Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry (Belated) Christmas and Happy New Year!

From Dec. 2009 Snow

Though Christmas Day is past, we hope you are still enjoying a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends! We certainly are! Right now we are enjoying an extended holiday in Arkansas and more snow is falling outside as I type this letter. For Southerners, this is a real treat!

2009 has been an interesting year for our family. The biggest change is that Terry is no longer an engineer at Eastman, and he shares his perspective on that in a letter below.

Here's what's up with the rest of us this year:

As far as travels go, this year was much more tame. Instead of traveling to China on a free trip to the Olympics, we went camping at the lake a few times and took a trip to Williamsburg. We celebrated some family milestones - Terry's mom's 70th birthday and his parent's 50th anniversary. I chronicle most of the highlights of our family life in this blog, so if you're really interested you can read my old posts - otherwise I'll skip the details!

Rebecca (16) is driving now and is taking dual enrollment classes at the local college. She loves art, photography, theater, music and literature and is best friends with her Mom. She's recently become interested in sewing and costume design, and she got piles of vintage clothing patterns for Christmas. You might think that she would be headed for an artistic career, but right now her plans are to become a pediatric physical therapist.

Nathan (13) became a teen in June and enjoyed a "manhood initiation retreat" at the lake with his father, grandfather, uncles and a close friend. He is now taller than both his Mom and his older sister, and he has the biggest feet in the house! He also no longer gets mistaken for Mom when he answers the phone.

Caleb (12) recently performed in the local production of "A Christmas Story" and also took up trombone this year. He is not as tall as Nathan yet, but he is right on his heels and never lets him forget it!

Noah (10) enjoyed being in the local theater production of "Cheaper by the Dozen" with Rebecca and Nathan this summer. He has lots of fun playing with kids in the neighborhood - most of the ones his age are girls, so I'm not sure how long that will last.

Terry shares what's been going on with him in the letter below. Let me just say from my perspective that this has been the best year of our twenty-year marriage! Watching Terry follow the Lord during this tough season and witnessing God's faithfulness to us has been a huge blessing. We both look forward to 2010!

Terry's Letter

My family’s current adventure started in the Summer of ’07 when I finally told the Lord that I would go anywhere or do anything He wanted. Several things have transpired since then, but I will limit my sharing to the highlights of ’09.

God prepared me for the April 7th “down-sizing” at Eastman in a fabulous way. First, He put me in a situation where I told my brother, Scott, on 2/28/09 that it might be a blessing to be laid off. I even pondered the idea of trying to “volunteer”, but Susan discouraged that --- and I’m glad she did. He also motivated me to start meeting with local businesses in order to find ways to “create jobs and wealth for God’s glory” --- my new mission. And finally, He had me doing everything I could think of to help my coworkers prepare not knowing that He was really preparing me.

So on 4/7, He enabled me to hit the ground running ~ I actually had a 3 wk plan in hand. First, He motivated me to let the first hour of every day (well almost) be spent pursuing Him. Next, He led me to apply Psalm 127:2 by limiting my working hours to a reasonable amount and trusting His provision. I could not have survived the past nine months without Him or by working excessive hours.

I’ve started a business focused on helping businesses. God has put me in front of the right people at the right time all year. Literally, the main thing I can contribute this year’s success to is simply trusting in Him. Though I have still yet to receive my first income from this effort, God is providing. His timing is perfect but rarely early. I will begin to receive income from two sources in early January - just when my severance pay ends.

Though I have often professed that God is my provider, I am only now beginning to understand a lot of what that means. Though I am “the provider” in my family this really is simply a title. There is only one creator, one redeemer, one comforter, and only one true provider. He is my Lord and Savior Jesus. Praise God for this great adventure He has started in my life!

May the Lord bless you and your family in a very special way this Christmas!