I probably don’t have to point out that this is past the mid-point in January and while most reviews are done in the days leading up to the New Year (oh yeah, Happy New Year guys!) or in the few days following, this one is belated. Maybe classically belated if I’m honest with you about my typical tardiness when it comes to these sorts of things.
So here is a (slightly late) apology for an extended absence from this blog and another (slightly late) apology for this review you never asked for in the first place. Cheers!
2015 was a spectacular year and that’s not an exaggeration. It’s not that there weren’t difficult times (there most definitely was) but it was an overall great year for us.
Together we learned a lot about friendships, family, culture, life, death, spiritual growth, spiritual disciplines, work, and perseverance in ways that I’m grateful for. He was and is faithful.
Some of the highlights:
- We got lost in Mobile, AL and got to adventure around there for a weekend. This was a much-needed break after a hectic year in seminary and we were surprised at all of the exciting things we could see there and the lessons the Lord had for us. You’d think that after moving across the country for seminary, we’d be pros at being independent and confident and that we wouldn’t feel pressure to conform to an invisible expectation of…whatever. But looking back, this trip was one way that God would “regroup” us. We were never to conform to some invisible societal pressure of… whatever or to be confident in our own independence. We were to be confident in the sufficiency of Christ and root our identity in him. This trip sort of set the tone for the entire year.
- Tam started at school. This was harder than I’d like to admit sometimes but it was really what was best for her. Her vibrant, sociable personality didn’t have a good outlet at home with her somewhat-introverted mom. It also wound up being better for everyone else, too. This was a huge lesson for me in humility about knowing my limits and trusting in God that he will take care of Tam.
- First Presbyterian Church celebrated 160 years. First Pres Crystal Springs has become a wonderful surrogate family for us in the last 3 years and we feel so honored to have been able to be here for such a momentous occasion. It was a great chance to reflect on how we stand on the shoulders of faithful saints who have gone before us.
- Anthony finished (another) semester at RTS. So much could be said about how proud I am of all that Anthony has accomplished at school and how relieved and celebratory we were that he had completed his third year at seminary. His schooling is a huge blessing but it’s hard work. We hold mini-parties at the end of every semester and this one was no different except that there was a sense of excitement to it all: he only had one more year to go!
- Rowan’s 1st Birthday. So much could be said about how this little guy has burrowed his way into all of our hearts and how much we’re touched by his curiosity and sweetness but I’ll stop short of writing an essay and say that he is loved but it’s not been a very difficult thing to do.
- We’ve been married 7 years. This one is hard not to gush about but I’ll save that for a later post. Let’s just say that there’s a line in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of the Island where Anne tells Gilbert, “I don’t want sunbursts or marble halls, I just want you.’ I will always say this of Anthony. Always.
- Anthony and I went on a vision trip to England. It was wonderful and beautiful and we fell in love with the place and the people. We are very thankful for both the trip itself and the people who helped us go. Anthony wrote up a summary of our trip that you can read but I’m sad to say that the Lord led us away from working with the church there. We still pray for the church in England and we’ve applied so many of the things we learned from our brothers and sisters there to our lives that it wasn’t wasted.
- We got to try the best fried chicken ever made. This might seem out of place on the list but if you’ve ever had the chicken at The Old Country Store in Lorem, MS you’d know it should make a yearly review. Confession: I never cared for fried chicken before living in Mississippi (chicken strips are another story) but this stuff is the stuff of legends. If you want to know more, they did a special video on the Mississippi Public Broadcasting about it.
- Anthony got Licensed. No not licensed to drive or shoot but licensed in his presbytery to minister. If you’re not Presbyterian, the process might seem confusing (it still seems confusing to me some days!) but here’s a short diagram of the process for a Presbyterian minister to become Ordained:
Under Care -> Internship (1 yr minimum in most)-> Masters of Divinity somewhere in here -> Licensed -> Ordained
See?! He’s only one step away from Ordination! Praise God!
- I finished my 1st year at Dead Reckoning. I’ve been working for these awesome peeps for a while as Director of Digital Marketing and Strategy and am happy to say that I reached the one-year mark and am still going. It’s been a blessing for me in many ways.
- Tam turned 4. When did I become a mother of a 4 year old?! She’s so delightful and I’m encouraged by the inordinate amount of love and kindness she has. She teaches me how to be a better person daily and we cherish her.
- We applied for the PCA MNA Church Planter Assessment Center. Yup. Church planter. More on that later but it’s pretty exciting.
Was is all candy and roses? No. There were nights of tears for all of us either from spiritual weariness, physical exhaustion, emotional upheaval, or somebody took our toys (that was usually the reason Rowan was crying) but it was a good year.
I’m very excited to see everything that God is going to do in the coming year especially since 2016 means that Lord willing, Anthony will graduate from seminary (!!!) and we will continue to pray for opportunities to serve the Lord.