Goodbye 47

I’m running out of time.

That is, if I want to get this posted before midnight which by the calendar, but not by actual time, marks my 48th birthday.

Compared to the last four years, this has been the best, by far and for multiple reasons. And yet with each ticking of the clock as we dip round the clock on the right side to head to the top on the left, so many thoughts and conflicts fill my head.

On Being 47 in 2013 

It’s been a good year, for the most part. The work we’ve been doing on Claxton Creative with books for iPad and books in EPUB format have increased in production and sales. No, not where I should have hoped they would be, but this is still such a new field of opportunity, and for pioneers, things like this do take time to grow into something.

Through God‘s hand this past year, the tumblers of time fell into order and I found the woman who I knew as Julie Nelson as a young teen boy after 32 years. Because I made contact with her, I’ve also made contact with some of my best friends from 7-9th grade who I was forced to leave behind at the beginning of my sophomore year of high school because of my Dad being in the USAF. Like so many times before then and even after, my brothers and sister were compelled to pull up stakes and move clear across the country from what was familiar and start the planting of roots all over once again. As a child, it was hard to constantly be uprooted from your friends, and harder as I got older to want to make friends, knowing eventually that they’d be ripped away once again and barriers of miles would be put in between.

Recently in the ice with Julie

Recently in the ice with Julie

In Julie’s case, she didn’t have any feelings for me in our teen years, though I thought she was the definition of what beautiful is supposed to look like. And after 32 years, it’s easy to say she still is. Getting to know her again, and really for the first time in many ways, has been one of the best aspects of the year.

Life with my daughters, Chandler, Reagan and Haley has been good this year.

Obviously, trying to get a new company in a new field up and running has been a constant struggle, drain and challenge. Some run around thinking I’m flush with cash, but they’ve not had a clue about anything having to do with reality for a very long, long time.  No, ever.

Monday I felt like I was on the losing end of a never-ending battle and my friend from The Dallas Morning News, columnist James Ragland encouraged me to keep fighting. “Hang in there,” he wrote. “You’re a trooper.”

Life at 47

There are so many things going on in my life right now that I’d not planned to be dealing with at age 47, 48.  I won’t go into them here, but I’m reminded of the old saying, “Wanna make God laugh? Tell him your plans.”

I’ve been trying to make my way through Job again in the Bible. He was a man who had most everything he could want and then God allowed Satan to take it away to see if Job’s faith would wane and he would curse God. In my four-year journey now along the path Job once was subjected to, I know I’ve not done as well as he. Not anywhere near, and not even close at others.

And as the day comes to its close, I can’t help but wonder how many more nights like these I shall ponder.

Riding For The Brand

On a plane ride from Denver to Tulsa recently, I met a man who calls himself a professional provoker. We had an extra long time to talk with each other on the flight and a ground delay and he gave me two books to read. One of them is called, Riding For The Brand, by Jim Whitt. His second book is a workbook. We had a good chat today. Jim’s books are about helping people find their purpose in life and then being able to help them solely focus on doing just that. I’ve been doing some of the exercises in his material and we’re working in that direction.

My daily prayer to God for as long as I can remember has been to “give me the opportunity to have a positive influence on as many people as possible.” And through a decade in the Alabama Governor‘s Office with two governors, six years in the Dallas school district as their communications director, time working with ExxonMobil on math and science programs for high school students, and now, making interactive books for the iPad, I feel like I’ve been doing that. But with Jim’s help, we’re going to be working on how to refine that purpose and make it even more crystalline.

Turning the Page

They say when one door closes, another one opens. So as we near Dec. 6, 2013, I close the door on age 47 and invite 48 into my life. It’s time to continue to refine who I am. It’s time to lean harder than before on God and to become more and more active in his Word. And it’s time to further focus on my purpose in life and do only that until my Lord takes my last breath from me and calls me home.

I’m thankful God allowed some of my childhood friends back into my life this year. It’s made a tremendous difference in my spirit and attitude, as well as bringing a lot of healing and closure from wondering at night while trying to drift off to sleep wondering what ever happened to Danny Kasper, Rod Jefferson, the Sanchez brothers, Julie, Diana, Derek and more.

It’s icing over here in DFW, more so than the ice storm we had a few weeks ago at Thanksgiving. I sure do miss my days in Upper Michigan as a younger kid. Ugh.

Here we go, 48. Let’s figure this out as much as possible before 49 gets here….

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