Today we say good-bye to 2010. I love the opportunity to reflect and anticipate. Seems like the perfect time to do both.
I look back over the year and a lot has happen in our family. First, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent extensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments for the first five months of the year. I am thankful to report that she is a “survivor” and doing well. God gave her great grace and strength. Mom is such a trooper. I guess you have to be raising three boys. My dad was a constant help for her and he never left her side. He definitely deserves the “greatest dad” award or something.
Second, our family relocated from Sheffield, Ohio to Gadsden, Alabama. We were privileged to pastor in Ohio for four years and we think of our friends there often. Many of them are life-long friends and I am very thankful. We were appointed to serve the Cathedral of Praise as lead pastor in March. Hard to believe we have been here for nearly one year. No doubt God has ordained our steps and the future is very bright.
In relocating to Alabama, we find ourselves a lot closer to both of our families. Al’Lora has a lot of family in Birmingham area and my family is just four hours away in South Carolina. Just another blessing we are enjoying. Not to mention the weather is a little warmer too.
The kids continue to grow and they still provide much joy in our lives. My son Chris, turned fifteen this year and got his driver’s permit. That’s scary and exciting. He is playing on the Southside High JV basketball team and having a great season. He also made the golf team. He has even beaten me a couple of times this year on the course. But that’s not saying much.
Carissa started middle school and I am not liking that too much. She is turning into a young lady and the boys had better stay away if they know what is good for them. She plays a mean trumpet and she takes jazz and ballet dancing. She also loves helping out at the church and using her talents for God.
Al’Lora is leaving for Mexico to serve at the orphanage in Poza Rica next week. She was able to go this past year and the kids there have stolen her heart. Our church sponsored several of the kids and she will be taking Christmas to them. I am so very proud of her. She demonstrates true Christ-like love for them. I couldn’t keep her from going even if I wanted to. She plans to start back to work upon returning from Mexico in the nursing field.
As for me, I turned forty this year and it wasn’t too depressing. If this is the top of the hill before I fall over to the other side, I am going to hold on to the top as long as I can. I am also going spend the next forty years (if the Lord allows me to live that long) giving my best to God and my family. I sit back and look at all I have shared with you and feel so very blessed. This past year has been a year of challenges and transition and through it all, God has given us His grace to endure and He has once again proven to be faithful.
Looking ahead to 2011, I am confident of His presence and His leading. I do not plan on fretting or worrying about the unknown. There is nothing I can do about it anyway. I will simply embrace each moment and give it my best. Nothing that happens will take God by surprise so I will trust Him as He leads.
I wish all of you a blessed and prosperous New Year. I encourage you to live each day pursuing your dreams and reaching to achieve the impossible. So long 2010, bring on 2011! It is going to be a great one!