For those of you who know me, you know that the month of October is pretty crazy for my family…we have 4 birthdays during the month of October, including mine… I have decided that I’m not going to see it as a birthday though. I loved video games growing up and my favorite one was Final Fantasy (I still have it on my Gameboy Advanced). Final Fantasy was a role playing game where your team of four Warriors of Light, each carrying an orb representing one of the four elements, travelled the world defeating the enemies that were keeping the orbs dark and thus saving the world. Like most role playing games, as your characters fought battles and beat enemies they gained experience points. When they had accumulated enough experience points, they would “level up” which would result in them becoming stronger, more intelligent, and for those with magical abilities, more magical abilities. I made a decision this year when I had my birthday, I would no longer see it as getting older. I see that every day in the new gray hairs in my beard and hair that greet me anew each morning and the hairline making that slow, painful march towards the back of my head. What I want to focus on is this, “How did I “level up” with regards to Faith, Family, Fitness, Fun, & Functions?” After thinking about it, here is what I have come up with. This year I leveled up in the following ways:
- Faith: While I have always tried to have an active devotional life, this year, I figured out what works for me. Thanks to the Bible App, I have found plans that work for me to get a good dose of the word (almost) every morning. I have always tried the route of reading through the Bible in a year, but most of the time it just wouldn’t sink in the way I wanted it to, the chunks were too big. This year, I started with a Joyce Meyer devotional plan and a Billy Graham devotional plan that were offered within the Bible App and I love it. I get a daily dose of Word along with the opinion and insights from people I greatly respect. In addition to this, I have been listening to the Church on the Move podcast on a regular basis. A few years ago, my in-laws bought me a 160 GB iPod and I filled that sucker up…I have sermons and podcasts going back to 2009 from Church on the Move and I figured out a nifty little trick on my iPod to be able to listen to them in chronological order so what I do is just start the first sermon and the let them go while I am working, mowing, or doing other things…it is awesome!
- Family: Our family continues to get better and better. Caleb is reading like a champ and his teacher says he is just doing amazingly. Carrie is blossoming more and more each day. Abbie is coming full force into her personality and it is amazing getting to know this little fireball that is our third child. Mandy and I are more united than we have ever been, we don’t even fight over finances anymore :-). That is huge! The interesting thing about our finances and the stress it used to cause and how we resolved it was that it was one small change that we made to how we budgeted that got us on the same page and revolutionized how we communicated about our finances. It wasn’t a huge revelation, it was tweaking the way one piece of our finances was represented on our budgeting spreadsheet that helped us see exactly where we were with our money and with that one little clarification, we got it and we were able to see things eye to eye.
- Fitness: If you have been reading my blog or known me for any length of time, you know I struggle with my weight and have been trying to lose weight for a long time. This year I had a revelation in how to structure my workouts so that they were actually doable. Previously, I had been trying to do P90X either in my morning or in the evenings but with 3 kids and running a business on the side I was very sporadic in my workouts and wasn’t seeing the results that I wanted. I tried working out at work by running on the elliptical but the frustrating thing was it took me 45 minutes to an hour during work to get a 30 minute run in, then I remembered that our workout facility at Phillips 66 has a pool…light bulb…if I go down and swim for 20 to 30 minutes, it only takes me a minimal amount of time to get from work to the pool and from the pool back to work…bingo…and the pool is open enough in the morning that I an get there almost every day because I can almost always find 30 minutes to get down to the pool. By getting consistent with the pool workouts it took the pressure off me trying to get an hour workout at home so I was able to cut my lifting routine down to 30 minutes a night which makes it so much easier to do.
- Fun: The big win for Mandy and I this year was that we took the kids to Disney World. While that was the highlight, we have also tried to make sure that we do something fun on a regular basis. We just recently had a staycation where we went to Incredible Pizza, the Tulsa Children’s Museum, and had a movie night. We have fun. We also like to win and right now Caleb’s soccer team (the one I coach) is one win away from being undefeated this season. Carrie started dance lessons this past summer and absolutely loved them.
- Functions: I hit a major career milestone this year. The interesting thing about it was that it came with very little fanfare through an IM from one of my co-workers and I didn’t even realize it was that much of a goal for me until I hit it. In my side business I also have a major announcement coming very soon which will be very cool for us and become a great avenue of blessing for us in addition to my main job at Phillips 66. I need to keep quiet on these things right now but will let you know as soon as I can.
Overall, this has been a great year, I’m looking forward to how I will level up next year and what God has in store for me and my family. Sound off in the comments below with how this year has been a great year for you!