I’m not going to lie. 2014 has been a pretty stressful year. In fact, I’d rank it right up there with 2004, the year we moved to Vancouver. That was 10 years ago. Is that the pattern? One pretty stressful year full of change once every 10 years? I guess I’ll know for sure in 2024! “Remind us!”, you say? Okay then. January started out with a bang. We went to New Zealand. Great time for sure including family skydiving! Then March rolled around and we lost my dad. Soon after that we put our house up for sale and spent the next 4 months in real estate drama. That my friends, right there, is enough to create a memorable year. Add in my work at the District Jail and the craziness of my schedule during that time and there is plenty there to satisfy my stress quotient.
We also have plenty to be thankful for. Alexandra started her first year of nursing school at Lakehead University. Jacob has landed a second job now for the holidays and is working two part time jobs in addition to completing his last year of high school. Simeon is getting taller and smarter of course. Karen continues to work reception at a local law firm and me . . . . . Well, still serving as the part time Care Pastor at Redwood Park Church and partnering with Youth With A Mission. What have I learned this year? After my third move here in Thunder Bay since we arrived, I can tell you I don’t want to move again, ever. Whether that will hold up over time, who knows. I also learned that I very much enjoyed my time working as a chaplain in corrections. I’m hoping there is more opportunity in that realm down the road.
I’m also understanding some things about myself through all of this that has only taken 51 years to figure out. I find myself to be very thankful when those “Aha” moments happen upon me. I don’t know about you, but I have discovered those moments come after particularly stressful times. When I’ve run out of steam, of patience, of understanding, of willpower. Those tend to be the times at the points of extreme exhaustion and sometimes tears and I have only confusion and loneliness, the still small voice comes and reminds me that I’m loved and that He’s got this one. I can tell you that I’ve had several of those experiences this year.
As I douse my fake Christmas tree with pine spray today, I’m learning that what I really need is the true aroma of Christ coming to me again. Perhaps then I can better share that fragrance with those who really need it. As it says in 2 Corinthians 2:15 “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing”. I’m praying this Christmas that the odor those are picking up from me is way closer to the sweet scent of the baby in the manger and not the stench of the animal standing next to the crib. Merry Christmas to you. Thanks for smelling like Jesus to us this year. We’ve needed it.
For the sixth time, I had the pleasure of travelling to Pinawa, Manitoba for the bi-annual national YWAM conference in August this year. As always, it was great catching up with old friends, seeing my pals from Vancouver and meeting new faces. Simply put, LOVED IT!!
In October, I had the great privilege of being accompanied by my lovely wife to Vancouver for our Western Canada Leadership meetings. It was a great time for Karen and I to spend some quality time together given our stressful year. Apart from the meetings, we had a chance to visit our home church of North Shore Alliance and share with our church family there all that God has been doing in us and through us over recent days. The YWAM meetings were significant for our mission as we received word that the structure of our leadership is changing by virtue of some decisions made at the Global Leadership conference which took place in Singapore earlier in the year. The next set of meetings is taking place in Chico, California. I won’t be able to attend but hope to hear detail of those upon their completion.
Merry Christmas from the Davenports!