As I anticipate all that is to come in this new year, it seems that 2013 will be a year of harvesting. After years of planting, sowing, watering, and tending to, if all goes as planned, this will be a year of reaping in some areas of my life. Three big items come to mind when I think about the anticipated harvest in the year ahead. Here's the list:
- Come hell or high water, I will finish this dissertation, defend it before a committee or professors with mile-long CVs, and graduate from this doctoral program this year. After 5 LONG YEARS, I'm ready to be finished. I'm aiming for a late spring/early summer defense, and your prayers are appreciated. And your patience is also coveted as I somewhat humorously insist, for a good 6 months after completion at least, that everyone I come in contact with call me Dr. Bollinger. Ha! What a load off my back it will be to finish. And what a humongous opportunity and accomplishment, for which I will be forever grateful!
- Since dreams become realities sometimes, I will also record a full length album of original music this year!!! Woot! Yes, you read that right!! I've been working with a wonderful producer at Shock City Studios here in St. Louis who is helping to make dreams come true. His name is Tony Esterly, and he scooped me up and basically paved the way to make this happen. After years of writing songs and singing with bands, I will finally have a professional recording of the music that makes my heart come alive. We are hoping for a summer 2013 release. I'm so flipping excited!
- I will also travel back to Mozambique once for sure, and possibly twice. During the first trip in April, I will have our Bishop and the rest of the Missouri Conference leadership in tow - and what a trip it will be! We will be solidifying some plans as a leadership team and will be beginning a whole new chapter of ministry that has been in the making since I started this position. It will be a time of hard work and great celebration with our Mozambican brothers and sisters.
So, the year ahead is a big one, and I'm looking forward to it with great anticipation and excitement, knowing too that it will be a year of hard work. Your prayers, support, and patience are all necessary as I keep my nose to the grindstone, but anticipate the celebration that is to come.