Friday, December 30, 2005

Reflecting on 2005

This year has been absolutely incredible. It was full of hardship in the beginning months, but I learned much as a result and came through stronger. Here are some of the highlights:

God worked through my former youth pastor to restore my marriage which was dry and virtually lifeless (click here for more). It is now better than it ever has been and we are growing in God together and growing ever closer as a couple.

I bought my first new car this year in May. Mine was to the point where it had to go. The constant repairs it was needing were costing more than a car payment would. I had always bought used "American" cars, especially because Cindy's dad is a retired auto worker. However, in his words, it's different now because so many cars are "mixed". We got a Mazda 3 and are very happy with it. I haven't driven it since the day we got it because I consider it Cindy's car, but it was still a fun experience to actually buy a car new.

At my job I was making below "market value" for someone with my degree and technology experience. I took the job when I was laid off and I didn't want to risk negotiating my way out of the opportunity. Money was tight in the beginning months of this year and I knew that it would be hard for us to make it on my salary alone (Cindy has always had a desire to be a stay-at-home mom). In June I felt led to sow some money to my former youth pastor. I gave him almost $1,300. About a month later I got a new job that pays $20,000 a year more than what I was making last January. PRAISE GOD!! Cindy and I are excited about the fact that she can stay home when that time comes. The higher salary has also enabled me to sow even more which I love to do.

God spared me from drowning when we were on vacation and the experience completely changed my outlook on so many things. Each day is a precious gift and I do not take anything for granted (click here for more).

And finally, as you may have recently read (click here for more), Cindy is pregnant with our first baby!! I really have a hard time expressing in words all the joy I have about being a dad. Being married has helped me understand more about Jesus and His Bride (the Church). I know that being a father will show me wondrous things about the father heart of God.

As we close out this year it is my prayer that all of you will look back and see God at work in both your good times and your struggles. We're all in this together and I am blessed to have the opportunity to share what I have learned with you all as well as learn from your experiences. Thanks for being my blog neighbors!


At 12/30/2005, Blogger Melanie Morales said...


I find it interesting that many times marriages undergo some really tough times just shortly before the arrival of a new family member. I know ours did. Kade's arrival totally changed our lives and our marriage and continues to do so on a daily basis.

I am expectantly waiting to see what God brings us in 2006!

At 12/31/2005, Blogger Fred said...

Overall, a pretty good year. Happy New Year, Mark.

At 1/01/2006, Blogger Connie said...

For sure, Mark, marriages have their ups and downs. We absolutely cannot sustain that newly married trance state forever. There are life stages in a marriage, in the same way that there are life stages in spiritual growth and emotional development. (There's another book I should have written.) It gets better if we work at it. After 38 years (yes I was a baby) we have a more relaxed togetherness, a comfort with our differences, a greater degree of mutuality than we ever had in the beginning. Keep growing.

At 1/02/2006, Blogger Mandy said...

Congratulations the expansion of your family! What a blessing!
May your New Year be filled with new beginnings, strength, success, and intimacy with your family and Jesus Christ!

At 1/02/2006, Blogger Aim Claim said...

We are blessed by the ups and downs of the rollercoaster of life. Happy 2006 my new friend!

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