the only thing i've found with respect to the lessons learned aspect is that you can't ever really have an unbiased recap since your perspective on an issue is based on your current state of affairs and could easily change in a matter of weeks, months, years. but without further ado, here is "2009: A Year in Review"
** after graduating college, i soon realized the "real world" wasn't all its cracked up to be. my hard earned diploma was barely worth the ink and tree pulp it was printed on.
** searching for a job in politics led me to searching for any job i could possibly take.. any job that would get my feet wet/in the door and make some connections. i sent out literally thousands of resumes, all to have maybe a 1/3 of those even responded to. some people were friendly, most places weren't hiring, and one guy was a complete douchebag. (see my post on 2.11.09 entitled "happiness is a warm smoking gun" for more info on that)
** because of these situations, i found myself at the bottom of the barrel having a great deal of concerns, anxiety, etc. so i really started passionately praying for God to do something.. show me an open door.. show me where else i could apply, etc.
** in doing so, God showed me that i had been focusing on what i thought i wanted for my life, not what He wanted for my life, so i started praying for guidance in following His will and thats when i felt Him calling me to the ministry/to start studying at seminary
** did some substitute teaching mostly at denham freshman high, but also some at dshs and also lohs.. hope to never have to do it again. the kids were horribly disrespectful and the pay was definitely not worth it. but it did tie me over while i looked for a more permanent job.
** moved a good friend up to kentucky indefinitely.. which was pretty tough, not knowing when/if she'd ever be moving back, how the friendship would be affected by it all, and mostly, just not having that person to hang out with on a very regular basis.. we've stayed in contact though (def not as much as we used to be but.. enough to keep the friendship alive and still a part of each others lives)
** church hopped for the longest time (about a year in total.. may 08 to around may 09) and never felt connected anywhere i went. i started attending Christ's Community pretty regularly because my parents were/are members there and i even helped them start up a mid-week youth service.. but i never felt like that was my home.
** all in God's timing, i got contacted about coming back to live oak methodist to play bass in the 1130 band and i'm so glad i accepted. things have been going great at loumc and i've gotten extremely involved (even moreso than when i was there originally).. playing bass at 1130, helping lead music for the thursday night service, about to start helping lead music for the youth, playing 4 songs in the V-Day Banquet, and a ton of other stuff. i've gotten to be really close friends with a lot of great people who i never really knew or only knew as acquaintances beforehand. i'm not sure what i'd do or where i'd be without those friends in my life right now.
** (this next one is kinda out of place chronologically but it fits with the previous bullet so) all of the positive things going on at loumc has put me in a tough situation though.. i haven't really expressed this to too many people yet, but here goes.. being in seminary and involved in church ministry is preparing me for a future in the ministry.. and as far as a job goes, it'd be beneficial to my resume, experience, knowledge, preparation, and future to get a job in the ministry.. however, i can't see myself leaving live oak at any point in the near future. things are going so great and i couldn't imagine leaving that behind.. it would definitely have to be a God thing.. which is guess is the way it should be anyway taking a job in the ministry.. but because things are going so great at loumc, it's kept me from finishing and posting my ministry resume for other churches to see.. i keep putting it off and i think its largely because of the reasons i just stated.. so thats def an issue i'm currently dealing with and something i would greatly appreciate prayers for.
** went to boston for the 5th (or so) time, this time with my parents and grandmother (on my dad's side).. it was interesting having her along on the trip but it was nice to see derek & shelby again since i only get to see them once or twice a year.
** moved back to the parents house after living on my own for 5 years. i'm living out in the gameroom so i'm not under their roof, which def helps alot with me still having my own life/privacy, but its also def weird living back here after being gone for 5 years. its been an adjustment, but its been a nice adjustment for the most part. how long i stay here depends on how the job/school situation continues to play itself out but hopefully i won't have to stay for too terribly long. i enjoy the freedom and responsibility of having my own place.
** went on a 15 day mission trip to ecuador. it was my first time out of the country and it was definitely a great experience. i went with a group from Christ's Community made up mostly of college-aged peoples.. alot of whom were originally from judson so i already knew em quite well. anyhow, we worked with kids, hosted a kids camp, helped out at 2 saturday kids club events, spent 3 days in the jungle of ecuador.. ahh such a great trip. definitely an amazing experience and one i'll never forget.
** started working on my Masters of Divinity at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. it was a bit overwhelming at first having taken a semester off of school and this type of learning being completely different from most of what i had engaged in prior. met some great Christian brothers and sisters, and took some great classes in my first semester (intro greek, philosophy of religion, worship leadership, exploring the old testament and spiritual formation) i'm still waiting on most of my grades but i did get a B in Greek and a P in Sp. Form. i'm excited to see what all God has in store for the rest of my time at seminary, as He's already showed me a great deal in just this first semester.
** started playing tennis again. i forgot how much i loved to play. it took a while to get back in the swing of things (haha get it?!) but it's been a heck of a lot of fun and a nice break from school, etc. we started going every saturday morning for quite a while, but havent been in a few weeks with rain and busy schedules and all.. hopefully we'll get back in the routine of it. i miss playing.
all in all, its been a great year. there were definitely a great deal of low points mostly in the first half of the year, but everything has really turned around and i'm extremely thankful for where i am now. i have a few great new friends (especially 2) who mean the world to me and i'm glad we've been able to become really close (like brothers and sisters) in a relatively short amount of time. y'all know who you are (if y'all even read this.. come to think of it.. i don't think y'all do.. hmm..)
anyhow, that about concludes the year in review.. as the 2nd of half of this year (especially the most recent couple months) has been pretty great, i'm really excited to see what all 2010 has in store. stay tuned to find out. i know i will. hehe.