Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thank you and "Farewell"

Today marks my last day as a State Representative. It is a bittersweet day. Not so much because I am leaving office, but for other reasons. Today I attended a funeral service for a young man I did not know. He was the son of a friend who died at the age of 31. His death was sad, tragic and unexpected. As the father of a son who is the same age, it gave me pause.

This event gave me the opportunity to reconsider what are the most important "core principles" in life. First, is my relationship with God, and second are my relationships with family and friends. It reminded me that what I do is not as important as who I am and to whom I belong. I am, before anything else a sinner saved by grace. After that, I am a husband, father, and grandfather. The title "Representative" is far down the list of those things that define me.

As I leave this job and look ahead to a New Year, I am inclined to look back at the mistakes I made. But I do so with the resolve to do better, to make positive changes. Here is my New Year's resolution:

I will try to take more time to say thank you to so many who have helped me along the way, I will try to be a better husband and father.

If you are one of those who voted for me, contributed to a campaign, gave some of your time to help me get elected, sent a note of encouragement, or said a prayer on my behalf, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have not said thank you enough, but I really do appreciate all you have done.

Today, I say "farewell" as your state representative and I look forward to the challenges, opprtunities and most of all, the relationships 2009 will bring. I want to wish you a very happy and rich new year. May you, too, have the opportunity to grow in your relationship with family, friends and your Creator.

God bless,
Jack Hoogendyk

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