strong for others. I think really it would have been harder for us to move to a new place had this not happened. I guess that is one meaningful thing.
Other than that the other bad things were just small and insignificant. So no need to look at those. In fact I don’t really recall much other than those two.
I celebrated my 30th birthday this year, and we got to do a lot to celebrate it! This year we went to the two biggest cities in America. We visited Los Angeles and New York City. Granted, for an introvert going to a place with that many people can be less of a celebration and more of a “WHAT IS GOING ON!!! I NEED A VACATION!” moment. But both visits were incredible. We had a lot of fun in both places. In Los Angeles, we got to visit my mom and step dad. We went to Disneyland with them and it was a very fun experience. We got to ride a lot of the rides and do a lot of the touristy shopping things. I think we both liked California Adventure so much more than the original park… But that’s just us. We also had the chance to wander a bit and drove around Malibu for a while which was nice. In New York, we visited my best friends John and Casey. We also did the touristy shopping things there, and Casey was quite the trooper touring around with us since she was 8 months pregnant at the time. We got to see a lot of great landmarks and just spend time together, which is what makes a great trip for me.
Due to our big technology purchase this year, our xbox one. We were able to skype with the majority of both of our families on Christmas day! It was wonderful to be able to see everyone! We got to chat with all the nieces and nephews. That for me made it so worth the money. Well I also enjoy the games I have played on it so far. For us, well me really, being mediaphiles as well it’s awesome to be able to switch back and forth between tv, games, and netflix by just saying it.
Cathy’s mother came out for Thanksgiving. I think it was nice to have her family come and visit her for a bit. I hope that she had a good visit out here. You never can tell though since they are family and don’t really want to hurt your feelings about anything really.
Our youth group did something that I am so very proud of as well. We did an anti-bullying march in our town. We made protest signs, a flag, and we dressed as superheroes. We marched from the Middle school to the high school which is only about 2 miles. Not many people saw us, but we did post the photo of us outside the middle school. I think the photo made more of an impact though. It was incredible to hear how that one small act changed people’s lives. How it touched them and showed them that God has not given up on the world. That in itself is one of my favorite moments of 2013.
We have more to announce as well, such as where we will be going and so on…, but those come in 2014 when we have more solid plans. Over all I feel God was very present in our lives in 2013. Sometimes God is very hard to see, especially during the tough times, but still there nonetheless. I hope to be able to blog more in 2014. I think I may be able to as well, but we will see how our plans pan out…