2013, Here’ s a Quick Top Ten to Remember You.

1. Of all the states there are, never thought I’d live in the one shaped like a chicken bone and known for whiskey, but as of July 4, 2013, here we are!

2. This year, I started my 5th clinical position I’ve had since graduation.  I’ve reasoned there should be a word to capture the profound overlap of joy and sorrow in my profession. JORROWFUL, maybe? Whatever it is, it must be all caps.

3. Luke and I have added paper-writing (him) and editing (me) to our list of evening activities. Words + meaning + theology + conversation= romance. I married the right man.

4. This last month was hard. Our beloved dog had a back injury and we didn’t know how things would turn out. I spent many December nights so very restless and worrisome I wanted to crawl out of my own mind. The experience gave me a raw and renewed sense of compassion for the dark and lonely places the human soul can inhabit.  Advent felt quietly desparate. It looks like she is going to be okay and we are still rejoicing. She is so, so, so dear to our hearts.

5. This year, I have sunk my teeth into the book of Romans, Paul Miller’s “A Praying Life” and Dave Benner’s “Surrender to Love.” I find myself increasingly full of faith that there is nothing better on this Earth than bowing and bending to God’s sacrifical love.  Romans 8 is like this beautiful, winged, blessing that I remind myself of every morning. A blessing with wings is like a benediction. And a benediction wraps us up before we are sent out– just like love should. This is precious and self-shattering.

6. Every summer, I have family reunions in Wisconsin. Never, has it been driving distance and this year it was! At 29 years old, I believe: genetics, family and tradition are very powerful and shan’t  be undersestimated. That is all.

7. If this is God’s green Earth, Kentucky is the capital. Think of an expanse like the Sahara, or the sea-bottom and then picture green, grassy carpet rolled out over top. Those are the meadows here.  The brightness and the beauty make me very happy to be alive and sometimes, it’s true, I feel like the frolicking horses. Right now, the frolicking horse in me says, “I CANNOT WAIT FOR SPRING”!!!!

8. I miss hearing Luke’s voice every Sunday. When he does sing, it is as warm and earthy and full as ever. And my  heart is still sing-songy for him.

9. Materialism has been a difficult area of spiritual formation for me. But, this year, simplicity seems to go down easier than ever before. We are not on the corporate, secure your retirement, invest in stocks, travel the world plan. We just aren’t. Sometimes, I am still jealous of the people that are. But mostly, I am very much okay with it and on some days, even grateful.

10.  We bought a van on Craig’s List this Fall. It is large and blue. And not quite cool enough to be Retro. But still: it has a bed, a sink, a microwave and limo-lights. The three of us, Aja, Luke and myself travel places in it.  Not all things are as adventerous as they sound, but I think this is.

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