It got me thinking..... what have I done/accomplished/experienced in 2013?
What sort of things have I done/experienced with friends and family in 2013?
So today, December 31, 2013, the last day of the year, I am taking some time to reflect back on this year.
- We started the New Year off in Flowery Branch with family and fireworks! We spent New Year's Eve with the Beebe bunch and got to see Riley's brother Bob, sister-in-law Vickie, and Todd, Maria, Ben and Bethany. The fireworks were fun!
- I had session #7 of the Academy January 7-12. The next to last session of the journey.
- I taught a 7 week Lay Speaking/Servant class through BeADisciple.com starting January 14.
- Seminary classes started this month for the semester.
- I preached on February 24th at White Oak UMC in Red Bank.
- I attended my first "quiet day retreat" at St. Mary's Sewanee on March 1st. It was a Lenten Quiet Day Retreat. That was a neat experience.
- I signed my motorcycle work order on March 18.
- My bike was picked up on March 25.
- March 30 we went to Vogel State Park in Blairsville, GA to meet up with my cousin Frank and his family for some putt-putt golf and a walk around the lake. Since we had missed getting to visit them when we were up in MA on our northern states tour, this was a great catch-up afternoon!
- Final session (#8) of the Academy for Spiritual Formation was April 2-7. Though the journey for Academy #32 ended that week, it hasn't been the end of what God began through the Academy in my life.
- Worked a Women's Emmaus Walk (#59) April 18-21. My last walk to work as a laity member in the community as I had been approved as clergy and could now work as an assistant spiritual director when asked.
- I led a 1/2 day retreat for women on May 16 at Camp Dixie. I had lots of great help pulling that together and there was a good turnout.
- Charlotte was confirmed on Pentecost Sunday, May 19.
- I preached at Royal Oaks assisted living facility in Dalton, GA on May 26.
- We took a family vacation to Amicalola Falls State Park May 27-30.
- Swim practices twice a day for Charlotte and swim meets twice a week for the Red Bank Gator swim team.
- Saw the Sidewalk Prophets in concert at City Church June 9.
- Left for Wilmore, KY on June 16 for my first on campus class on the Wilmore campus. I stayed in Nicholasville at the Corner House B&B. I took TH 670 with Dr. Steve Seamands June 17-21.
- I preached at White Oak UMC June 23.
- The People to People (P2P) delegation met with Mayor Jim Coppinger on June 25 at the Courthouse. Photo opportunity with the Mayor before going to Canada.
- Charlotte's People to People trip to Canada which originally was to be in June was rescheduled for July and she left on July 8 for the Western Rockies Adventure.
- I had my first in-person Hearts on Fire / FUMSDRL board meeting in Buffalo, MN at Christ the King retreat center, July 9-11.
- SoulFeast July 14-18, Lake Junaluska, NC.
- Starting teaching the 7 week class via BeADisciple.com on July 29.
- Charlotte and Riley went to 6 Flags over Georgia on July 30, compliments of the 6th grade teachers at Hixson Middle School (Charlotte's ticket).
- Met with the DCOM on August 6 for interview to see where I was in process and how things were going.
- Charlotte started 7th grade on August 8.
- Sept. 5-7 -- 1st weekend of intensive CS 601 Ethics class for the semester
- Sept. 12-14-- 2nd weekend of class
- September 27-- Jason Crabb in concert in Soddy Daisy.
- Susan Komen race for the Cure, Team Thomas-- September 29. In honor of Charlotte's day care provider, we joined with a big group of others to support Ms. Carolyn. We didn't get to walk though because I had to teach that night at church and there was too much squeezed into the day.
- October 1-- Charlotte played in her first middle school football game with the band.
- October 1-- I bought a new pair of shoes since I hadn't had a good pair of walking/running shoes in a LONG time. Starting walking daily.
- October 6-9-- went to Canton, GA to spend time with a friend who was recovering from hip surgery.
- October 9-- 49th birthday. Came home that day, stopping in Dalton for lunch with Mom and Dad.
- October 10-- went hang-gliding for the first time. Was up in the air for about 51 minutes. Totally awesome experience.
- October 20-- Blaine Family Reunion in Franklin, NC.
- October 21-26-- Fall Break. We took a family trip to Arkansas to see Riley's brother Bob and sister in law Vickie. We stopped in Memphis on the way there and back. We went to Branson, MO while in Arkansas (right across the border). We did a zip line there in Branson and shopped in the old part of town. Great trip.
- My aunt Vicki and uncle Paul from California came to town (Dalton) November 7 for a few days.
- I preached my sermon for the preaching class November 13. It had to be videotaped and uploaded for the class.
- Charlotte and I were volunteers at the Hixson Wildcat Crawl on the 16th. We handed out water to the walkers and runners. It was a cold, misty morning.
- Charlotte had Jr. Band Clinic try outs on November 23.
- Finished out my semester requirements for my two classes.
- Charlotte had Jr. Band Clinic December 6 and 7 with a concert on the 7th.
- Got my haircut and donated 10 inches to Wigs for Kids on December 10. Haven't had a haircut in about 2 years.
- Charlotte took the ACT on December 14.
- Dana and Shawn came to town from California on December 21. We got to visit with them and catch up some on their lives.
- I preached at Fairview UMC on December 29.
- We moved Sean December 30 to his new housing. "Guy with a Truck" did the major moving yesterday while Sean's Mom and Dad, step-dad, myself, and friends have been preparing the house over the past several weeks.
- My motorcycle is still in the shop at Chattanooga State, BUT it is almost ready. It lacks some work on brake parts that we needed to reorder. I'm considering a paint job at this point. We'll see. She has been there quite a while, but will be fully ready to ride (as I will be) when she comes home.
There were some band concerts in there; lunches, dinners, and coffee times with friends and family; doctor visits; lots of reading and paper writing; newsletters for Hearts on Fire; a couple of classes taught at church; a Bible Study taught for Mustard Tree ladies; a Wesley Life Group (one-on-one) with a great student; taekwondo classes; yoga classes; centering prayer; meetings with my spiritual director....
And then there were the trips to Avondale Estates, GA to help Mom get things out of my grandmother's home to prepare it to sell. And the moving of my grandmother to an assisted living facility.
There were other events during the year too.
Such as celebrations with friends as they celebrated birthdays or being with others as they had surgeries or recovered. There were visits to funeral homes to comfort friends.
There were serendipity meetings at restaurants, stores, or coffee shops with folks I hadn't seen in a while.....and we shared a few moments in catch up conversation.
As I look back and reflect on 2013, I can say that it was indeed a very full and blessed year. I am grateful for each and every moment.
This adventurous journey is truly a blessing.
Thank you for being a part of it with me.
Blessings on your journey..... May your 2014 be super!
|Session #8 of the Academy (April)... my Certificate. The experience is worth SO MUCH MORE...|
|May 2013 vacation at Amicalola Falls State Park. Painted faces with "paint rocks", following Camp Lookout tradition. ☺|
|March 30, Vogel State Park... cousin Frank!|