Thoughts From an Exhausting Year

The other day I sat down and took a little mental inventory of the year.

-My oldest boy was a senior. This was a first for me. This year included his final basketball game in High School.
-My third son broke his ankle in 4 places and needed surgery. First surgery in our family.
-My dad had a second major stroke. Things spiraled down, and we thought we were going to lose him in July, but he battled back. Recently he has been losing ground again.
-Graduation day came along with a reception to celebrate the day.
-My mom got an infection called C-diff and has been in the hospital a couple of times.
-We went on a family vacation for the first time in years. One week is just not enough. We did get to see the Holy Land of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Lambeau field.
-My Church hired a new office administrator. Gus became a secretary and an extremely helpful assistant.
-My mom discovered she had cancer and needed scans. Finally, she received radiation treatment. Her last checkup showed everything doing well.
-I served as a VBS director. First time in 17 years.
-I bought a used boat for fishing. Tried to spend some time on the water.
-Canceled my next vacation and made a few trips to help my parents in Indiana.
-Took a son to college. Another first for our family. Cried most of the way home.
-Put his younger brother into his senior year. After numerous college visits this fall, we think he has landed on attending Drury University in Springfield Missouri.
-My Church hired a new children’s minister after six months of searching and praying. She has been an enormous asset to our Church and our children.
-My second son had surgery on a torn meniscus. Missed part of senior football season but still did well when he played.
-Another football season for three boys finished and in the books. The final football game for another senior boy. Done with Jr. High football forever.
-Thanksgiving in Indiana with the family.
-An exhausting two-month Jr. High basketball season. Final games of Jr. High basketball and football are in the books. Next year everyone is in High School or college.
-Another Christmas season at Church. Presents and programs are all done.
-New Year’s Day is on the way.

It exhausts me just thinking about it. This year has had its share of ups and downs. It has left me tired and emotional at times.

Two Biggest lessons God has taught me this year.

1. Love your family while you are able. We are quickly losing dad on one side, and my boys are leaving home on the other side. Our days are always numbered with the people we love. Live accordingly.

2. You never know what tomorrow brings. I asked my staff at Christmas if they ever dreamed of living in Adrian Missouri a year ago, both responded with a firm “no.” One son broke his ankle jumping up for a basketball, and the other tore his meniscus jumping in a pool (we think). Life is full of twist and turns, and you are never really prepared for what happens next.

Some years are lived with both hands holding tight to God. For me, it was one of those years. While things are frequently difficult, God is good, and my faith has grown. I hope 2016 was good to you. I especially hope 2017 is better for all of us.

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