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2018 has been a year of tremendous change for my wife and I.  It started early when my youngest son left for Basic Training in the USAF.  Shortly after, we were able to drive out to San Antonio to see him graduate, prior to heading off to his technical training in Wichita Falls, TX.  While he was there, his wife (our daughter in-law) moved in with us briefly in the waning days of her pregnancy.  As you’ve probably guessed, we were there to drive her to the hospital when it came time for her to deliver their beautiful, baby boy – our first grandson!  Soon afterwards, our oldest son graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Social Work.  He moved off shortly afterwards and now resides in Houston, TX.  Subsequently, our USAF son received an assignment to Seymour AFB, NC, where he now lives with his wife and son.

In the month of June, I was presented with an opportunity that my wife and I had dreamed of – to move to North Georgia.  Having lived in the extreme south of the state (Valdosta) for 30 years, we had longed for the day when we’d be able to retire to the North Georgia mountains.  Thankfully, the company that I worked for offered me an opportunity to transfer with a relocation package.  All expenses were paid.  This set off a very quick set of events which included getting our current house ready for market and searching for a new place to live at the top of the state.  And while it appears that things went quickly and smoothly during the transition, there were plenty of moments of frustration.  Ultimately, however, we were able to get the house sold quickly, and move on to our new area of Gainesville, GA.  Even so, we actually had to live in our travel trailer for 30 days while waiting to close on our new home.

Something of note about our move from Valdosta is the fact that my wife left a job in which she’d been employed for over 26 years at First Baptist Church.  She was loved by the staff members and congregation there – and she loved them!  They had a special celebration during the last Sunday we were there in her honor.  It was beautiful.

Since our move, we’ve endured my wife’s search for a new employer (we’re thankful that wasn’t a long, drawn out affair), and we’ve found our new church home.  We’ve also spent plenty of time finding new restaurants, attended all of the Fall festivals, and ventured off into the mountains a time or two.  Just as we had dreamed, we love it here!

Looking back over all that transpired in 2018, I realize that there were many bumps in the road to get us here.  We laughed a lot, shed a tear or two, and fussed a bit.  Though the end result has been wonderful, there were missteps, trials, and plenty of difficulty.  I suppose this is the case with anyone in a situation similar to our.  But even in the face of those trying times, my wife and I often spent time to reflect on what it was all for.  It was that continual looking forward that seemed to make all of the trials worth it.  And it was indeed worth it!  I am further reminded that like my own straight, narrow, and sometimes crooked journey through life, God wants us (me) to keep our eyes on Him.  When we do, don’t be surprised if the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

I hope that your Christmas time is full of comfort and joy!


Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

(Helen H. Lemmel – 1922)