A glance back at 2018 and a look ahead at 2019
We’re in this strange limbo between the end of 2018 and the start of our real lives in 2019. It’s still summer holiday in New Zealand, and we’re still wintering in the United States. So, we’re taking a few minutes to pause in the limbo, simultaneously reflecting and anticipating.
2018. What a year. This picture very much captures the sweetness and the silliness of this past year.
This past year was full-on, as the kiwis say, and we were stretched in ways we couldn’t have imagined. Quentin started his first full year of school. We hosted grandparents, a wee cousin and his parents, lecturers, and librarians. We traveled as individuals or as a family to the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand’s South Island. Our blogging became significantly more sporadic during the second half of the year because we were otherwise occupied spearheading significant updates to our church building (hooray for new paint and carpet!) and hosting District Assembly.
District Assembly was indeed a fabulous occasion. Over the course of the first weekend in November, nearly 400 different Nazarenes participated in one way or another. Check out the video below to catch a short glimpse of what it’s like when our district gets together.
We left just two days after District Assembly for 11 days of mixing work and play in Australia. It was one of our favorite trips as a family so far. We love exploring new places as a family, and Q is a world-class traveler. (Our tips for making travel with kids as smooth as possible are here.)
We returned to NZ with a one-month window for wrapping up the school year and enjoying all the year-end activities. We’re super proud of Q’s school experience this year. But we’re also delighted by what God has been doing in our play groups and brand-new youth group. We couldn’t have anticipated those things when 2018 started.
Then, we got on a plane for the US. Good thing there are 12 days of Christmas! We crammed in all the family, festivities, and fun imaginable into every single day (and then some!).
Our very American Christmas looked a bit like this:
And, in answer to the question in this blog post, we did have a white Christmas… sort of. Kansas City—always beautiful at Christmas time—produced rain on the 26th of December but no snow whatsoever. But, the mountainous regions of New Mexico pulled through with a historic amount of snowfall. We spent the first days of the new year sledding, cave carving, and snowman building.
Q said, “God gave me everything I wanted and more. I didn’t even know to pray for sledding, and that was the best part of all!” Now, we’re making new friends and catching up with old ones as we visit churches across New Mexico and Texas. As we hang out in this time-warp between the end of our 2018 ministry and our return to New Zealand, we’re looking ahead to whatever God has for us. What’s in store? What’s already on the calendar? What are we hoping for?
In February, Q will start year 2 (the US equivalent of first grade). He’s excited about his new teacher and getting to spend another school year with the classmates he already knows. Plus, he’s looking forward to turning 7 (his favorite number), swimming, horse riding, and soccer.
We’ll kick off Kids’ Club with our annual S’More S’Mores event. We’re planning a trip to parts of the South Island we haven’t explored yet. We’re looking forward to another group of Uni students joining us in July. We can’t wait to work together to put on the best school holiday program ever!
We’re looking forward to putting the finishing touches on the NTC-AKL library and getting a student management system up and running. That’s been our goal for the past year, but the pieces are finally in place for it to actually come to fruition this year, which fills us with eager anticipation.
There’s so much to come that we can’t yet imagine, but it’s sort of like Q’s experience with sledding. The parts unknown—the ones we don’t even know to pray for— are often some of the best parts of all!