This year’s was inspired by a question recently posed by Micah, “What one word best summarizes you?”
Chris – LEAD. Leading…our family to love and live for Christ, Wellspring Church toward Christ the Living Water, city pastors toward unity, seminary classmates toward wisdom for the road ahead.
Highlights: Wellspring Church moved to new location: better visibility, larger room for worship services, more children’s rooms available, better courtyard area…coming up on 2 year anniversary (come celebrate with us Sunday, January 31!) Gathering area pastors for exhilarating meetings. Spearheading a Good Friday Breakfast at the Wigwam Resort that involved more than 29 churches and 300 community leaders. Hunting trip with friend Doug who killed nice 5×5 bull elk.
Brenna – INSPIRE. Inspiring…family members and women to realize the love of Christ and to commit themselves to walking with God each day as an instrument in His hands, others to embrace each day with joy and live with intentionality. Inspiring others to better physical, spiritual, and emotional health.
Highlights: Twelve days with Chris in Maui and Kauai celebrating 25th anniversary. The whole family traveling two times to see Derek as the lead in musicals at DBU. Wednesday night and Thursday morning Bible studies with the women of Wellspring Church. Placing in the Litchfield Park Triathlon. Accidental shortcut on Thanksgiving Day triathlon to finish first in age bracket…until confession led to disqualification. Seeing friends and family’s health issues go away after getting on the natural products of the health & wellness company she is now representing.
Dillon – FOCUS. Focused on…classes, leadership at Baylor University, important friendships, on his future plans, and first and foremost on the Lord.
Highlights: Being a Fulbright semi-finalist. (If he gets selected, he will have the chance to study next year in Scotland at the University of Aberdeen, all expenses paid.) Also being awarded a Rotary Global Grant Scholarship that pays for a year of studies abroad. (He is waiting to hear if he is accepted into Oxford’s Christian Ethics program.) Other highlights included induction into Phi Beta Kappa honor society this past fall semester, his senior year at Baylor University. Founded Christian Pre-Health Fellowship, a new club at Baylor that encourages pre-med majors with dreams of being medical missionaries. He also enjoyed a road trip with friends across Canada and the Northwest United States. He presented to Dallas hospital CMOs a discovery he made while serving as a summer intern at Baylor Hospital (where his momma was born!) Dillon’s discovery could save the hospital some big bucks this next year.
Derek – ENGAGE. Engaged with people…leading them in worship, encouraging them, hugging them, having fun and laughing with them, and entertaining them.
Highlights: DBU gave Derek the opportunity to play two lead roles this last year in their musicals: Charlie Brown in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and Jesus in “Godspell”. He was also awarded top freshman male of the year in the music department at DBU. Surprising fact: Derek’s favorite class this year was Music Theory III (hard work in those early years in piano are paying off now!) He continues to serve as a worship leader at Shiloh Terrace BC in Dallas (the church his momma grew up in), and also works at DBU in the music office. In his spare time he rides his unicycles and runs sprint triathlons.
Caleb – IMPACT. Impacting…the family with his great sense of humor, his school through his leadership in Student Council and other organizations, his baseball team, at Wellspring as he engages people in multiple ways – greeting, handing out bulletins, taking the count each week, working in preschool, leading the offering team, leading and sometimes speaking in youth group and continuing to be one of Wellspring’s best inviters.
Highlights: Caleb’s club team the Gauchos winning the U18 Gold Division of the USSSA Winter Nationals Super NIT, one of the biggest baseball tournaments in the U.S., as it is a qualifier for the World Series! (Caleb was the catcher and one of his best friends was the pitcher, so it was pretty special!) Getting a homerun in Goodyear Ballpark, home of the Reds and Indians. Hiking trips in Sedona with a friend. Earning a spot in MHS’s Spartan Army by proving himself through some grueling athletic feats. Setting records in the MHS weight room.
Micah – THINK. Thinking about…building new machines out of spare electronic parts and batteries, more efficient ways to do things, new math concepts, solutions to problems, interesting facts, ways to improve his game, ways we can serve the Lord better. Basically…so many things to learn, so little time.
Highlights: Graduating from middle school and receiving the top student of the school award and top male FITKid award, which recognizes character, academic, and physical fitness. Voted MVP of WSMS Soccer Team, most improved player on WSMS basketball team, and won some area tennis tournaments. He also was awarded top scorer of the district in math. As a freshman this year at MHS he made the school’s Scholastic Bowl team, was voted Homecoming Count, is captain of the JV soccer team, and plays up with the varsity team when needed (even started as a forward in a recent tourney).
Karis – CARE. Caring for…family members 24/7 in a myriad of ways, mostly through encouraging words and service, peers in school, whomever she encounters with special needs, people by greeting and working with preschool children on Sundays at Wellspring Church. But somehow, she is able to be over-the-top caring and also a tenacious competitor on the field.
Highlights: Being chosen as the female recipient of the FITKIDs award at her school. Enjoying winning some tournaments with her club soccer team, winning the district championship a second time with WSMS girls’ soccer, playing basketball, running track and playing tennis. She was also able to travel again to Tennessee over fall break to visit the Wolford family, dear friends we met through Wind River Ranch.
John – INQUIRE. Inquiring about…the schedule for the day and week, the menu of the next meal, science facts, what is going on, the culture, details of our family members’ lives.
Highlights: Loved Wind River Ranch. He also enjoyed his first Phoenix Suns basketball game with Caleb this fall. John is enjoying sports – played recreational soccer in the spring, swim team during summer, and basketball in the fall and winter. By his second season playing soccer, he was such a dominant goal-scorer that his coach had to move him to defense after the first quarter of nearly every game in order to keep him from embarrassing the other teams.
Mariama – CREATE. Creating….fancy out-of-this-world outfits and accessories for herself and her dolls, tasty soups over rice, videos that include instructions on how to make doll clothes, do yoga, and her latest songs.
Highlights: Mariama drastically brought up her online reading grades, earning a 100 percent party, which included good food and good friends. Mariama participated on summer swim team and played soccer in the fall. She earned her first trophy this month when her soccer team won the end of the season tournament. Weeks before receiving a sewing machine for Christmas (or having her first sewing lesson!), she had friends eagerly anticipating her promised designer dresses full of frills, colors, and sparkles.
One word for our family: CHRIST. Without salvation through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, we would have no hope, no peace, no purpose, no future. He is our everything and we try to live each and every day in a way as to honor Him and love more people into His Kingdom. Our greatest prayer for you is that you would also know the truth and that the truth would set you free to be everything that God created you to be and do everything God created you to do.
We live full-to-overflowing lives – we have a growing church, the practices and games of 8 sports teams, 2-3 loads of laundry every day (and a basket mounded with unmatched socks), a grocery cart that usually includes 7 gallons of milk and 6 dozen eggs, and a dinner table that often seats at least a dozen people. We thank God for each of these things, and his provision for each day and each moment in that day.
God’s best to you, in you and through you in 2016!