On the way here I read through my posts from NYWC 2011 and I was amazed just thinking about how much things have changed since then.
During the contemplative retreat held before the official start of the convention, I was consumed with Jay's illness. I even made him a little sculpture-y-thing out of clay and took a picture of it so I could tell him what it meant when I got home.
That was also the first time that I had traveled by myself since having kids, and I also remember having a lot of anxiety about being away from them for so long.
It was at the NYWC last year that I first heard Tony Campolo and Duffy Robbins, and it was where I first heard about the D.Min. in Ministry to Emerging Generations at Gordon-Conwell. You see where that got me.
But this year is much different. It's much less overwhelming. I actually know people. I'm here with someone else.
Jay has had his transplant and is doing exceptionally well. I'm pursuing that D.Min. that I heard about last year. I walk through the bookstore for the convention and can count on one hand the books that I don't own. (Last year I came home with 22 extra pounds of books).
I wouldn't have guessed that I would have measured time from a youth ministry convention, but it seems to be more significant than I first imagined.
Today Nick and I managed to make it to Dallas and get to our first Learning Lab, despite our flight being canceled. We went to Duffy's lab for 3 hours, and even though I spent two weeks with Duffy this summer, I still find so much that I don't know. He really is a gem.
One thing hasn't changed from last year to this year: There are still about five concurrent sessions at each block of time that I want to attend. I guess I'm in for another set of podcasts!