Looking back on 2013, here are some of the brightest highlights (in no particular order):
- TCF Youth Group summer trip
- Young Money Club
- Camp Imadene
- Roadtrip to Canada
- Emilee and Brie becoming sisters and hobbits
- Life on the Homestead - beautiful community
- TCF Women's mission trip
- Steven Curtis Chapman concert
- Half-price appetizers at Applebee's with community group
- Hybrid parties at the Hobbit Hole
- Live Clue game
People have come and gone from my life this year. Charlie and Auntie Midge passed away, and the Connely's and Ruhl's moved to Charleston. Brianna moved out, and Em and Brie moved in. Tall Hannah got married and moved away, and Mary and Bethany come in. Richard, Will, and Abbey were on the Homestead for the summer, and Hannah and I adopted 98 Canadian girls at camp. All our single alley neighbors moved out and several newly married couples have moved in on our street.
I've seen a lot and been all over, and have loved everywhere I've spent time - from my Hobbit Hole living room, to the picnic table in the alley, to the silent Badlands, to the Vincent farmhouse in Oregon, to the chapel at Camp Imadene, to the Road to the Sun in Montana, to mild, rainy North Carolina. I've read some great books and commentaries, seen some great movies and TV shows, and listened to some great music and sermons. I've heard some wonderful stories, and written a few of my own.
Some of the best moments have been the most spontaneous, when I just look up, take a deep breath and realize that this - this incredible, magical, beautiful, precious thing that is happening right now - is my life. I'm not sure my heart is big enough to contain all the love I've received and felt this year, and I don't know if it is strong enough to endure all the changes... it's gotten quite a workout from the effort, though. God has continued to stretch me, teach me, and challenge me in deep ways, and he's used the most unlikely things to help me hear his heartbeat more clearly. I'm thankful that he gave me life in 2013, and I can't wait to see where he leads me in the new year.