Reflections of 2016

Last Reflections of 2016
I don’t typically write blog posts anymore, but 2016 qualifies as one of the best years of my life, and I believe that it deserves a public testimony. I’ve tried to write blog posts multiple times this year, but I can’t seem to find my voice. It hasn’t been a lack of will, but a lack of anything substantial to say. As this year closes, I’d think I have found something worth mentioning; a reflection of the blessings of 2016. 

Rev. Donald J. Trump
I followed Trump for several years before his presidential run. Love him or hate him, the man is successful. Success isn’t a sign of virtue, it is the complex output of a multiple of factors. My Papaw and I started to refer to Trump as “Rev. Donald” early on in the campaign. Our reference was mostly a joke, much as Napoleon’s men referred to him as the “little corporal.” 
I learned a lot by following him through the campaign. Perseverance against mountainous odds was the chief lesson I took away from the campaign. Republicans hated him. Democrats hated him. Independents hated him. If you listened to the media, everyone in the nation hated him. Instead of taking the path of false humility, which republicans are known for, Trump hit back. Republicans were taught to cower, run away, make excuses, accept ridicule, and go along with the narrative supplied by the left. Donald changed all that. Those who stood against him, one by one collapsed. He had a message he believed in and pushed through to the end. Billions were stacked against him, he was outspent 2-1, but through great amounts of hard work, he succeeded. This is a lesson I will remember. 

Kim and I finally took, in her words, a “real” vacation. We flew to Honolulu and spent a whole week there. It was awesome! If you get an opportunity to visit BREW AND FOAM on the North Shore of Oahu, you absolutely have to go! I have learned that there is nothing better than drinking a maca-nut latte on the beach and watching the sunrise. And then sitting on said beach all day long. Again, Brew+Foam, Brew+Foam, Brew+Foam.

I graduated with my Master's degree this year. There were times I desperately wanted to quit. I am extremely fatigued with writing religious papers. After a while, I mean 7 years of writing religious papers, I was tired of trying to say the same thing in different words over and over again. Although I am proud that I graduated, I was at least a year over cooked! 

Regent University
Although I don’t want to write a religious paper for at last a year, I am in my Doctoral program for Leadership at Regent University. I absolutely love it! My residency was magnificently enjoyable and I am ready to head back out there again. 
I found a kinship or a “kindred spirit” with most every professor and student I found there. Their vision, methods, and kindness was a breath of fresh air. My cohort is a team, working together to help everyone succeed. It is an awesome Christian environment. 

When Kim first told me we were going to have a baby, I was happy. When she let slip there was a chance for two, I was ECSTATIC! I have always wanted twins, and would refer to “them” whenever she would refer to “THE baby.” I cannot wait until they get here! We find out their gender in a month. :-)

These aren’t all of the great things that happened in my life this year, that list would be more than twice as long. 2016 gave me the opportunity to relax, recover, and reduce stress. My Holmes Stress Assessment was 633 in 2015, I had massive health issues, and my overall quality of life was bad. My wife and I worked really hard to help reduce my stress. I switched to decaf coffee, discovered games again, and work at avoiding aspects of my life that cause undue stress. As of today my Holmes Stress Assessment score was 144. 

Some people have labeled 2016 as a “dumpster fire,” but for me it was absolutely amazing. I have learned what is important in life, what it takes to achieve real life goals, and the uncertainty of chance and the impact it has on one’s life. 2016 was a year of growth for me, and I am thankful for the reprieve that it has been.