the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

A Look Back at 2008
December 31, 2008, 12:39 am
Filed under: My Life... | Tags: ,

I decided to look back in my journal today and see all the things I’d written about. There were only 7 entries which tells me 2 things; one, I was really busy or distracted because I had a lot more going on that what I wrote, and two, I’m not really a big fan of physical writing. I’ve written more since I got my new laptop than in the past 2 years worth of journalling. What’s crazy is the fact that this particular journal goes back to 2005. WOW! And I’m not nearly finished with it either; I’ve got nearly 1/3 of it left and at the rate I’m going, I’ll be 2015 before I finish it off.

As I finish out this year it’s only fitting to look back at the lessons learned. Of course I had to throw on the Alicia Keys track for a little inspiration. “It’s called the past cause I’m getting past, And I ain’t nothing like I was before. You ought to see me now.”

I know most people are making lists of five or ten best and worst moments; I’m just going to share. THIS YEAR:

I turned down a position that guaranteed me a good salary, health benefits, and a great working environment. A job that most people would have given a limb for. And when I did it, I had such peace because I knew that it wasn’t the right job for me. I know without a doubt (and believe me people have outright questioned my decision!) that it was God that led me to make that choice. I’m thankful that I heard his voice for my sake and for the sake of the other people that choice effected.

I’ve narrowed my ministries down to the 2 that really suit me best. It took me quite some time and experiences, but I’m so satisfied with where I am. I absolutely love my church and am 100% committed to it’s growth and success.

I finished 2 half marathons, 2 10Ks and a whole slew of training sessions. 2009 will be more intense with a half and my first full marathon both before April! But, I’ve realized that for what God has called me to do, I can’t afford to be out of shape. I’ve gained countless insight and revelations while running and am thankful that. I’ve also gotten in the gym a lot more frequently and have been really focused on my overall health. I love what Eric Liddell says in one of my all time favorite movies, Chariots of Fire, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”

I made the decision to go back to school. I haven’t been putting this off for any particular reason, but around my birthday I began to examine my life. I saw that there are things I want to do and I need to get to school in order to better accomplish those things.

I broke one of, if not, the single most destructive habits in my life. I really can’t say I did it, because under my own strength, I’d still be doing it, but it was only God’s grace and mercy working with me to help me through it. I will someday divulge more information about this particular subject, but for now, that’s all you get.

I’ve finally started writing on a regular basis. It’s really been only as of late that it’s happened, but we’re still in 08. I kept saying and saying (mostly to myself) that I wanted to being writing again, but just never “found” the time. I’ve got my blog and I’m going to try to publish something at least 5 days out of the week. I can’t always promise something profound, but I can promise that I’ll be transparent.

I’ve had all kinds of relationship issues. I had my first official “girlfriend” in who knows how many years. While it only lasted 3ish months, I absolutely enjoyed it (I won’t say every minute) and learned more than I ever could have without it! Experience is truly the best teacher. I feel like this year I definitely branched out of my comfort zone and forgot about caring what people think as it relates to females. I met some new ones, got to know others better, took some chances, and learned a whole lot about what I’m looking for in my wife (as well as myself). Have I met her yet? Maybe…

I sat down and wrote out my purpose for the first time and all I can say is wow. It’s still very much a living document, but as I look at it, I’m incredibly amazed at what God has created me for.

I’ve learned that everything happens for a purpose and a reason. Even when things don’t make sense, we have to trust God’s greater plan in all of this. What’s going on in our lives currently is never for the present. It’s always for the future. I don’t quite fully grasp this, but I’m confident I’m going to continue to learn this in 2009 for sure. Maybe even more than I did in 2008…


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