After taking a few years off from this tradition (2010 - 2012), I've decided to pick it back up again. If you'd like to compare this to past years', you can click for 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006.
1) What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Lost a former mentor and friend (same person) and helped people all over the world celebrate his life through the wonder of technology, led my home church in a night of worship, started a photography project with an action figure, received a widow's mite, spent Easter with someone else's family, toured the Ryman, celebrated 100,000 miles, tried schawarma, helped fund a movie (Veronica Mars) on Kickstarter, took a four year old to the movies for the first time, joined a new church in my home town, went deep sea fishing, ate at Motor Supply Company, read a book a friend wrote, spent the weekend at the beach with one of my best friends and his family, ran Folly Beach, ate some Cotton Candy Grapes and authentic British food, battled a chicken home invasion, took a month long sabbatical from social media, celebrated my great aunt and uncle's fiftieth wedding anniversary, hung out with three friends from California in South Carolina, started a new job, and celebrated my friend becoming an elder at his church.
2) Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for next year?
You know, I've never been a resolutions guy. But I actually have been thinking about some for 2014. I'll have to write another post on those.
3) Did anyone close to you give birth?
Tara, Emily, Stacy, and Puddles' wife. And I've only met one of those babies. I need to change that.
4) Did anyone close to you die?
Rickwell (in January), and Pastor Don a few weeks ago.
5) What countries did you visit?
This year, I was supposed to visit Scotland with Ray. But instead, he got married. I would love to make it to another country in 2014. Who wants to go?! I've got an updated passport...
6) What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
I would like to have a deeper understanding of who I am, a bigger love for people, and a more intimate relationship with God.
7) What date(s) from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
March 31st, April 7th, and April 12th.
8) What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I think my biggest achievement of the year would be taking steps toward becoming more of who God wants me to be. A lot of that was done through meeting with a counselor and beginning to do the hard work of addressing some things I had refused to deal with for years. It's been challenging but very rewarding.
9) Did you suffer any injury or illness?
Crazy sunburn from Folly Beach in September and a little bit of a cold now. But nothing too big.
10) What was the best thing you bought?
Plane tickets to Ft. Myers, FL and Nashville, TN, my ENO hammock, and several books that have changed my life.
11) Whose behavior merited celebration?
One of my best friends has met one of the toughest challenges I could imagine and, not only been transformed by it but, is now using it to minister to and help others. Proud is not a big enough word to describe how I feel about him.
12) Where did most of your money go?
A lot of it went into savings (thank goodness). A lot of it went towards traveling a little.
13) What did you get really, really, really excited about?
A few ministry job opportunities had me really excited this year, but none of them worked out. But that's ok. I believe God is directing me to where He wants me to be.
14) What song will always remind you of 2013?
I think there are two: I Will Fall (from Nashville) and Your Love Is Strong (by Jon Foreman).
15) Compared to this time last year, are you wiser? Healthier? Richer?
I wish I could describe to you just how much wiser and healthier I am than I have been in the past. But, honestly, there isn't enough room here to do that. As far as richer goes... My life is richer, but not my bank account. But, isn't that the point?
16) What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish I'd done more to figure out what things light my soul and bring me life, then put my energy into pursuing those. I've only begun putting thought into that over the past few months and It's been a revolutionary process for me. I wish I'd started sooner.
17) What do you wish you'd done less of?
I wish I'd spent less time repressing and denying my emotions.
18) How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas was spent serving coffee to people at work. Afterwards, I went straight over to my family's house and spent an hour or so with them before everyone headed home. Not my favorite Christmas...
19) Did you fall in love in 2013?
I wasn't emotionally healthy enough this year to love anyone else. I'm not so sure I loved myself very well this year. But, 2013 has seen God do major work in my heart. So I'm looking forward to where 2014 can take this question.
20) What was your favorite blog post that you wrote?
This post, from September, is a pretty good description of my year. I'll go with it.
21) What were your favorite TV programs?
The Getaway, Nashville, and Breaking Bad.
22) What was the best book you read?
It's probably a tie between Breathing Underwater and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. Both recommended by friends and both life changing.
23) What was your greatest musical discovery?
I found a few things I've loved. The music of Nashville, Jon Foreman's solo stuff, HAIM, and lots of worship music. Right now, I'm loving the soundtrack to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Although, that might be because of how much I loved the movie.
24) What did you want and get?
Freedom and a small group of people who I love and who love me.
25) What did you want and not get?
A new ministry job. But I think I'm discovering that I've been looking for the wrong one. So, I'm excited to see what 2014 holds in this arena.
26) What was your favorite film of the year?
Without a doubt, it was The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Yes. Even more so than Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World.
27) What did you do for your birthday, and how old were you?
You know, I don't really remember what I did for my 33rd birthday. But I did do some reflection on the year and my life. And that led me to write this.
28) Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?
Probably Bob Goff. I want to be him when I grow up.
29) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Jeans, Sanuks, cardigans. And I looked good.
30) What kept you sane?
More than anything else, 2013 led me into a deeper understanding of and desire for community. We can't do life on our own. We were made to depend on others. We > I.
31) Who did you miss?
I still miss all of my California friends. I'm going to try to get out there this year. But I would love for some of them to come and visit me!
32) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Suppressing your emotions doesn't get rid of them. It delays them. Also, it's impossible to live in contentment without living in the present. You'll never be happy replaying the past or worrying about the future.
33) What did you gain this year?
A deeper understanding of who I am, tools to help me become a better me, a community that loves me and in which I fit in, and a desire to become the best and healthiest me I can be.
34) What did you lose this year?
A guitar pick that I had since I was 15.
35) Who was the best new person that you met?
Absolutely the people in my small group. I love knowing that I get to do life with them every week!
36) Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
The Kingdom of the heavens
Is buried treasure.
Would you sell yourself
To buy the one you've found?
-From "Your Love Is Strong" by Jon Foreman
Alright, 2014. I'm ready for you. Let's do this.