There’s no avoiding it, Christmas and New Year are a good time to look back to the year just gone and to look forward to the year ahead.
Keeping a Blog is a good way of recording the events of the year, so in some ways I could just review by looking through my posts, but it seems appropriate to bring some of them together as a summary of 2008.
I should start by saying that 2007 was a difficult year, with a lot of illness, time off work and then regaining my grip on things.
The year started with the annoyance of rats in our loft, which it took most of the year to get rid of, and the excitement of picking up -and then promptly falling off – my new road bike. We were finishing off decorating our new front room and we took a weekend out for A and J’s wedding. All while still suffering with a bad back and embarking on my overly-ambitious project to learn 52 pop songs by heart. (I managed a mere 10!)
I attempted to shun Facebook and move into the world of Twitter and suddenly everyone knew my every move…or, at least, had the possibility of knowing. God answered prayer and I had a dramatic improvement in health, which lasted!
Saw the start of a long hard year of Gardening and we visited the Outdoors Show at the NEC (and spent a fortune!). We transformed our dining room and had a little holiday in Grasmere in the Lake District where we nearly got stuck on Fairfield in the snow and mist.
Saw C and D’s wedding and the advent of “Spiritual Networking” – an idea which hasn’t taken off in a big way but which is still milling around. My old friend and ex-colleague Peter Amey lost his long fight against cancer. And we had a go at Freecycling some of our stuff – which turned out to be a joy!
Well into Spring and with summer coming we had to get some serious work in on the garden, fighting off the weeds and generally making the vegetable patch useful for growing vegetables in. We also discovered that we might, at some point, be involved in a missional church plant! This is slowly becoming reality but in God’s time, not ours!
The summer was a bit of a wash out from what I remember, but we had glorious weather for M and A’s Wedding with a fantastic reception at the Four Pillars Hotel. We started waging war against the slugs and we bought a Wii (which I posted some more detailed comments on later in the year) and a Wii Fit.
This was a good cycling month. Well, it started badly by crashing into a schoolgirl, but I was subsequently inspired with new cycling gadgets (Race Blades and a Garmin Heart Rate Monitor), the Swindon Cycle Challenge (which I was quite an evangelist for) and the long, warm days. We had a week’s holiday in Northern Ireland and, amazingly, stuff seemed to actually be growing in our garden. Finally, internet search engine Cuil was lanched and I did my best at putting it through its paces on behalf of the world. This was a good month!
Was WET. Which presented it’s own set of cycling problems, but I found a dry day on which to do my longest bike ride so far and Sally spent 10 days away at the YOMAC Residential – the start of something good as running YOMAC is now part of her job!
Google launched Chrome. We started harvesting from the garden. We took up latin and ballroom dance classes (well, we did that in the summer but I only just got around to writing about it), and we had a fantastic holiday in Sicily.
Looks like I spent most of October writing up our holiday to Sicily! But there were lots more new things too. We somehow found time to cheer on our friends in the Swindon Half Marathon, I started to try learning web development methods (and I still am). I took up a dangerous new sport. And Discipleship Academy and Soul Space had inspiring starts at church. I also took up leading music in church, but I don’t seem to have written anything about it here.
Was busy and I didn’t get to write much. But busy is good! We finally seemed to find the source of the rats, we did a grand tour of the north and had “fun” at Ikea.
So, what a year! It’s not felt like we’ve done much. The garden was neglected, we didn’t do as much house decorating as we would have liked, but looking back, we’ve done a heck of a lot! God has been at work, healing me back in February and leading us towards new bits of work and new involvement in our community, and we thank God for working in our lives.
Our hopes next year are for another year of being settled in Swindon and of good health, especially for me. We hope that the Church Plant will take off and that that will be something we’re a part of. We hope for another successful harvest (after another load of hard work). We hope that we’ll get our bedroom decorated, and clear out a load of stuff from the house at the same time. We hope that, in this time of difficulty for business, we’ll both be putting our trust in our God and not in our jobs or our money or our posessions. And above all, we pray that God will, again, be a part of our lives in 2009.