I once heard someone say that as you get older – time seems to go by faster. 2014 was a busy year for me in a lot of ways. But it was the first year that I really felt like the year was just a tiny ripple of time.
It’s that time of year when folks are supposed to write recap posts of their year. I’ve always been somewhat good at at least worrying about what others do – though not so good at keeping up. But this is something I can keep up with. I thought about splitting this up into a few categories and littering the pieces and parts on the business, personal and Linchpin People blog – but I decided to just put it all here. It’s not everything from 2014. But this is a recap and I get to pick and choose what I share here.
Our Family Grew
Not in the way it has a few times in the past with the birth of a new child. Our family became whole legally sometime in June when the court decree in Ukraine was signed saying that our new daughter was our new daughter. We adopted an older child from an orphanage in Ukraine. We became whole physically on July 4th (how storybook is that 😉 ) when my daughter and I landed at the airport to greet the rest of the family there waiting for us. It was a reunion – we had gotten to know her a year ago while hosting her through an orphan hosting program for 6 weeks in the summer of 2013. It’s been a good year together as a family. There have been ups, downs, lessons, hugs, sometimes a little more shouting than there used to be, a few
battles and a lot of growing and maturing for me.
I would say that we are a stronger family than we were before this process. I would say that I’ve matured more this year than I have over the past few years combined (though I still have so much to do.. Good thing I only just turned 36 😉 . I’ve also learned to trust and lean upon God in ways I’ve never dreamed possible. I learned more about my adoption in Christ through the practical applications here than I have learned in the previous 12 or 13 years of being a Christian. I blogged some about the adoption and the process for it on my personal blog, “Open Mike“.
We were also able to take a schoolhouse property we own and expand it into an apartment for my dad so he could be closer to us in his retirement.
My Airline Status Grew
I’m not overly proud of this one. I spent more time flying for work in 2014 than I ever have – but working for myself and as a Partner and Practice Lead at Linchpin People has afforded me a flexibility I’ve not had before. That helped me be in Ukraine for a total of about 45 days in 2014 without stressing (at least from a work perspective) or hounding some manager for vacation time and understanding. Went from being a nothing to a Platinum on Delta from the business travel and really got to enjoy spending some time in Ukraine. It is really a beautiful country and we were afforded opportunities to meet many amazing people there and hear many stories and get a real sense for life in Kyiv and life in the Western parts of Ukraine. We made some amazing friends.
Traveling in our own country I was able to finally be in CA (and not just on a layover), spend a lot of time in one of my favorite locations (Seattle) and get to a few other states I’ve not normally spent time in. I hate leaving the family to travel and I hate the hassle of it – but I love the people I’ve met. I have heard so many interesting stories about life, family and survival in the back taxi cabs with cabbies from all over the world. It’s a small world we live in and the time in Ukraine and the conversations with cabbies definitely reminded me of that. And reminded me of the blessings that we so often take for granted here in this nation (That’s sort of where i was going with this blog post about a problem I see in the Church here in America)
I did less work as Straight Path than I did as Linchpin in 2014 – and that trend is going to continue dramatically in 2015.
Boy, business really grew this year. The clients at Linchpin have been amazing, my old faithful clients have been tremendous to work with – and speaking, blogging and networking have led to some really fun opportunities. I got to work on some really big iron with some really fun challenges and some simpler environments where I had the opportunity to mentor and bring up future DBAs at clients. This was a blessed year business wise.
The friendships among my colleagues at Linchpin has been an important part of in 2014 – including a really close bond with the partners at and founders of Linchpin. Brian and Andy are more than business partners – they are close friends and even advisers in some areas of life (though, not in footware).
The entire team at Linchpin is so awesome – I still think of us as “The Highwaymen” – a bunch of folks who are good on our own – and have decent careers on our own (Like Johnny, Kris, Waylon and Willy) – but together? We have a lot of fun and continue to inspire us to do the next thing. Losing Tim Radney who went to the dark side – I mean went work with our really good friends at SQL Skills – was personally sad but very rewarding to see happen. The model at Linchpin isn’t to hold on to someone for dear life and make money off of them. It’s teaming, partnering and investing in each other’s careers. Even mentoring one another and helping each other find their best fit and best place to be. For so many reasons – Tim made the right call for his life and family and it was a tough decision in some respects because of the relationships and friendships at Linchpin – but it was a decision I would have forced him to make if he didn’t. That’s cool being an early part of a company that is really all about doing what’s better for the other side. I am so looking forward to growing this business that feels more like a “family” in 2015.
My Beard Grew
And I’m going to let it keep growing awhile and see what happens. 🙂 This is since August. There’s really nothing else to say here. I wanted to see if I could, I sort of can and I don’t hate it. So there.
My Faith Changed
This one is a hard one to say in a few words in a blog post. I’ll probably write more about it on the personal blog in 2015 – but the change is that I’ve seen what Charles Spurgeon referred to as:
“The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again.”—C. H. Spurgeon
The doctrines of grace and the concept of God’s sovereignty in election was something I left 2013 pondering and “bumping into” in Scripture reading more and more frequently. In 2014 – it is as though I went through a second conversion here. But – it’s not that different really. In fact it’s the same things I’ve always believed. It’s a nuanced difference, in it’s effect – but I’ve recognized God’s sovereignty in a way I hadn’t before. Including his Sovereignty in election and regeneration. Through that change, though, I’ve really seen in myself the wretched sinner that I am – and I’ve appreciated His grace towards a sinner like me all the more. And that’s changed my approach to quite a lot of things. It’s funny some of my friends would say the impact is more “liberalism” (speaking in terms of faith – not politics) or more “looseness” – while other friends would say that I’ve gone more conservative and perhaps “harder” on some things. I have a boldness to share my faith that I’ve not felt before – but I also have a freedom in knowing that it isn’t my job to convince or convert. I’ve seen a freedom in saying “this is bad.. and it ought not be that way” even when “my side” gets it wrong. Part of that is the maturity I’m going through. Part of it is this change that has been wrought in me and is continuing.
… That’s why it’s not something I can easily describe in a few words here. But the change was committed, to borrow a SQL term, in 2014 – and it’s worth at least approaching here.
My Belly Grew…
And other stuff like that..
Yeah. I focused a lot on the adoption this year. I focused a lot on work knowing that I would be losing some billable time while out of country. I procrastinated a lot and have a whole lot of room for improvement personally in 2015. Professionally, too. I’m not going to make resolutions here or catalog where I’ve fallen short – but I want to at least acknowledge that, while 2014 was full of highs, it had some lows. The biggest thing I need to remember in 2015 – perhaps my only resolution.. In fact forget that I just said I’m not going to make any resolutions in 2015.. I am making one.. The biggest thing I need to remember is to number my days.
Psalm 90 says (ESV):
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10 The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
12 So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!
That’s it. That’s my resolution for 2015. That I would number my days. That I would realize the importance of each day. That makes a difference in just about every area I struggle. My kids are only kids once. My wife and I have health now – we aren’t guaranteed that always. Linchpin is growing and needs my all during business hours now. I’m not getting younger and my health matters every day.
I hope you had a blessed and grace filled 2014. I wish you a wonderful 2015 – and I hope our paths can interact in a positive way this New Year.