Happy New Year!!!
I realize, given what I'm about to post in this blog, that I'm egregiously behind on my postings. But such is life and I have my own excuses (namely Christmas as a minister-it's a slightly busy time of year) but regardless. I've been absent from the blog for a while but...here I am.
During my "blog break" I thought about why it is I blog in the first place. I mean, I really don't think there are untold numbers of people who read this thing. Maybe 10. However, I feel that I have things to share and that maybe-eventually-someone else will read something I've written and get to thinking about it. So it's really just a public forum for me to jot down my thoughts and beliefs about certain things. I toyed with just letting the blog go, but decided that the discipline of writing on it every few days would be good for me.
Now, I'm not one for making New Year's Resolutions-saying I resolve to do something has never really gotten me into gear about anything. I do realize, however, that the new year is a time for us to stop and reflect on what has happened in the past year and what we would like to accomplish in the year to come. It's a spring cleaning in a way, but one that happens in January. To be perfectly honest, though, I find Lent to be a much more helpful time for any kind of personal evaluation and cleaning up. That may just be me, though. So in the spirit of the New Year, I figured I would give a short summary of my 2009, and then go on to what I would like to accomplish for 2010 (part of which involves this blog). So, without further ado:
2009 in Review
January 1 2009 didn't feel like much of a new year, to be honest. As a person who is still set to a school calendar (even though I'm not in school at the moment-I hope to be soon and I also work with high school kids who are obviously set to a school calendar) January 1 has always felt like it was in the middle. But it was a new year nevertheless. R and I spent it with two good friends at their apartment drinking Bourbon Barrel beer and watching The Office. It was wonderful. My brother was home for the first time since his November cancer diagnosis, and it was good to be home with him, as opposed to in a hospital room or in the house he was renting (although it was a nice house, it wasn't home). School started, and then my paternal grandmother passed away very unexpectedly. My sister couldn't attend the funeral because of her job, my brother was in the hospital for chemo so my mom went out there, and I traveled to PA--through a crazy snowstorm no less-to be with my Dad. I preached at her funeral, which was especially poignant as my Gorgeous Ma was looking forward to my June ordination. While this might sound bad, though it's not meant to, I'm glad hers was the first funeral homily I gave. Barack Obama was inaugurated while I was out there for the funeral-never had I felt so much hope in a new president.
February I went to Canterbury, which was awesome as it's my favorite city in England. I also started getting rejections from the PhD programs to which I applied, and thus the job search began. That took up most of my spring, and to be honest I found it to be a pretty stressful and maybe even horrible process. I felt alone in the search, but that could just be because it was a crappy time for my whole family, I got rejected from every program, and I wasn't finding any job that would have me because I was going to be unable to move to their town. Commuting wasn't an option for many of these churches. And, on top of everything, the economy was busted and no one wanted to hire an assistant. Ugh. That was the word for February through April really. And even into May. The bright spot was that N's scans at the end of his chemo showed NO signs of cancer. Thankfulness is not the word to express how we all felt at that moment. We continue to pray over the next year that it will stay gone.
But praise God I did find a job (I think it was finalized in June, or late May-one of the two) and I graduated from YDS. Then I headed home for the summer. It was really great to be home. My nephew turned 3 and gets more and more fun every time I see him. My family was closer, I would argue, after my brother's illness and so it was good just to spend some time healing with everyone (although I don't think it was a conscious healing-it was a healing-by-presence). The hard part was that R was up here, and I was down there, and we didn't see each other for something like 8 or 10 weeks. Thank God for Skype!!!
And then...THE WEDDING!!!! It was an absolutely perfect day. I think maybe I blogged about it, so you can see what I said there. Perfect is the best word to describe it. And the honeymoon was AWESOME. We went to Disney World (I hadn't been since I was 7) and I think I may be addicted. It was so wonderful-I want to go back this year! And every year, really.
The fall brought changes. I moved into R's house and we've been working on making it our house. I started my first September without being in school. My job is great, but I admit I feel such a pull toward the academic world that it was really hard not starting classes this fall. I started PhD applications (again), however. By December I'd finished 9 applications, and am now praying that I'll be able to follow my academic vocation next fall. Otherwise it's time for more discernment, which will be hard as all discernment inevitably is. Good, but hard. R and I are adjusting the married life just great, I think. It's funny though, people would ask me pretty early on how it felt to be married. I said it felt the same, only we see each other every day and have rings on our fingers. I don't know if everyone feels that way, but because we'd spent a couple of summers living together we knew how one another operated, and didn't have that adjustment to make when I moved in permanently.
That's my 2009 in a nutshell. Inevitably I've left things out, or glossed over things. Some are because it's another person's story to tell. Some because it didn't pop up on my radar right now. And some because I didn't feel like writing about it. But there's a basic overview of 2009.