Well, my first year blogging resulted in three posts.
Raise your hand if you're surprised (if you know me).
I'm realizing that although I'm far from being Type A, I need specific goals or i'm a "bee with one wing" as my dad likes to say. So, maybe this year, as much as I'd love to say that I'd like to blog weekly, I'm just going to shoot for 4 monthly...then, maybe I'll pleasantly surprise myself.
My husband Scott started a blog in late 09. And not surprisingly, he's been great about keeping up with it. It's called Digital Centering -check it out! He told me that I need to focus on writing shorter blog entries and maybe that way I won't feel as though I need to take a ton of time to pull off blogging. Me...short-winded? I can only hope.
By the way, Happy New Year! Here's our family Christmas pic (courtesy of our friend Steve Cook).
I know most posts this time of year are about Resolutions, top ten lists for the past decade (and what do we call the first 10 years of the 2000s?), and "what I was doing 10 years ago today" kind of stuff. So as briefly as I can, I'd like to debrief my past decade & reflect a bit. I thought it could be not only cathartic but also a good way for us to get acquainted if you happen to be reading this blog.
I can honestly say 2000-2009 was a decade of overwhelming reorientation and "firsts" for me. And in my attempt to take my husband's advice, I'm going to split up the reflecting over the next few days.
I spent a good part of 1999 living in a remote village in India with a few close friends on the campus of an orphanage. I've got a bit of a Mother Theresa crush you could say and my time there and my relationships with motherless, fatherless beautiful orphan children in the middle of nowhere changed me forever. I'd never lived in such extreme conditions or experience such extreme, raw love in my life. I got on a plane one person and returned someone else...someone who'd held abandoned leper children in my arms, someone who rode trains across unfathomable countrysides and like The Darjeeling Limited meets Divine soul-overhaul, I experienced something there that I find difficult to articulate unless you've taken that same journey. I have no regrets over how I spent my post-college days...I enjoyed every minute of my single, house-mortgage free days living like crazy gypsy/humanitarian. I was flying home (U.S.) on New Year's Eve 1999 to take a job at a church in Michigan (something I never thought I'd do: work at a church nor live in MI)- and I got stuck in Frankfurt Germany b/c of a blizzard. I remember spending that evening in a strange, sterile hotel room in my birkenstocks and dusty India-trainride-scented overalls (yes, quite glamorous) thinking what the HELL am I doing and where I am going in life, God?!
I had a long-distance relationship with a guy I really loved...who lived in VA-and who was willing to move to MI to be with me...but the whole plane ride home I just felt as though we were two souls being pulled in opposite directions. First, me to India then to MI and him...to something/someone else.
BIG MITTEN: 2000
So, I then arrived in MI, moved in with the pastor and his wife who led/started the church in MI and spent the first few months camping out in their arctic but plush basement getting my bearings in my first ever local church role and first job as a worship leader. I had NO IDEA was I was doing. I missed the little kids with whom I had lived in India. I missed my friends with whom I had travelled the world, I missed my family spread out all over the East Coast...but just like Vernon Brewer used to say that "there's no better life than living one where you can do something daily that will outlive you", there in the middle of Jackson, MI I felt that overwhelming sense that I once again had that opportunity. I'll admit I had wished it had been an opportunity in a warmer climate, but it was the right move at the right time.
I got engaged in February. I was in love but full of doubt. Excited but disoriented. Anticipatory but not at peace. I moved out of the friends' basement and bought my first house. A cute little old house in downtown and loved everything about it and my sweet roommate, Sarah, who is now quite the author/speaker! Life was great, but my internal theme song was still "READY TO RUN". By June, still in a long-distance engagement, I called it off. The most difficult thing I've ever had to do. That was a huge first. In September, someone who had been my good friend (but only a friend) became "the one". After 5 years of knowing each other, 9 months of working together in Michigan, and 6 weeks of dating, Scott asked me to marry him. And again, I experienced the "rightness" of the right thing, or should I say the right One.
NAPOLEON COMPLEXity: 2001
So, in May of '01, Scott and I got married. I sold my adorable little house and moved out to a town called Napoleon (it's as "out in the sticks" as it sounds) into an incredibly bachelor-y condo (not to mention beat with w/ a 70s stick). Our wedding was like a concert mixed w/ some vows...our fam/friends came from all over and since we had both been living all over the place since or childhood, we decided getting married right there in Jackson in the church where we worked and got together would be the best. And it was. Sure, we had our 1st year of marriage bumps in the road..but working together and living out in Boonies was pretty fun. We just plain enjoyed our life and the community we had there in that city. We hosted a small group on relationships and met a cool couple named Scott & Kendra Miller who were married the same month as we were. We had no idea that it'd be the start of a long friendship...
More early 2000s reflection to come ....