2013 – Bummer Year or Great Year?

2013 – Bummer Year or Great Year?
Van Accident 2013
• I continued to work at about half of the income I used to make as a pastor, which, as you may know, ain’t exactly the lap of luxury to begin with. 
• I continued to be able to develop my dream of a faith-based drama ministry locally, and nationally. I am doing what I love to do and getting paid for it and making a difference in people’s lives, possibly for eternity. The dramas are being well received, the word continues to spread… and more and more offers are coming in. I worked with some amazing fellow performers this Christmas, producing the first local ensemble show. The dream continues to grow. (Also, a good number of days, I get to wear pajamas to work. This is a great added-bonus that cannot be ignored.)

• My wife was diagnosed with a recurrence of Breast Cancer and was in treatments from April through early September.
• My wife kicked cancer’s butt… for the second time.

• My family pinches pennies and gets creative to continue to pay bills and afford college. We work multiple jobs. We pull things together to cover insurance needs. Things break. Needed home and car repairs happen. Hospital bills skyrocket. We are on the road often and don’t always see each other as much as we would like. We sometimes fail to love each other well.
• At the end of the day, our family does love each other. We have jobs. Our girls are amazing. And healthy. And are actually crazy enough to still love and talk with and enjoy their parents. They have awesome schools, the greatest friends, amazing teachers and mentors. They were both honored with positions of “royalty” by their peers this year and are generally happy and blessed in life.

• My Mom died this summer. I/we miss her terribly. Christmas was harder than I would have imagined. Lots of silent tears. I have counseled people in grief for years, but that does not take away the pain when it happens to you.
• My Mom knew Jesus Christ as her Savior. I will see Mom again. This is just a waiting period. We cried hard at her funeral. We also laughed hard. This ain’t the end of the story.

• I was in a nearly fatal car accident that totaled our van.
• God saved me from a nearly fatal car accident that totaled our van.

• For any number of reasons, I was not cast in a show that I have been waiting to be in for nearly 28 years. My “dream” show. Easy to find or make-up excuses why or forget that it was also nearly every other actor’s dream show. Could also be easy to forget the fact that I did not do as well in the audition as I would have liked or am capable of doing.
• I have been blessed throughout my life to get cast, almost always, in the roles I hoped and dreamed for. I am blessed to live in a community with great talent, great fellow-performers for friends, and a nearly endless supply of performing opportunities. And did I mention the fact that I was in a nearly fatal car accident a few weeks ago? Puts not getting cast in a play (for whatever reason) in perspective.

Tonight, my wife, my two daughters and I will go to bed warm. We will not be hungry or sick. We will likely sleep well, in a very nice house that the majority of the world (outside the USA) would call a mansion. By more than two-third’s of the world’s standards (outside the U.S.), we are wealthy beyond imagination. It is only in comparing myself to other materialistically-minded Americans that I can be foolish enough to think life would be happier with “more”.

Bummer Year or Great Year?

Thanks for helping me rethink this thing, Lord. I will probably continue to need you to remind me, though, foolish man that I am.

Looking forward to 2014… and whatever rollercoaster life will continue to bring.

So bring it on, Lord. Let’s do this thing. Thanks for the ride this year, and thanks for keeping me around to ride it.

Happy New Year, friends. May you, also, know that you are blessed and may you always know that you, too, are loved. May God gives us all perspective.

See you in 2014.

+ Jonathan



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