It’s 2009 Already?

Wow.  Where did 2008 go?  I mean, I know that’s the “thing” to say at this point, but seriously…has anyone seen 2008, because I can’t see how it’s over already.  Then again, part of me is more than happy to bid “adios, adieu, and hasta so-longa” to 2008.  Let’s take a little stroll, shall we?

The year began with this beast breaking my collarbone:

That took two months to recover from.  In February, we finally got to begin demolition/reconstruction/the project that won’t die also known as our new digs.  I started by scraping all the popcorn off our ceilings.  Left handed.  You haven’t lived until you’ve done that.  And by the way, if you happen to be one of those “do-it-yourself” people and are thinking “I’d like to have smooth ceilings”, let me encourage you to move everything you own out of the house and go on vacation whilst paying someone to do it for you.  Calling the resulting pile of dust/goo/gunk on everything visible a mess is the classic understatement.  
March rolled around, and I decided, after much prayer and hand wringing, to be the first of the Three Amigos to ditch the Titanic known as the furniture industry for a “new career” in the wonderful world of automotive advertising.  Not an easy decision, as I had been in the family business my entire professional life.  But, with the rate things were going in furniture, I figured I didn’t have much to lose.  So off I went to build a new career by selling the huge value of print advertising to the wonderful world of used car dealers.
In a classic example of Romans 8:28 (you should be able to use my new handy-dandy Scripture reference tool now by just moving your mousy-clicker-thingy over the verse.  Cool, huh?), God had bigger plans.  But we’ll get to that.
March ended with Amanda telling me (on my very last day in the furniture business, believe it or not) that she was pregnant!  Nothing like a test of faith, Lord!  As we rejoiced over the blessing of a new addition, I was secretly panicking, as only a Dalton can do on the inside.  New career, working on a house, raising a 2 year old, and now another child?  Am I nuts?
Turns out:  yes!
Summer came on with the slow decline in the economy.  As I realized the car ad business wasn’t for me, I continued to seek God’s will and vision for my life.  One Saturday in late June, the principal at the school where I helped out leading worship a few days a week called me to tell me he had taken a new position at another school, and wanted me to come there to lead worship for their chapels.  Hmmmm….on a “whim”, I asked about the possibility of interviewing for a teaching job there.  (You can read about that here if you’re so inclined)
All I know, God is awesome.
July saw Amanda and I celebrate a decade of marriage.  Unreal.  Still can’t believe she’s put up with me this long.  And still amazed that I’m blessed to get up each day and see her beside me.  I repeat:  God is awesome.  We took a long put-off trip to NYC in July as a “last-hurrah” before baby #2 came to town.  (You can relieve our trip, as I know you’ll all like to here)
August started with me learning what in the world a teacher does for a living.  Answer:  an insane amount of stuff.  Word to all my teaching peeps out there.  Yeah, we get the summer off, but we earn ever blessed second of it!  Overwhelming doesn’t begin to describe it.
The next few months were a true blur.  All consisted of the same thing:  get up early, try not to screw up 75 kids each day, come home, eat dinner, and work on this crazy house until the wee hours of the morning.  
November saw the arrival of Hannah Christine, my second daughter and additional joy of my life.   

So, instead of the year winding down, it accelerated.  My father-in-law and I, along with help from our friends Jim, Dave, Chris, Hank, Richard, and Grice, made a mad dash to finish this old house.  We finally got it good enough to move in the second weekend in December.  
4 days later, a pipe burst in our kitchen, ruining our new “Top Choice” laminated floors (the only choice to make, dear reader, is “hardwood”).  We now will spend the first week of year 2009 at the in-laws while hardwood floors are installed here.  Are you KIDDING me?
Apparently not.  Seems Romans 8:28 has many applications.  
So, I’m saving my “resolutions” for tomorrow.  I’ll end 08 with this:  I am still blessed beyond deserving.  This year is a perfect example of grace:  I have received so much, yet have done nothing to earn it.  I whine.  I complain.  I get frustrated.  I fail.   I lose faith.   
And yet God remains faithful.  
That is the short story of 2008:  God is faithful.  My prayer is that you know Him and His Son, Jesus.  Don’t let another second tick off the clock if you don’t.  
Here’s a Happy New Year to you all.
Grace and peace,

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