Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas from South Georgia

Merry Christmas from South Georgia
There is so much to be thankful for this Christmas season.  A lot has changed in our family this year and we are grateful for God’s provision for our lives.  I have not posted much this year here at the blog and I’d like to say it has been mostly because constraints on my time.  While that is true, it is probably more accurate to say I have prioritized other activities above blogging.  Still, I have not abandoned the blog and will try to be more consistent in my posting here. With that said, here’s a year end update on my precious family.
Melisa continues her work towards earning the Ph.D. in Industrial & Organizational Psychology from Grand Canyon University.  The topic of her dissertation has been approved and she is working towards completing her prospectus.  From that point, it is a matter of doing the research, analyzing her data, and writing…a lot of writing!  Her employer continues to allow her to work remotely from our home in South Georgia which is a tremendous blessing.  Not surprisingly, she is also very active in our church serving in various ministries including singing with our amazing choir.  She is truly a Proverbs 31 wife!
Joshua has concluded his high school marching band career.  As a senior, he had the opportunity to serve the band as a section leader where he learned valuable lessons about leadership while investing in some of the next Georgia Bridgemen.  He also recently had his last class on the high school campus.  Though he doesn’t graduate until May, he is dual-enrolled at Valdosta State University and will have all of his Spring semester classes on the university campus.
Hannah made the high school gymnastics team this year and really grew as a gymnast.  It has been fun to watch her skills develop and see her compete.  She has been working on a new floor routine that we are excited about seeing in the early months of 2019.  She also became a Georgia driver and got her first car a few months ago.  We are still figuring out being a four-car family and I do worry about her being out on the road but I am continually amazed at the young woman she is becoming.
As for me, I’ve had quite the year in 2018!  I have transitioned into a new role in my ministry moving from Education & Evangelism into Administration back in the spring and spent much of this year adjusting to the very different rhythms of that ministry.  It has been a positive transition and has allowed me to make contributions to our church in ways I didn’t anticipate when the change occurred.  Even though I have not posted much here in 2018 I have been doing some writing. I was blessed to have a book review published back in the spring and I submitted another book review for publication.  I also have an article out for peer review and, Lord willing, will finish another article and send it out to begin the peer review process sometime in the first quarter of next year. 
We’re looking forward to 2019 and what God has for us next year!  Melisa hopes to be finishing up her Ph.D., Joshua is looking forward to beginning college, and Hannah becomes an upperclassman in high school.  Me?  I hope to continue to grow in my role serving our church, writing, and begin serving a five-year term as a trustee for one of our Georgia Baptist entities.  I am also seeking the opportunity to do some online teaching for a Christian college or university.  Our family is certain of this: 2019 won’t be dull for us here in South Georgia!
We are grateful for God’s providential care for our family and are all eager for what He has planned for us next year.  My prayer continues to be that He will use each of us for His purposes while He continues to conform us into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.  From the Sanchez family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!