I really hate writing summaries. It all started in middle school when Mom would tell me to write a summary of a book. A book review she called it. It seemed inconceivable to condense an entire book into three hundred words. Impossible. Frustrating. Unfair to the author.
As I sit down to write a summary of 2008, I feel the same way. To sum up for you all the experiences of the past year would be impossible, frustrating, and unfair to those who lived it. Especially this year of all years. A paradigm shift has occurred in our lives since the closing of 2007. It all started with a phone call…
After a rather difficult internship, we had moved to Grinnell, Iowa to enjoy the quiet life of a small town and the company of my family. It took several months, but there came a time when we began to talk, to think and to pray about Logan stepping back into youth ministry. I, being an anxious overachiever, had a grand plan of a hundred resumes, serious interrogations, and strenuous activity. Logan, being patient and wise and all that stuff, had a plan of waiting to see what God would do.
Without a lifted finger on his part (although he did lift quite a few prayers), Logan got a phone call from someone he had never met/heard of before. Mike Farra, pastor of North Point Christian Church, wanted to know if Logan would come to Lewisville, Texas to be a youth minister. Weird. Not a resume in sight.
After thinking, praying, talking to people we respected, thinking, praying, a visit from Mike, a visit to Texas, thinking, praying, thinking, praying, Logan decided that he wanted to be North Point’s new youth minister. We moved in January. As one person so perfectly stated, “I’ve never fallen in love with someone so quickly.” We love North Point. She’s great, she’s quirky, she’s authentic, she’s fun, she’s passionate. I’ve just got to say it again: we love North Point.
This has been the most significant aspect of our life for the past year, but other things have happened, too:
–Logan and I went on a cruise with my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. We weren’t sure what to expect, but it ended up being our ideal vacation. It’s basically forced relaxation time. No stupid museums or taxis or bills. Just room service, movies, pristine beaches, sunsets, and molten chocolate cake. We didn’t do anything amazing for our honeymoon, so this was a treat that we’d saved up for for awhile. It could not have been better. (Unless perhaps I’d applied sunscreen more regularly in Calica.)
–We went to Mexico with the youth group to build a house with Amor Ministries. It was our first chance to spend a lot of time with the kids and to really get to know them. It was also Logan’s first time to lead a trip. After a rocky start in which Logan missed the departure because of a flu sent from the bowels of Satan, it ended up going smoothly and producing two new homes and many more relationships. However, I’m still pulling grains of sand from the pockets of my coat.
–We watched four seasons of 24, three seasons of Heroes, one season of Lost, two seasons of 30 Rock, and four seasons of Gilmore Girls. Long live Netflix!!!
–During the summer we went on two trips with the youth group. Logan led a group of middle school students to Joplin, MO where we joined in with Know Sweat (CIY) to work on an old woman’s house. In July we went to Tennessee with the high schoolers to attend CIY Move. It’s really fun to watch the students learn and grow so much in one week. It’s also incredibly exhausting. Again, another great chance to get to know people.
–We started working out in our apartment gym and drinking a lot of smoothies. We fluctuate from being inspired to grumpy. It’s kind of a crap shoot as to how you’ll find us from day to day.
–We celebrated our fourth anniversary. No one calls us newlyweds anymore. There are less awkward jokes directed our way. I feel like we’ve settled in for the long haul. Life seems to be full of more responsibilities, more people depending on us, more big choices to be made. Sometimes the strain becomes more than we can bear and we do something crazy like take a midnight run to QT or drive to the Cinemark during an ice storm.
–I work two days a week for a wonderful woman from North Point who cares for babies in her home. I satisfy my itch for piano playing by teaching a beginner once a week. I’m a youth leader, so once a week three senior girls come over for the evening. They’re one of the biggest blessings in my life right now. It’s a joy to be with them and to see them pursue God. I’ve been writing more, too, which feels good. Still working on that novel. Any day now…
–Logan spends a lot of time “helping to create a growing community of disciples and mentors, united in radical pursuit of God.” He likes to spend a lot of his energy empowering the youth leaders, so that they can have a direct influence on each student’s life. He’s been teaching more and getting pretty good at it. His favorite things still remain: Apple, video games, books, movies, his iPhone, kids, and me.
I was never any good at book reviews, and this year review is a little funky, but like I said before, it’s just so impossible/frustrating/unfair to pack such a full year into one measly blog post. But there is something comforting in looking back over our year and realizing that God has once again proven himself to be our Good Shepherd. Actually, the first Sunday we attended North Point, Mike preached on Psalm 23.3, “He restores my soul”. I felt the significance then and I have to acknowledge it now. Tucked inside the details of this full year, there has been restoration.
We love you, our dear friends and loving family. Thanks for reading.