2008 was an historic year in my life.
When I look back at this year later on in my life, I imagine that I’ll see this year as a major turning point. I’ve had big years before (marriage, ministry change, college), but no year compares in my mind to this year. Not only was it historic, it was a great year.
The first big thing that happened in my life was that I completed my Masters degree. It took me just under two years of focused, self-disciplined dedication and I did it while working full-time, but in May I graduated from Liberty Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts in Religion, Church Ministries concentration. I had a personal goal at one point of having a Masters by the time I was 30, and I accomplished that goal at the age of 29 (no need to point it out, I know I procrastinate).
The second big thing that happened this year was I became a dad. Emory Nicole Rossen came into my life on May 27 (just a few weeks after I finished my Masters) and my life will never be the same. Seven months into this adventure I have to say that it’s an amazing experience. I love being a dad. I love watching Brea be a mom for Emory. I love the joy that I feel when Emory smiles at me. I love the fact that I understand God’s love for me more now than I did 8 months ago. There’s so much more that I love about being a dad, but I’ll save that for another time.
The third big thing that happened this year was I ran the White Rock Half Marathon. I recently blogged about this, so I won’t elaborate a whole lot, but this was a big deal for me. I had become very sedentary, partly due to my graduate studies, and I really needed something big to motivate me, but not so big that I got too discouraged in the process. 13.1 miles turned out to be the perfect distance for me to race. It was achievable, but it was also a stretch for me. I lost over 15 pounds along the way and I feel so much better physically now than I did before I stepped out the door to run one July day.
Here are more highlights from this year, in no particular order:
- Vacation to Chicago in October
- Watching Emory try to tear open presents on her first Christmas
- Emory falling asleep during fireworks on July 4th
- Flying to Houston to buy the Sonata
- Getting hooked on Twitter
- Getting hooked on Facebook
- Transitioning to a one-salary household
- Seeing Foo Fighters in concert for the first, and hopefully not the last, time
- Starting Financial Peace University and Men’s Fraternity at church
- Teaching Greek at church
- Preaching on Father’s Day and my 30th birthday
Of course, not everything that happened this year was positive. The biggest shadow over the year was the death of my last living biological grandparent. I hadn’t really been close to him since I was a kid, but I still loved him and have very fond memories going back to the days we’d spend at their house in Illinois. It was also a neat thing to spend time with him and my Aunt/Uncle’s family over Thanksgiving. Probably the most sobering thing to think about is that I’m no longer a 3rd generation family member. I’m now part of the 2nd generation of my direct family on both sides. It’s a sobering reminder of the fragility of life.
The other biggest low was the personal struggles of one of my siblings. I won’t elaborate here, though.
So what about you? What happened in 2008 that you’ll remember? Maybe it wasn’t such a great year for you, but it’s good to talk about those things too. I’d love to read your story!