I love the New Year holiday. I love the time of renewal and a sense of new beginnings.
But before jumping ahead to next year’s goals and dreams, I wanna look back on the top five events of 2009 and what I’ve learned from each one. I know this is a bit cliché, but it has been a year worth reflection.
Numero Uno – The Birth of Jude and Parental Whiplash
Typically, a top five list should count down to number one, to build suspense. However, most of you already know what the big one is, so I’ll start with the one event that has changed us more than anything we can think of: The birth of our son Jude on July 8.
It’s funny to think back on our conversations as we predicted what life would be like with a new baby. Our only visions were of bliss. Sure we heard it was hard work and that it would change our life forever, but for some reason we didn’t prepare ourselves for how difficult it would be. I’ve decided to name this naiveté: Parental Whiplash.
We were not ready. Yes, we read about and studied a variety of parenting methods. We learned about more natural and instinctive ways of caring for a baby. And we continued to eat organic foods (cause that’s how we roll). As good as all that preparation was, it couldn’t prepare us for the 8 weeks of colic that followed. We loved Jude with all our hearts, but at the end of it we had truly reached the end of ourselves.
Through those weeks, I re-discovered that the storehouse of my human resources is a wasteland compared to the magnitude of strength and wisdom of God that he offers so freely to those who ask. I’ll always enjoy learning, but in all circumstances God is ready and able to go way beyond what I have learned.
Deuce – Discovering St. Bartholomew’s Church
We started attending St. Bartholomew’s Church in January of 2009, mostly as a curiousity. Krista had encouraged it for some time, and we were in a place of wandering and wondering if we would ever find a church home that seemed like a fit. We had no idea that the Anglican Experiment would end up as the exact thing we were looking for.
For reasons I’ve already stated and for some that I’m still sorting through, we love our church home. It certainly caught us off guard, and was the best surprise of the year.
I suppose the biggest thing I’ve learned out of this is that no matter how well I think I’ve been able to keep God out of a box, he continues to show me where I have put divine expectations and boundaries up where none should be. He is the God of Being-Too-Big-for-Boxes (is there a Hebrew word for that?).
Number Next – Old Friends and New Ones
I realize that this could apply every year, but when you introduce a first child into the mix, it can mean newfound weirdness with your friends. I can’t completely explain it, but I’ve heard this from a few different people. However, I’m grateful for old friends and new ones who have not missed a beat and have continued to reach out to us, even in strange times such as these.
The lesson for me? True friendship is worth the hard work that it sometimes takes.
(Disclaimer: this does not mean that I’m seeking more “Friend Recommendations” on Facebook. Stand down, ye extroverts.)
Fourth – Our New House
Our new house takes the fourth slot in the top 5. We love the house and the neighborhood, and we look forward to seeing Jude grow up here.
As anyone who has bought a new house learns, we discovered that having a lot of money in savings was a really good idea, since the second you get the keys, the wall of the house turn into money magnets.
Ultimo – U2 in Concert
I love the fact that I’ll get to tell my son that I saw U2 in concert twice (at least). The concert in Atlanta back in October was a great show, and though I had a great time with Brian, I do wish that Krista could have come. She’s still yet to see them live. I hope another tour comes this way for her sake!
What did I learn at the U2 show? These guys are not even close to being too old, which became obvious about halfway through their main set when they rocked “Elevation” like a bunch of 20 year olds.
Happy New Year to all… Tomorrow comes with new beginnings, if you so choose to have such hope.