2015. A year filled with an amalgam of pain and joy that changed me and my family.
- I changed jobs from teaching high school to middle to school to back to high school. I honestly never saw myself as a teacher (professionally speaking), but each day has increased my confidence and ability to teach. It isn’t always easy, but it is rewarding. I daily remind my students that each day is an opportunity to learn and have found that true in my life.
- My daughter turned one in August. Each day is filled with its share of challenges and joys. She may be little for her age, but is growing in personality and intellect. It was scary for both my wife and I to see her suffer through her medicinal issues, but to hear her laugh reassures me that everything will be ok. Plus, her running to meet me at the door when I come from work never ceases to get old.
- I had the chance to serve our former church as their young adult pastor. Juggling both full time work and working at the church took a toil on every fiber of my being. In addition, when I resigned a week before Easter, my family experienced the shunning that has become a trend in my life. Funny, at this point in my life reason seems to scream that it is time to pursue something else in life. However, pastoral work is still something I would like to do one day. As we recover from our wounds, being without a church community has brought us closer as a couple.
- I was told by many married men, through books and real life conversations that marriage changes when you have a child. It’s true. I’m still trying to figure out how to continue loving my wife tenderly and affectionate with a little one demanding our attention. We are united but ever growing. I’ve learned this year that intentionality requires sacrifice of my time, energy, and resources. I’m grateful for nights of discussions in bed, giggling like children while watching silly videos, and discovering more about her than I previously knew.
- Personally, I’ve tried to read and reflect more before reacting to the events around me. I remember reading in seminary a book talking about Paul and the author made the argument that if your doctrine is not evolving, you are not growing. This thought has not left me and has been my approach while reading and pondering viewpoints different than mine. There are some things that has not changed, some are in process of changing, and few have radically changed. This is still something I’m sorting through in the new year, but if our views do not increase our love for Jesus and our neighbor, then what’s the point? Believing in a literal 24 hour creation isn’t the point of Genesis 1; but rather, showing the care and power of the One who spoke life and it was so. The Gospel is more than Jesus’s death, but is the proclamation of his life, teaching, death, resurrection, and return. Some things are still a mystery to me, while some things are not. As the apostle Paul said, when I became a man, I put away childish things. There are less and less hills I’m willing to die on because my king and kingdom can never be taken from me.
Tattoos are like Doritos, once you get one, you can’t stop. I got my third one in December and wifey got her first from the same artist.
Turning 30 next year equally excites and terrifies me.
This year my family got me 4 adult coloring books for Christmas and coloring pencils. It is incredibly stress relieving and very satisfying.
“My faith in Jesus provides each year, each moment, with purpose. The passing of each year throws me to the floor with gratefulness. I know I cannot do it without Jesus because I’ve had more than enough chances to prove otherwise and each time I end up with nowhere to go but to Him.
I know that some of you have views on Jesus than I do. I’m not here to argue with you. I just want you to know that, in spite of the way many Christians express themselves politically or culturally, or artistically, or in-person, our story is one of death and renewal. Our God died in our place so that we might live.”
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
My friend Brent made a request recently asking for musical playlists for the new year. His stipulation was that the songs had to be released in 2015. I didn’t listen to a lot of new music (due to hours of listening to Sesame Street and Adele on repeat thanks to Ellie and mommy), but I did hear some gems. I broke up my playlist into two parts. The first part was my response to Brent’s request, while the second one was a collection of songs that almost made the cut but missed out. Enjoy!
https://open.spotify.com/user/marcopaz/playlist/7hhJ16o7wzqklK90KcFhZu (2015 b-sides: sheep can never wander too far from home)