Annual Report & Prospects for the Future

December 31, 2010

Faith, Family

Before I launch into the rite of annual prognostication, I need to engage in some shameless self-reflection.  Last year had its challenges.  But on the whole, we met or exceeded almost every goal we had for 2010.  Here’s the quick rundown:

  • Cindy left her old job and took a new job in a new field. One of her longstanding desires has been to be a writer.  And in her new role, she is a professional proposal writer.  It’s not the same as writing fiction.  But it is not as mundane as writing user manuals.  In her new job, she is writing proposals for employer sponsored retirement programs.  And so far, she is doing quite well.
  • Cindy has completed two more semesters towards her masters degree.  I am so proud of her continuing excitement and the amount of effort she invests to be exceptional.  Every year, I am startlingly reminded of what an exceptional wife I have.
  • After three years at H&R Block, I finally decided to move on.  I liked H&R Block.  But it was no longer a challenge.  The company is struggling to find its way amidst increased competition.  And the company has abandoned IT as a strategic differentiator.  Consequently, I would not have been able to continue to grow my IT career at H&R Block.  Therefore, I took a new opportunity with General Dynamics.  And since starting, I have been able to be part of something substantial.  This is a feeling I have not had for over five years.  So I am thrilled with the change I made.
  • I have finally slain the two-headed dragon of fear and procrastination that have plagued my personal finances – at least, for now.  I have consolidated all of my retirement assets into a single portfolio.  And I have made balanced investments in that portfolio.  This took a whole lot longer than I thought that it would take.  But we are ending the year in a much better position than we have been in for many years.  When coupled with our program of debt consolidation and elimination, we are in a much more manageable place than we have ever been in before.
  • For the first time in twenty-seven years, I was required to take an IT certification exam.  This was quite harrowing for me.  But I did pass with flying colors.  I guess I can still keep my library card.
  • I have been part of an exceptional Bible study at work.  I am leading a small group of committed Christian men.  We have almost completed an excellent study of John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life.”  I am jazzed about being with these men.  And I really feel like I am both learning and leading.  This kind of thing renews my zeal for spiritual investment.  And I am so thankful that God has led me to this group of men.
  • I have started to renew my bicycle commuting ways.  The new route is 12+ miles each way.  So I’m clocking between seventy-five and one hundred miles every week.  And if you have followed this blog recently, you can tell just how excited I am about this.  I have a new bike.  I have new lights.  I have new clothing and I have a renewed heart for the mission.  Bicycle commuting, ftw!
  • Because of my bicycle commuting, I am finally starting to lose weight once again.  I’ve already dropped over twenty-five pounds.  I can’t wait to get back to my desired weight.
  • My kids are doing so much better at the end of this year than they were doing at the beginning of the year.  Meredith has graduated from her masters program and she has started a job in Houston.  Dana has worked so very had to regain her NCAA eligibility.  It took her burying herself with twenty-seven credits last semester.  But she accomplished that monumental task.  And I am so very proud of her.  I pray that her daughter will someday realize just what kind of a resilient woman her mother is.  Bailey will complete her undergraduate studies almost a year early.  Finally, Adam finished his high school career and has begun his collegiate career.  He both amazes me and frightens me: he has so much untapped potential – and he has such a compassi0nate heart.  At the same time, he does everything “helmet first.”  This includes tackling opponents as well as confronting personal demons.

So 2010 was an exceptional year.  But I am praying for an even more successful 2011.  Here are the big-ticket items:

  1. I am excited to be welcoming Josh Lieberman into our family.  He is such a fine young man.  And his love for Meredith has made her a much stronger and better person.  That is quite amazing as she has always been such a wonderful young lady.  As I’ve noted before, I will be officiating the marriage ceremony.  I just pray that we can really launch their new life together with both joy and a sense of community.
  2. I hope and pray for Dana to close out her undergraduate career in an amazing way.  I hope that she can be the on-court leader that she wants to be this season.  But I also pray that she will become the family leader that she must be for her daughter.
  3. I pray that Bailey’s new business will do well.  And I pray that her growing relationship with Daniel Smalley will bring her both joy and a renewed excitement about her faith and her life’s mission.
  4. I pray that Adam will become the on-field leader that I know he can become.  And I pray that he will also open his heart more fully to Jesus Christ.
  5. I pray that I can be the in-home leader that Jayden and Cindy both need.  And I pray that we can finally settle our hearts upon a church where we can fully invest our hearts, souls and spirits.
  6. I really want to lose about thirty more pounds.  This will make cycling even more fun.  And it will allow me to become more confident in who I am.  My goal is to be at 220 by June 30th.
  7. Finally, I pray that I can be the humble and Christ-centered leader that God has called me to be at work.

These are my resolutions and my aspirations for the year.  So what do you have in mind for your life in the next year?

-Roo

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