By Don Lindsey
2019 is rapidly approaching and while I’m looking forward to a new year with new possibilities and goals to meet, I’m also looking back on what I’ve learned this past year and celebrating the gifts that God has put into my life.
For starters, I learned that my family and the Lord are the two biggest driving forces in my life. My relationship with God has had its ups and downs this year with me refusing to hand over my stresses to Him and then being upset when it feels as if nothing is going right. I have gotten a lot better at relaxing enough to put my troubles in His hands and when I do, I notice a peace within me that I do not have when I’m not walking with God the way I know I should. It doesn’t take much. Praying, giving thanks and trying to be spiritually aware enough to follow the signs that Jesus sends me has always worked very well, so the plan this coming year is to do my best to stay in constant contact through prayer with my Creator.
Another thing I’ve discovered that works well for me when times are tough is leaning into my family. It’s amazing to me how these people always find a way to pick me up no matter how low I am. My kids can get me to think, laugh and almost cry from pride on a regular basis. Sure, they’re children and as such, there are some trying times, but watching them grow up and seeing the way that they’re working to be productive and responsible adults is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t feel grateful for these silly, thoughtful and kind-hearted young folks.
Truth is, no matter how much I feel like I’m struggling, being surrounded by love can get anyone through just about any bad situation. The best example that I can give of that is the love that my wife Tammy shows me on a daily basis. I have so much respect for how she puts our family above all else and how hard she works for everything that we have. I have seen her struggle so much this year with a workload that has been more than overwhelming. She comes home at night so exhausted and frazzled only to get up the next morning to do it all over again. Through all of that, she still manages to be my moral compass at times reminding me that God always has a plan. When I talk about putting all of my stress into the hands of the Lord, she’s the one that has taught me to do that. My life is so much better with her in it and I’ll never be able to express just how thankful I am for her.
While 2018 had its issues, it was also chocked full of great memories and a realization that God is always at work. I get so hung up on what’s in front of me that sometimes I miss that and this year my focus will be on noticing and celebrating the blessings that God gives me as they happen so that I can get the most out of those situations. It starts with enjoying every second I have with my loved ones and ends with letting God work out the tough stuff. As long as I can do that, then 2019 will be even better than 2018.
To anyone reading this, I wish you a happy and safe New Year. God bless.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.