2007: Shades of Gray

Another year is behind us: our 6th together as a married couple and our first as parents. It has not been a year like anything we could have planned or even understood as we experienced it, but we survived it as a family, and we’re getting closer to being able to say we’ve learned from it. As is my custom, and with your permission, I’d like to take a few minutes to review where we’ve been…

We started things out in 2007 learning how to be parents. I’m proud to say that we were pretty well prepared, and didn’t hit many things we didn’t know how to deal with. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a challenge — or a joy either.
Like someone used to say about his parents, our little guy “hit the ground running.” As soon as we could, we brought him to youth group, and shortly after his one-month birthday, Benjamin was traveling across the border to visit his other home country. Soon after that he was on his first youth retreat, and learning how to swim.

It was about at that point that things got interesting. A trip through a glass window started a long string of… challenges that would pursue us throughout the year. And despite remaining steadfast in who we are and in what we believe, sometimes those things don’t stand up against life on their own.
Sometimes people don’t really see who you are.

Meanwhile, the more practical challenges of our pursuit of this adventure began to take their toll. Looking for a break, we decided to take our first vacation ever as a couple… and the hits just kept on coming!

So we ended the year with the wounds, both physical and emotional, still healing. Nonetheless, there are plenty of good things that we take away from 2007…

– Our son continues to be a healthy, happy boy, ahead of his developmental curve and a delight to be around. And then we found out that we would become parents again when we were given the gift of a baby girl that we can’t wait to meet.

– We got to help disciple and guide a dozen of the most incredible teens we’ve ever known, and then send most of them on their first missions trip — then stood back and watched as God challenged them and changed them.

– We got to see my parents “retiring” the way I want to retire — on the missions field in Asia.

– We made huge progress toward solidifying our own financial dreams and goals, thanks to the job I stole from some poor American.

– And if nothing else, we learned a thing or two about ministry, technology and life from some truly amazing people here in New York.

This has not been the easiest, or happiest year that this humble blog has recorded, but it hasn’t been unambitious, and we don’t leave it behind with any regrets (except for the part about putting my arm through a window… I’d probably do that one different, given the chance.)
There will be lessons to absorb from the things we went through this year, but those will present themselves in due time. Right now, we have all of 2008 in front of us, a growing family to guide, and a lot of wonderful friends and family to help us through it.

As always, stay tuned right here to discover with us what God has planned next…

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2 thoughts on “2007: Shades of Gray

  1. In the midst of difficulties and trials that you never imagined would come your way, you have remained faithful to God and determined to follow Him wherever He led. God knew you had that strength of character, now you know it as well. Lesson learned. Well done.

  2. We just visited baby boy Hart (William) in the hospital and Brian and I couldn’t believe that it was this time last year that we visited you guys when Benjamin was born! He has grown so much this year! Even if he was your only accomplishment in 2007 (which he was not), it would have been a great year. We can’t wait to meet Abigail! God Bless your growing family.

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