Today is January 1, 2017.
"Wow. That was a good year".
That is how I feel. 2016 went by in a flash it seemed. Thinking back to Jan 1, 2016, I am struck by how many dramatic things happened over the past 12 months. Really dramatic things. My life is different in many ways than when I sat on this stool a year ago at my kitchen counter. It makes me wonder what the next year will hold. I will take that a day at a time, and try not to rush things so much.
A year ago, on a personal level our son was in the process of making a decision to leave college and join the military. He did make that decision in March, and is now training to be one of the militaryâ€™s elite soldiers. I am beyond proud of this young man, and the person I see him becoming. The decisions he faced were not easy ones. When he left this summer to go to military training, the lump in my throat was much bigger than when he left to go to college a few months earlier. This time, he was really leaving home. I knew he would not be coming back for Thanksgiving break, spring break, summer break â€“ and was not even sure he would be able to come home at Christmas. (Thankfully he did). The Army has this boy of mine for the next 4 years (at least), and then his life path will be set as he totally walks from boyhood to manhood. That is hard for a parent â€“ or this mother in particular. But is it part of life, and I am happy to see my son happy in his new place. He has a passion for serving his country, and this is the right place for him. My prayer is that God keeps him safe.
My daughter also has a passion for serving. She went on 2 mission trips over the past 12 months â€“ 3 if you count her trip to Haiti last December. She is now a senior in high school and in the process of trying to decide where she will spend the next 4 years after high school. It is an exciting time for her, and I love to watch her blossom. She is a beautiful soul, and my heart aches slightly knowing that this time next year she will have made her decision, be enrolled someplace, and probably getting ready to go back to finish her freshman year. We will be true â€śEmpty Nestersâ€ť in just a few months, and God alone knows how much I will miss her. But it is right for her to do, and I want to be her loudest cheerleader now, and for the rest of her life.
On the business side, a year ago at this time I was in the middle of working on a plan that had been born in my heart several months earlier â€“ a plan to open a new real estate office in Tomball, TX. It was a plan I had only shared with my team, and some very close friends. It is hard to work on something so huge and not be able to share it with those around you. And it is scary. Really scary! It took 3 more months for things to completely line up, but in April I signed the franchise agreement with RE/MAX LLC. Telling my broker, whom I deeply admired and respected, that I would be leaving her firm and going to open my own office was very difficult. In the middle of that turmoil, my team also had some turbulence of its own, which brought on its own level of pain and agony. In the end, everything shakes out exactly as it should. I have to believe that and be willing to move on.
As I sit here at my kitchen counter once again, I am reviewing the plans and goals I have sketched for the next year. I say â€śsketchâ€ť because truthfully nothing is set in stone. God alone knows what the future holds, and I will trust Him to guide me. I also believe I must be willing to take a step in order to receive the guidance I am seeking. I did not achieve everything I set out to achieve last year. But I also achieved some things I did not realize I could. That is a good thing. I believe this time next year when I am sitting on this kitchen stool doing my planning and goal setting for the next year, I will be able to reflect on 2017 and say â€śWOW. That was a good yearâ€ť. Just like I am feeling now about 2016.