Wrapping Up '08

You know you're getting old when you leave a New Year's party at 10pm. Getting a sitter on New Year's Eve seemed too much of a task and Kaelyn had a good time anyway [thanks Melissa and Emily!]. But this extra time allowed me the opportunity to squeak one more post out of this year.

Overall, I loved 2008. As Frank would say, it was a very good year. I had the opportunity to travel to Dallas, St Louis and Louisville a couple of times. I caught a foul ball, had someone pay for my photography, made it on ESPN.com and even redesigned the blog. Great times.

I will also remember 2008 as the year I crammed my brain with more information than I thought I was capable of consuming. I'm wrapping up this Masters degree at X [will graduate in May] and started teaching at my alma mater. Although I read fewer books, I gleaned a ton of new material. This is transforming me; I actually feel like I'm starting to get a feel for my ministry style.

And speaking of this, I feel like I had a great professional year. At the beginning of the year, we knew some key people would leave Echo and it would be difficult. Even though this was scary, we knew God would provide for us. And He has in big ways. We made our [increased] budget and have some new people who are really energizing our congregation. It is very cool. This past fall, we eclipsed two personal milestones:

1) Echo is now the longest ministry that we've held. Surpassing three years doesn't seem like much, but this is where we plan on spending the rest of our lives. Also, we really "feel" this ministry. There is not the slightest doubt in me that if someone offered me the "perfect ministry gig" [high pay, little work, national acclaim], I would turn it down. This ministry is perfect for me. We feel completely at home.

2) We've lived in the same place longer than we ever have in our marriage. We discussed maybe upsizing here, and finding a house in the neighborhood, but there's no good reason for it except to maybe give Kaelyn a yard. But we've realized that she has everything she needs to make her a normal, healthy little girl. And we love our neighbors. And since I finally changed my drivers license yesterday to our current address, I think we're pretty settled.

So while I'm sad to close the door on such a good year, I'm sure there's another one right around the corner.

Happy New Year!