What I Learned in 2015

The new year is upon us!! Lord willing, we will pass over into 2016 with fresh ambitions, renewed hopes, and another chance to achieve our wildest dreams.

A new year means several things. First and foremost, God kept you all year long. Through trials and tribulations, the blessing of life is still upon you. For that alone, we should be grateful. Secondly, we lived and experienced for an entire year. Knowledge should come from these experiences to be carried over into the upcoming year.

I spent a great deal of time in uncharted territory this year. Thus, there were plenty of instances where learning occurred. So, here’s what I learned in 2015.

January – The Final Legacy

If you’ve been following A Fresh Voice any length of time, then you’ll know my grandmother passed this year. The hurt and pain are indescribable. I’ve never lost someone so close. She raised me. Through all of that the one thing I learned is this:

People will remember how you treat them.

My grandmother was loving, caring, and giving. This is how she treated people, and these are the feelings that were displayed during her homegoing services. She was about her family. I can honestly say I have never seen my family stronger than the day we got through her death.


February – How to Cope

Grief is a process.

Tears. Anguish. Sorrow. Remembrance. Longing. Peace. Love.

I experienced all of these emotions. Watching my family, I learned we all grieve differently. Some may cry, others may mope,but at the end of the day, we are strong. That strength comes from God.

March – Chef Brownardee

This month I discovered I can cook, I’m pretty good, and love it!

I moved out of my grandmother’s house shortly before she passed. Prior to her sickness, she cooked like nobody’s business. Now that I moved out, I have to fend for myself. I’m a lover of pasta, and my specialty (at the time) was spaghetti. So, I had to branch out and perfect my alfredo. I even tried red beans, rice, and cornbread. Jiffy Mix. Small steps right?

April – I’m a Grown Up Now

When I was a kid, outside of being the Resurrection of Jesus, Easter meant being at three different services. Sunday Morning sunrise service was held at 6 AM. Then, there was the big Sunday Morning 11 am service. This is the one where you see people you haven’t seen since Christmas. Lastly, there was the night service.

The night service was our children’s program, and my mom MC’d the program. We had a fashion show, speeches, and a play. The play was generally done by the teenagers. To our pre-teen group, the penultimate program addition was being in the play. Tired of doing 13 paragraph speeches, play acting was fresh and exciting. Well, as exciting as it can be for a pre-teen. In my teenage years, I participated in several plays, and I finally aged out. After not participating for awhile, this year I stepped into a new role.

I MC’d the teen portion of the program.

It’s crazy to think I am helping kids who were just like me. I guess I’m grown up now.

May – I Got on My Traveling Shoes…. Well Flip-Flops

This year I went to my first professional baseball game. Unfortunately, the Twins were the closest team to me. I’m a Red Sox fan. Nonetheless, Target Field was BEAUTIFUL!! I loved every second of my trip. What’s better?

I went by myself.

I don’t necessarily like traveling by myself, but I don’t feel like waiting on other people to get it together. So, I ventured off by myself, and I was quite okay doing it. This month, I learned I can travel by myself and be just fine doing so.

June – America the Beautiful……. On the Surface

Dylan Roof went to the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during Bible study. After sitting through the Bible study, he opened fire on the churchgoers killing nine people. His manifesto was later released showing his intent was to start a race war.

The ugly side of American reared it’s head.

This month, it was reinforced in me that we have not come that far as a nation.

July – I’m Small Enough to Ride

I put on my traveling shoes again and went to Texas. While I was there, I actually got to ride some rides. This is an incredible feat as I’m 6’4 300 plus pounds. Not many rides accommodate big guys. I went on the Batman, and left with my head spinning contemplating searching for a trash can.

This month I learned I’m small enough to ride, but too big to be flipping.

August – Decade’s passed

I officially entered my early 30’s this year. It’s not so bad being an adult.

September – Writer’s (Un)Block

A Fresh Voice was born in September 2015. I had never written for leisurely pleasure before. The extent of my writing was scholarly papers for college and grad school. I shared extensive thoughts on major issues via Facebook, but nothing huge.

September 2015, I took the plunge.

I researched what it would take to start a blog, and I wrote my first post to much praise. It surprised me honestly. I even delved into poetry!! Writing started to pour out of me.

To God be the Glory!!

This month I learned I can write, I’m good at it, and I enjoy doing it.

October – A Moment’s Notice

My aunt’s (married in) father died. Subsequently, we had to make the trek to California for the homegoing service. My aunt has a beautiful song voice. Hold on. Let me rephrase that.


As such, I know she would be singing at her father’s service which meant I would be playing the organ. It’s nothing new in the sense that we have been playing/singing for years, but this was a different occasion. Yet, we’d been here before at my grandmother’s services.

This month, I learned God prepares you. Be ready in a moment’s notice.

November – Mama Brown’s Kitchen

This month marked the first time in my life my grandmother was not around for Thanksgiving. There was no choice but to adjust, and that we did. My mom hopped in the kitchen and cooked a delicious Thanksgiving meal.

The family is still together.

This month I learned my mom can cook, and she did too.

December – Strength Shines Bright

Another first without my grandmother, but there was joy when there should have been sadness. There was peace when there could have been turmoil. All of the negative that could have been did not occur.

This month I learned because of God, my family is strong, and His strength shines bright.


That was my 2015. I’m positive there was more I could expound upon, but I shan’t. There are lessons I will take with me for the rest of my life.

What about you?


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Melody says:

    This year reaffirmed that the Lord blessed me with an incredible son! I’m proud of you, Jarrod!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharon Fullerwinder says:

    Enjoyed what you shared. Looking forward to more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Andre B. says:

    You know Jarrod, it’s always uplifting and interesting to read your post. Keep it up my brother! I learned in 2015, that true family can extend outside of blood.

    Liked by 1 person

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