A Year of New Things

Tonight Kirk and I sat at the farm table in our front room, fresh off a competitive game of Phase 10 and contemplating how to spend the rest of our evening together, when I asked him: What happened this year that we didn't know would happen at this time last year?

As of last Thanksgiving, we didn't know we would seriously consider moving our life to California this year. We didn't know we would both apply for graduate school in California, begin the house-hunting process, and then make a concerted, hard, but unanimous decision to stay here in Florida.

This time last year, I hadn't yet met the group of girls who have now become good friends, all because we shared one friend in common and had a similar heart for ministry at our church.

At this time last year, Kirk and I didn't know we would both graduate from Full Sail with valedictorian honors. We didn't know that I would give my first public speech and, in doing so, find a way to share truths from my deep heart with a room full of strangers.

We didn't know that I would decide against birthing Storychange into the world, at least for now.

This time last year, we didn't know that I would find the spiritual formation program at Spring Arbor, and that I would love it so much. We didn't know I would feel like I'd come home.

We didn't know that Kirk would pursue a second master's degree in educational design and media technology, or that it would draw out his natural talent and love for the creative design process and educational theory.

Last Thanksgiving, we didn't know we would, together, embark upon a three-year training program in spiritual direction, or that we would do this with a diverse and loving and joy-filled group of 20 strangers who drive from all over the state of Florida one Saturday each month to learn together about the work of spiritual listening and companioning. We didn't know we would find our own spiritual directors and begin to meet regularly with them.

It amazes me what can happen in one year of life. I'm glad I'm sharing each day of it with this beautiful, talented, creative, strong, loving man.

all photos taken by kirkum and christianne

stone mountain, georgia

january 2006