It’s now a couple weeks past the beginning of a new year and most everyone is probably done reflecting on the past and planning for the future.  Life has gotten busy again.  The weekly routines keep us on autopilot. Many of our New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside.  Well, I’m just getting started. 

I’m just getting started because I had a sister visit from Oregon the week after Christmas.  I had a wedding to officiate at Disney on January 2. We had our family holiday gathering. It was a very busy time.  Very little time for reflection and planning.

Captured this image while staying at an old castle along Lake Thun in Switzerland

So, I’m reflecting for just a bit on 2018.  Some major things happened in my world.  My father died.  We welcomed a new successor in the lead role of the church I planted.  Our board made some tough decisions about how to respond to the discovery of financial fraud by a previous successor of mine.  Our fifth grandchild was born, Ava Grace. Our oldest grandchild became a teenager. Our son finished up 6 years of hard work to get his nursing degree.  We celebrated 44 years of marriage.  I had a birthday that required me to sign up for Medicare. We had a complete personal financial review that included making some specific projections and glimpses about what the future might look like.  I developed a habit of walking two miles at least 6-7 mornings every week. The church we founded surpassed all of our previous attendance records.  I took some risks with my photography and changed my entire website after a decade or more of the same format.  I received a community-wide award for inspiring generosity in others.

Of the above.  It was mostly really good.  Very good.  Excellent.  Exhilarating.  Life-giving.  Some of it was “kicked in the gut” difficult.  There was laughter.  There were tears.  But that is life.  So here’s what I’m looking forward to in 2019.

  • More of the Same.  Laughter, tears, hard work, disappointment, victories, valleys, mountain-tops. That is life.  A mixture. Wins.  Losses.  Ups. Downs. 
  • More of God’s Grace.  It’s new every morning.  It transforms my life and the lives of others.  I’m thankful.  I’m abundantly blessed.  I don’t deserve it but He gives it anyway.
  • More Growing.  I love to learn.  But sometimes learning is through the “hard way.”  I grow when I face challenges.  Pressure strengthens my leadership muscles.  I look forward to growing in my relationship with God, with my wife, and in my leadership skills and capacity.
  • More Focus.  This year, I’ve gone back to putting the writing of this blog on my calendar. That’s not a brand new idea for me, but I’ve not done that for a couple years. I know it will help me to be more consistent.  More focused with my time.
  • More Intentionality.For the last decade or more, I’ve been learning that I have to be intentional if I’m going to live a life of significance and leave the legacy I want to be known for. More than ever, I’m choosing to place what I value most at the top of the priority list. 

2019 is going to be an amazing year!  

QUESTION:  What’s at the top of your priority list for 2019?  I’d love to hear it!

6 responses to Looking Forward

  1. Edward Schultz on January 22, 2019 at 10:45 AM Reply

    God Bless you and Linda. May you have a wonderful 2019 in God’s grace.

  2. Shannon DiMurro on January 22, 2019 at 10:19 AM Reply

    Thank you pastor Dennis. I need to be more intentionally as well I Felt like you were talking just to me in your writing thank you so much Shannon DiMurro

  3. Robin Vandenbroeck on January 22, 2019 at 6:34 AM Reply

    Kudos. Through it all we can see victory and we thank you for being faithful.

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