As I wait for the new year to turn over here in south MS, I am reflecting on 2017. There were a lot of ups an downs for sure. One thing I’m positive about is that the good far outweighs the bad and that we are blessed beyond measure. With the grace of God, we’ve made it through and come to the new year better than the last.
We lost my mother in law in February. She was a wonderful, God-loving Christian woman who was happiest taking care of others. She loved her family and loved her friends and loved God. That’s the highest of accolades in my book.
We bought a house in coastal MS the same week my little buddy turned 5. I don’t know many kids who get a house at the beach for their 5th birthday, but this one did, along with an impromptu bowling party organized by my Realtor turned friend and her amazing family.
We moved all of our belongings over several incredibly draining trips to our new home on the weekends while we waited for little man to finish up his final year at the amazing preschool he attended. If you’re in the Locust Grove, GA area, I can’t say enough good things about Locust Grove UMC Preschool, their director Mrs Angel, or her amazing staff of truly lovely people that helped my son become the young man he is now. His graduating was truly bittersweet. I miss the preschool staff and parents like family.
Moving was in itself bittersweet. While we weren’t leaving behind a house, we were leaving behind friends, family, and community. Our church family is dear to us, and we keep up from afar and watch the prayer list to add ours to it. Our friendship community is missed dearly. There were so many great friends that made us part of their family for our nearly 3 years in the area. We’ve set up guest rooms and hope they’ll visit us at the beach, and hope, too, that we can make it back to visit them.
We bought this great big house that has all the space we need, a pool, plenty of yard for kids, and a workshop for me to work in. We’re not too far from the beach, and we’re already building a great community here with our church and neighbors. The house is a bit dated, so I look forward this year to updating it one room at a time.
I struggled some in college during the move. I turned that around with hard work the following semester, so it will all work out. I’m still on target to graduate in 2 years, so I’ll call it a draw and keep pushing forward.
It’s been hard not being able to rush back home when someone is sick or hurt. I pray that God will help me make the time necessary to go back for a visit in the spring.
There have been some rough patches this year, but I’ve chosen not to focus on the rough and to instead focus on the blessing that came from each. In each hardship, the Lord uses it for our good, so I will focus on the good and not the bad. We are so close to overcoming so many amazing hurdles, and none would be possible without Him guiding our steps.
Likewise, I’ll continue to focus on the good things and the blessings God grants me each day as we move into 2018. I will continue to grow my business. With God’s help, I’ll continue to raise my son to know Him and love Him and serve Him. We pray that God uses us in our foster care journey to do His work and grow our family in His time. I will serve my church, my community, my family, my friends. I will follow where God leads.