For the last 3 years I have prayed to God to give me a word for that particular year. It would be “my word” for the year! 2018 I received a word that I did not want. I actually asked God to give me another word. He graciously denied my request. My word for 2018 was humility. Yup! Tough word, right?

Humility: freedom from pride or arrogance. A modest or low view of one’s own importance. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” C.S. Lewis

Needless to say, this past year I have been humbled repeatedly. From reorganizational changes in our business including Rob & I agreeing that he should look for a new job – One in which he would feel like he is utilizing his skills more effectively and making a greater impact. Our business was struggling and, mid-year, I made one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in my career – I switched brokerages. I was completely humbled!

Rob faithfully sought out God’s guidance every day as I worked to regain momentum. In an attempt to “make things happen”, God gently reminded me that I had veered off-track of how He intended for me to do real estate. Again, I was humbled. What was missing was depth. God had called me to build relationships with others. I, in my own strength, tried to make it more of a numbers game to ensure everyone on my team got paid. Again, my efforts proved futile. 2017 was our biggest year to date and I was unhappy. I looked back and it seemed as if I didn’t get to really know any of my clients at the level I had in years past. That certainly wasn’t my intention.

God has faithfully blessed Rob with a new career! Our lives will definitely change a bit, however, I am excited for this new opportunity for him. He is passionate about this new position and I am so proud of the patience and faith he has displayed these past few months. Additionally, Rob continues to help both Samuel and I with our fitness goals and we intend to compete in an obstacle course together this year. Rob is still very involved in Little League serving on the Board and coaching during baseball season. He is a wonderful Daddy!

Samuel continues to play baseball – it is still his 1st love! It’s a joy to see him grow in stature, wisdom and maturity. He just turned 11 and is at that age where talking to Mom about life is a little awkward. He’d rather talk to his Dad. Although it saddens me a bit, I totally understand! He was in his school play this past year (he had the lead male role and played Samuel Clemens). We were so proud of him! He also made it to the oral round of the Spelling Bee for the fifth year in a row! He still loves Disneyland, so we have taken every opportunity possible to visit! We went on a family vacation with Grandma Arlene & Grandpa Steve over the summer. They blessed us with a family trip to Lake Tahoe where we got to spend great quality time together. Samuel loves hip-hop & rap music and likes to make up rhymes. He’s an amazing storyteller and enjoys writing stories and sharing them with his family & friends.

We ended 2018 surrounded by family! 17 of us rented a home in Nevada to celebrate our cousins’ milestone birthday and to spend Christmas together. In total there were 27 family members hanging out, playing games, breaking bread and sharing stories. The importance of spending time with family is a sweet legacy that Rob’s grandparents left for their children and, now, their children’s children. It’s a legacy we hope will outlive us as well!

I’m still praying about my word for 2019. I think I know what it is – I just want to make certain before I declare it! Until then, may 2019 bring you all more joy than your heart can hold, love beyond measure, a little bit of disappointment to keep us all humble and grateful, more quality time with the people we love and more laughter, the real, gut wrenching, side aching kind of laughter than we’ve ever experienced and may 2019 be the year we achieve all of our goals so we can aspire for a greater impact in the years to come!

With humble gratitude,

Rica Ruiz

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