We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Dear Family and Friends,
How does one sum up a year filled with incredible moments, deep sadness, amazing adventures, personal achievements, hard work and remarkable growth? As I was contemplating all that 2017 has held, I had the thought that if a movie were to be made of any year in my life, this one would be a contender.
To begin this exciting year, Dave and I had the opportunity to go on a cruise with two of our dear friends. We snorkeled in Honduras, kayaked in Belize, shopped in Costa Maya and celebrated Dave’s birthday with an ATV tour and more snorkeling in Cozumel. On board our ship, we enjoyed playing shuffleboard on a windy day, drinking our coffee and journaling on our balcony, bowling, enjoying the many different restaurants and simply spending time with our friends.
Spring brought unexpected challenges and sweet joys. In March, our town was impacted by a powerful wind storm and we lost power for three days. It was a difficult and cold few days for us, but we were determined to see it as an adventure. We piled mattresses into our fireplace room and had a sleepover that our children will never forget!
There were several times throughout the past year when I thought I would never see my dear Mama again. Her health has been precarious at best, so when my sister suggested that we surprise her by going to see her over Mother’s day weekend, I was thrilled. For years, I had been working on a book idea to tell a bit of my Dad’s story and how it has impacted mine. God laid it on my heart to finish the book, so I spent three weeks writing and editing and praying. When I arrived in Kansas, I was able to present my Mom with my book. Our time together was incredibly sweet and I praise God for his gift of extra time with my Mama!!
One highlight of our year was the opportunity for Dave and Ethan to fly in a glider. Ethan has a keen interest in flying, so for his 12th birthday, a friend of ours invited my guys to fly with him. It was an exciting and exhilarating day- a birthday to remember!
When we began homeschooling our kids in the Fall of 2016, we quickly discovered two things- homeschooling is a perfect fit for our family and since we will be doing this long term, we needed to devote a space to our new lifestyle. We were already outgrowing our fireplace family room, so we made the decision to finish our basement with the hopes of using it as our family room and then utilizing the fireplace room for our homeschool room. In June, demolition began. Dave has worked every spare moment since to transform our basement into a beautiful and cozy family room space.
This whole process has been stretching for all of us as we have had to adjust our entire lives to this seemingly endless project. But God’s goodness has been felt through all of it and we are so thankful for Dave’s hard work and persistence. There are still a few more things to finish up, but we are already in love with this new space!
Other exciting moments this year included Lindsay’s performance in Anne of Green Gables and voice recitals. She continues to excel in the arts and is continuing to write books (she just completed chapter 9 of her current book!) and we enjoy the opportunity to support her. Ethan earned his red belt in Tae Kwon Do and continues to take saxophone lessons. His creativity and love for learning are emerging and we love that we get a front row seat to his growth. Gibson is quick to learn and has become a voracious reader. He loves science and geography and is able to memorize facts and scripture easily. We are excited about what the future holds for him. Ainsley loves to dance, play with her siblings and go to preschool. It is a privilege to teach her and see her excitement for learning.
We made the decision to join a local cooperation of homeschool families called “Gloria Deo Co-op” at the beginning of this school year. The kids love everything about co-op. They each take three classes and I have the privilege of teaching preschool for four precious little girls (including Ainsley) while they are in class. It has been a joy to see their excitement each week!
In addition to finishing our basement this year, Dave preached through a few sermon series. He preached through Hebrews in the spring and his fall series was on the five solas of the Reformation- scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone and to the glory of God alone. Personally, I am so grateful for his faithfulness in preaching and for the humble way he presents truth for God’s glory .We celebrated twenty years in ministry together this year and we are so thankful for God’s faithfulness to us all of these years! If you want to listen to any of Dave’s sermons, you can access them at the Orchard Community Church website.
I continue to do online work for The MOB Society– a ministry to Moms of Boys. My work is primarily in customer service, but I also have the opportunity to write prayers for our monthly and now quarterly prayer calendars. This opportunity has been a gift in my life and I can clearly see how God prepared this for me in order that I could still homeschool my kids. He is so good and faithful! I am still in the process of revising and editing the book that I wrote for my Mom in the Spring. I hope to have it self-published in 2018!
From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas! May you know the hope that was born in a manger, the salvation that Jesus freely gives to all who believe and the love and joy that is ours in Christ. The baby in a manger changed everything and we pray that the significance of what we celebrate will be at the forefront of your celebrations this Christmas and every day in the New Year.
Merry Christmas with love,
Becky (for Dave, Lindsay, Ethan, Gibson and Ainsley)