It’s been almost a year since I’ve posted on this blog (sorry about that friends!), and there are TONS of things I could write as I reflect back on the year that was 2016. As I sit on my couch looking out at a rather snowy and enchanted enchanted looking January 1 of 2017, I’m overwhelmingly thankful for the good things this year brought. To recap:
- We’ve been in the Vancouver area (South Surrey if you want to get technical) this whole year, and I’ve continued my studies at Regent. It’s been awesome and full of stretching, growing, and the general exhaustion that comes with being a grad student.
- My kids continue to grow and learn how to do stuff, which is crazy and awesome. I continue to learn the depths of grace as I watch my own children and learn how to parent (sometimes giving grace to my children, sometimes receiving it from them).
- We went on a big crazy summer road trip/tour which we called The Incarnation Tour. We drove from Vancouver, BC to Hamilton, ON and back, staying with friends, playing house concerts and Compassion Sundays, and trying not to go mad from the hours in the car together. It was an amazing 5 weeks full of tons of memories, and I still need to edit together a video recap from the footage we shot.
- I got to be involved in leading worship in churches across Canada and talk about releasing kids around the world from poverty in Jesus’ name at many Compassion Sundays. All told, I had the privilege of being a small part of seeing almost 100 kids sponsored, which is awesome.
- I read. I read LOTS. I finished 31 books if my Evernote file of books is correct, and while many of them were for classes and assignments, I loved reading most of them. Highlights include: The Prophetic Imagination – Walter Breuggemann, Beholding the Glory – edited by Jeremy Begbie, For the Life of the World – Alexander Schmemman, Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace – James B. Torrence, You Are What You Love – James K.A. Smith (also Desiring / Imagining the Kingdom, which were also great), Culture Making – Andy Crouch, The Spirituality of Wine – Gisela Kreglinger, Gilead – Marilynne Robinson, Orthodoxy – G.K. Chesterton, and My Name Is Asher Lev – Chaim Potok. I could add a bunch more to that list, but if you’re anything like me, your list of books to read is already overflowing.
I’m also really looking forward to 2017. This will be a year of change and transition for us in many ways, but we don’t really know what that will look like yet. I’ll be done my classwork at Regent for my MA as of May (if all goes to plan) and I’m starting to dig into my final project which I hope to have done next fall at the latest. That means two big things. First, we’ll likely be moving somewhere this summer. The somewhere depends on where God calls us and opens doors. I’m hoping to end up back in local church worship ministry in some capacity, and I would love to still be able to do some Compassion stuff and keep writing (music and otherwise) and recording. Secondly, with the final project comes some new music and recording. I’m really excited about that, and excited to see how what I’ve been reading and learning about in the classroom will come out as in songs for the local church.
On a personal level, I’m hoping to continue to build some good habits (or more fittingly “liturgies” in the words of James Smith) in reading the Bible, reading books, and getting more exercise. Classic New Years Resolutions, I know, but worthwhile I think – even though the hip trend is to denounce resolutions and recognize that January 1st is just the day after December 31st, like any other day. I’ve got some thoughts on that and the rhythms and patters that surround and infuse our lives, but I’ll save that for another blog post… which I’m hoping will be published sometime before 2018 rolls around. Many thanks for reading this far if you’ve managed, and I look forward to tons of new adventures in 2017!