I have had an amazing year of both excitement and challenges. My two years of study at teacher's college came to an end in March. I then moved for the seventh time in the last seven years, back to Everett from Bellingham.
I drove across the country in March from Michigan back home to Washington with my then girlfriend. I will never forget the migrating birds at sunset over Nebraska. I was sad to see that relationship come to an end shortly after her arrival.
I put myself into my work a lot this summer as it was the only thing I had. I created both a kindergarten and adult ESL curriculum and helped my company expand into markets in China and Indonesia. My Adult seminary students in Indonesia ended our last day of the fall semester recently by sharing a praise song to the lord. The students there called me Brother Matthew.
This summer was sunnier and more beautiful than any summer in memory. The days were warm and dry from May all the way until September. I enjoyed the summer walks down Grand Ave. here in Everett and seeing the gardens grow.
I read the Lord of the Rings for the twelfth year in a row, mostly under shade trees in the afternoon by beach. One of Elrond's quotes stuck out to me: "You will meet many foes, some open and some disguised; and you may find friends along the your way when you least look for it."
I met an unexpected companion along the road who shares my love for Tolkien, Lewis and magic. Our first date was to Disneyland with my family back in August. I am so thankful for God's promises and blessings in my life. She is one of them.
Next year I will be 34. Life just seems to be getting richer and better each year and this too is unexpected. I really like being in my 30's in ways I could have never understood in my 20's. Life is an adventure, maybe not the kind of adventure you see on TV, with extreme sports and backpacking trips to Thailand...but there is magic right under our noses, there is adventure in the smallest details of our everyday lives. This year I had to surrender and let God take the reins of my life and he has taken me to places I truly never expected.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!