Thirty Two

Dear Thirty Two,

Hello you beautiful bastard. Good to see you. But let's be honest, 32 isn't much of a celebration. It's one of the many "in-between" birthdays between 30 and 40. However, another year has gone by and with that many challenges and victories have been faced.

Looking back over the last year it feels like one giant tug-o-war with my soul. Where we were all set to make the big move to Colorado last year and settle in to our new surroundings high above sea level, now we have decided to stand our ground and stay put in Dallas. Also, I'm pretty sure this time last year I had no idea what to expect out of papahood. All I knew to expect was the unexpected. Talk about a total game changer though, but in the best way possible. More on that later though.

First, a few things I've learned this year when it comes to work. Honestly, it ain't no trip to Cleveland. Not that any of this has ever really been easy though. The transition from last year to this year has proven to stretch my ability to believe beyond what I can see in new ways. Maybe it's all wrapped up in being a new father. But after moving on from Over last year I had to adjust my mindset back to being self-employed. It was honestly a comfortable four months while I was working with them, getting a steady paycheck and all, but at the same time I feel like it hurt me by making me feel comfortable. And if there's anything I've learned through it all, it's 1. don't get comfortable, and 2. know where my security really comes from.

Moreover, getting the chance to travel this last year has been one of the highlights of my year. From the beautiful coast of central California to the ancient cities and deserts of Israel, there has been no shortage of adventure. This time we live in is so exciting, filled with so much opportunity – don't miss out by waiting for something better. It's not good enough to just do what you love, you really have to love what you're doing enough to go through the hard times. That's why I am so incredibly thankful to have an amazing, beautiful, supportive wife by my side who continues to believe in me – good times and bad.

I mentioned believing beyond what I can, or as most people like to call it – faith. These five letters formed together make up something far beyond what words can describe. The great ups and downs of our lives are woven together with it. It is the very life and death of us all. That's why I believe King Solomon was right when he said our words hold the power of life and death. My faith this year has grown in new and challenging ways. On the one hand I feel like I've gone from the mountain top experience of witnessing the birth of my daughter, to the depths of the lowlands as I struggle to find ways to sustain my business. Through it all I know I am loved. And as my good friend Doug told me a few weeks ago, "The Father loves y'all so much." Pow! That's the kind of simple encouragement that makes everything else seem small.

But more than any amount of travel or struggle this year, nothing can top the birth of my daughter. Most of my feelings leading up to her birth were full of the unknown. Hearing other people's experiences and encouragements were really great, but being by my wife's side for the 18 hours of labor and being able to help deliver my little girl is just beyond words. The connection my wife and I formed during that time is priceless. And now, as each day passes, watching my little girl grow up is a wondrous gift. I don't think anyone could have prepared me for the new space that opened in my heart after my daughter was born, and what great love flowed from it.

So here's to another year gone by, and a new year laid out ahead of me. I can't see from one day to the next, but I believe life is only getting better. Like a fine wine, our lives continue to mature and develop more complex notes of character. I'm excited to see where I'll be this time next year, but now it's time to put one foot in front of the other.