Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 – Year in Review

God has done many things in the lives of our family over this past year. Some of these things we considered great blessings. Some were great challenges. Yet all came at the hand of our sovereign God who has all things under His control.

The blessing of children tops the list for our blessings this year. Our Sarah Grace was born on March 24. Also, my brother and his wife gave birth to their second son and third child, Joshua Alex on May 11. Joshua’s middle name is the same as my grandfather, Malcom Alex. Providentially he was born on “Pepaw’s” birthday. Finally, my sister and her husband arrived in Texas with their newly adopted daughter, Abbey Elena Johnson on December 24.

This year has brought us several positive changes. I took a job with Dobson Communications at the end of January. With the acceptance of this position, we made the move to Oklahoma. This opened up the change of acquiring a new home and finding a new church. The church is family integrated and holds to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. This is right in sync with where the Lord has been leading me in my spiritual walk. The church family is very loving and we have grown close in the short amount of time we have been together so far. This year, Vision Forum has continued to play a large part in my spiritual walk and in helping me to lead my family. For the first time this year, we have formed a family vision statement. See my very first blog entry to read its text and explanation.

I mentioned taking a new position at Dobson. For secular employment, I have really enjoyed it. It is quite a change from LifeWay, and my ultimate goal is to work for myself with my family. However, until the Lord opens up that door, He has blessed me with a good work environment. I have a supervisor, manager, and VP with whom I work very well. They value my contribution and have praised my efforts on the job probably more than any other employer for whom I have worked. I attended a Vision Forum Entrepreneurial conference with my oldest son this year and received many ideas on going into business with my family. Geoff Botkin gave a very good presentation on the forming of a 200 year plan. With his inspiration, I have done the same for my family. Way back in January I took a woodworking class where I learned three types of joints. I am just now beginning to acquire the tools I need to practice these skills. Whether this leads to a business endeavor or just a good hobby that I can do with my children, I think this will be a worthwhile effort.

There were also a few challenges this year. Standing right alongside our greatest blessing this year, the birth of Sarah, is our greatest challenge, the accident Sheri had in our van. In this wreck, Sheri broke several ribs and her sternum. It also caused her to go into labor. Sarah was born via emergency c-section. The other bright spot in this accident story is that we were able to get a new van since we had outgrown our other one anyway. See my blog entry on the Lord’s Provision in Transportation to read more about it.

Our youngest son, Paton, had hernia surgery this year. Sheri lost her grandfather. He was her last living grandparent. The girl’s had their rooms flooded this year with the bursting of a water line under their bathroom sink. For several days we had dehumidifiers going and big carpet fans. Finally, Sheri’s mom hit a deer with her car with Brittney in the front seat. What’s more is that the deer either got away or someone else picked it up before I could get back to get it.

We’ve had some good memories from this year. As I have done with the three oldest children, I began to teach Justin to read this year. He’s doing quite well, though he needs to practice a bit with the sound “an.” He reads it different than the way he speaks, so it confuses him. Also, we have begun to compete in the Jamestown 400 Vision Forum contest. We are having a blast with it and fully intend to win 400 gold coins in 2007 at the Jamestown celebration in June.

God’s blessings have abounded. I know we are right where He wants us for now. What 2007 and beyond holds for us, only He knows.

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