2015 has been a great year for Esther and me. We are blessed. In February our daughter Naomi was born. She is healthy and doing great. Later that month I passed my comprehensive finals in my PhD, advancing me to candidacy. That feels great to have that behind me. Isaiah turned two in March, and he is so much fun—just exploding outwards in his personality, his vocabulary, his sense of humor. It is always so joyful and relaxing to come home and play with him after a long day.
I’ve taken on more of the preaching at our church, and stepped onto the elder board. We are so grateful to be able to be a part of what God is doing here. This picture is from May, when we dedicated Isaiah and Naomi to the Lord at SMCC (that’s our interim pastor Steve Miller doing the dedication). I continue to enjoy being an editor at The Gospel Coalition, and writing other various articles and posts when I have the time, and I’ve been able to make it to several conferences this year, too, which has been fun.
As the pace of life gets more and more full, I need to be wise in how I manage everything, to make sure I am giving myself fully to my family in the evenings, and have enough time for daily devotions and sabbath rest and so forth. So at the end of July I am going to be ending my editing job at TGC so I can focus more fully on preaching, writing my dissertation, and being available to my family. I am sad to leave because it’s a fantastic job—I believe in what we do, I love the people I work with, and I learn so much from doing it. But I don’t want to be too spread thin to the point where I’m getting too exhausted and not living in a healthy way. So I feel this is the right decision, even though I’m a bit sad and hesitant to end such a great opportunity. I do hope to keep writing stuff for TGC as I have time.
Then through February 15 I am going to try to go crazy on my dissertation and see if I can knock it out. I’ve already got two chapters written, and most of the research done, so I think I have a chance. I am blessed with supervisors who are supportive and helpful, which goes a long way. My plan is to wake up an hour early each morning to write, and then work each Friday on it as well. I’m hoping that I can write more quickly as I have it on my mind every day, and try to chip away at it in little daily installments. So the next 7.5 months will be a lot of Latin and trying to see the world through the eyes of a medieval monk. I am looking forward to all I will learn. And it’s fun to have a larger, book-length project to work at rather than just shorter articles.
I feel blessed beyond what I could imagine when I look around at my life and see all that God has given me to do and to enjoy. The best thing is having a best friend with whom to share it all. I was talking to Esther the other day about how being parents together grows our love and friendship in new ways. It’s not always easy. In fact, sometimes it’s extremely challenging in the evenings when the kids are both needy and we’re exhausted. It’s a different, challenging phase of marriage. Through it I respect, love, and admire her more and more deeply for the mom, wife, and follower of Christ she is. We do a walk each Saturday morning, and many evenings, and I cherish those times talking about life with my best friend. All of the things God has given me to do would be somewhat empty without her by my side. I am blessed.
Now back to Anselm. If the blog posts are sparing in the months ahead, you will know why!