2015 Year In Review!

Each year I give myself one word for the year. It’s sort of like my theme for the next 365 days. Everything I do… I try to pass it through that word. It’s who I want to become. 

Sometimes it’s for maturing. Sometimes it’s for fun. But no matter the reason… It has worked.  But more on that later. 

2014… My word was Selah. It’s the Hebrew word meaning to pause and reflect. I spent the year working on being still. Not getting caught up in the next big thing. But enjoying the moment. And I did just that. 

2015… My word was adventure! To become more adventurous. Stop playing to lose. To step out and enjoy life. Go places. Try new things. And boy did I ever. 

I started 2015 out in Gatlinburg, TN with family. Staying out late. Laughing with all the kids. It was a blast. I love any moment I can have away with my family on vacation. I thought starting out the new year with traveling would be a decent way to start with my new word. But I had no idea what I was in store for at that moment. 

Peru:  I spent 10 days in Peru in April. Wandering around from city to city. Being able to be a part of dedicating 15 brand new churches around that country. It was amazing! 

We flew into Cuzco, Peru. A massive 13,000 ft above sea level. I learned altitude sickness was a real thing. 

I ate everything from cow tongue to cow heart. I was even given the head of a Guinea Pig to eat as a token of one village’s appreciation. AND I ATE IT! I had to. It was rude not to. And yes… It was gross. 

I took a train through the Andes Mountains. It was stunning. I saw the Amazon River. And the highlight of it all was walking around and seeing Machu Picchu!

This was a moment I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. It was a true adventure. And I was just getting started. 

Smith Mountain Lake: I’ve heard of this lake for years. It lays in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  We spent 8 days surrounded by the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever been around. Spending the morning sipping coffee and writing. The afternoons swimming and boat riding. 

I even got my Boating license. And was pulled over within the first 15 mins of having them (wasn’t my fault though). 

North Dakota: For the past 3 years I’ve spent a week with our church in Ellendale, ND. It’s a very small town 30 minutes north of Aberdeen, SD. Trinity Bible College is in this little town and we’ve been helping restore the college to health. It’s been fun to watch. 

But this year… Ellendale gave me something I wasn’t expecting. It knocked something off my bucket list. A beautiful clear sky gave way and put on a magnificent display of the Northern Lights!

It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The colors pulsating over our heads. The glowing skies. I was in awe. 

Church Rebranding: This may be my greatest adventure to date. Transforming an 80 year old church. Bringing the place back to life. Changing the name to better position ourselves for the future. 

There is way too much here to type. But trust me when I say… This has been the wildest ride I’ve ever been on. 

Disney World: Twice! The first time with me and my girls. And currently with my whole family for Christmas and New Years. I love this place for all the obvious reasons. But this trip has been special. Coming with my niece, who is special needs, has been incredible. Disney took such great care of her. 

And there have been numerous other adventures in between these big ones. Most of them good. Some of them have been really hard. Like navigating through the loss of a dear friend and elder who died way too young. Or even my wife having a miscarriage in October. 

But nonetheless… The word I was looking for in January of 2015… Adventure… I found it!

I think from now on… I’m not only excited about it… I’m looking for it. 

And I’m sure 2016 will hold many adventures as well!

Happy New Year, my friends. Love you all. Praying 2016 is your best year yet.