It's been an interesting ten years. We lived in four different dwellings. We lost loved ones. We expanded our family. And after starting the decade employed by Cincinnati Christian University, I end it working there as well . . . with a couple of stops in between.
As we close the door on this decade, we're still not sure what to call it. I'm thinking that people will just reflect back on this decade by referencing groups of years (for example, "sometime back between 2005 and 2007 . . ."). So if we don't know what to call it, how will we remember it?
I've read a few decade-ending retrospectives calling this "the forgotten decade," but, as for me, there was plenty to remember about it. So for my last post of the year, I offer to you, the top ten unforgettable moments from my life past ten years.
10. Buying our first home (September, 2002). I distinctly remember the moment I knew we were going to purchase our place in Deerfield Township: I felt almost ill. The responsibility seemed overwhelming. And God blessed us on the back end, helping us sell it on our own in just three days. We miss that home, but love our current urban abode.
9. The starting of this blog (November 23, 2004). I know, this seems a little vain, but blogging has been a significant part of my decade. I've built relationships with people through this thing. And considering that I've kept it going over five years now as other blogs lay dead along the roadside, I'm thinking this thing will last even longer than I imagined.
8. My academic pursuits (2000-2009). I can't nail down a date for this one, but it was a good decade for adding letters after my name. I never thought I'd be an eternal student, but what I've learned through this schooling will continue to impact my life and ministry throughout future decades. In keeping with this theme . . .
7. My collegiate teaching experience (July 7, 2008). Again, I'm not sure I ever imagined that I'd be an adjunct professor, but I absolutely love it. Well, actually, I love everything but grading papers. I feel almost at home in the classroom. I look forward to the opportunity to teach more in the years to come.
6. My first marathon (May 3, 2009). I use the word "first" because I'm planning on running it again; this is ironic as I swore at mile 26 that I'd never do this again. But the sheer sense of accomplishment I felt after crossing the finish line is something I'll never forget and it's what's motivating me to do it again.
5. My hepatitis (February 2006). Look, it was absolutely horrible. I wouldn't wish it on anyone else. But those two weeks (just after the birth of my daughter) hit me harder than any sickness I've ever had. I wasn't fully recovered for four months. I didn't like it, but I won't forget it.
4. My mission trip to Venezuela (February 2004). I had never really been on mission trip before and yet I was leading this one. Fortunately, my high school Spanish classes were still memorable and I was able to communicate with some of the locals. Caracas was a beautiful city and I hope to make it back there one day.
3. Our vacation to Jordan/Israel/Paris (February-March 2005). This was the trip of a lifetime. Two-and-a-half weeks where all we had to do was soak in the big wide world. It was non-stop memories, with some serendipitous moments thrown in for fun. Israel almost felt like home. We're definitely hoping to make it back there in the decade to come.
2. The founding of Echo Church (October 16, 2005). I really believe that this is the journey that will define my life. It's been a non-stop lesson in faith, patience and perseverance. But the past four years has been an immeasurable blessing. I'm excited to see what the future holds as Echo emerges from infancy towards adolescence.
1. The birth of my daughter (February 12, 2006). I remember it was after a few weeks of hospital waiting; I never took to sleeping in that hospital lounger. I remember snapping a picture with the clock just after 10pm. I remember seeing the doctor holding a gangly leg. And I still remember the wonder that lingers with me still today. Even when she drives me crazy, she makes me smile. Hands down, Kaelyn's the best thing to happen to me this decade.