2021 - Thereafter Word Cloud

Christmas quickly approaches, and thereafter the New Year. As I reflect back on the year, so many new paths have begun after long journeys. This year, the word that comes to mind is …

  • thereafter

Even with a pandemic slowing then flaring up, many new steps in our family’s life began this year. Early in the year we were blessed when Sam Surface proposed to our daughter, Rachel, and soon thereafter discussions of wedding plans began. Our daughters then graduated from Taylor University in May, and thereafter began to start their lives away from home. Rachel moved to Bloomington to begin graduate school at Indiana University while Emily accepted a job at Southern Wells Community Schools to teach Chemistry. Immediately thereafter, Emily began a search for an apartment or house in the area of the school, eventually leading Emily to purchase a wonderful house to call her own. Through friends and mentors, I was approached this summer regarding a possible new job, and soon thereafter I stepped away from almost 25 years at Taylor University and accepted a position as Director of Bible Translation Software at SIL International. I now work from home, leading an international team of software developers, testers, and recruiters. A benefit of this new position is that I have been able to focus more on my caregiving for Angie as well. And now, Emily has moved to her new home and Rachel is living in Bloomington, and so thereafter we have become empty nesters, Angie and I.

So many big steps in our family’s life, we will not be the same thereafter. We have begun new paths in our lives. This brings to mind a long poem that starts in The Hobbit and continues in Lord of the Rings. I feel like Bilbo, who has led an amazing life already, leaving the Shire, setting off on an adventure again to Rivendale.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.

The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

I have “eager feet” on these new paths that I must follow. Excited to see Emily and Rachel step into their own paths. Excited to be parents of adult children. Excited to follow this new career path at SIL. Excited to experience life anew with Angie as empty nesters. Excited to have some time now for my own creative endeavors.

Thanks for being a part of my ongoing creative journey. I have enjoyed your comments and questions throughout the year. What new things, changes, or challenges are to come in 2022 I do not know, but I do know my friends, family, and readers are here with me on the journey.

Reflections on 2021

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