We Wish You a Merry Christmas!
Dear Friends and Family,
As 2021 began, we had a growing anticipation in our hearts. It felt like the turning of a page, a new beginning of sorts. 2020 was a particularly difficult year for our family and we were looking forward to a different kind of year.
We didn’t know it then, but 2021 would turn out to be an EPIC year for us! From a trip to the Adirondacks in February to Graduation pictures and graduation for Lindsay, proms for Lindsay and Ethan and Ainsley’s first dance recital, the winter and spring were full of fun and momentous experiences.
The summer was a different one for us! After five years of homeschooling, we are adjusting to not being all together all the time. Lindsay started working at Chick-fil-A and then she and Ethan served at Camp Hickory Hill for six weeks. Gibson and Ainsley both went to camp for a week each, so we also had two weeks in the summer when we only had one kid at home! It was very strange for our family of six, but we made the most of those times. We went on our annual vacation with friends to the Adirondacks to end our summer.
Lindsay is taking a gap year and hoping to go to Moody Bible Institute in the fall of 2022 to major in elementary education. Ethan started his junior year of high school, Gibson his 7th grade year and Ainsley her 3rd grade year. We continue to homeschool the kids and participate in a homeschool co-op, Gloria Deo. Lindsay and I had an AMAZING time visiting Moody in Chicago! Taking her to see “my” school and having her fall in love with it was an experience I will treasure always. Gibson and Ainsley enjoyed playing soccer throughout the fall. We all had fun at our church Trunk-or-Treat event in October.
In early November, Dave began a six week sabbatical. We celebrated ten years at Orchard Community Church in the summer and twenty-four years in ministry this fall, but this was the first sabbatical Dave has had in that time. We were so grateful for this break for him. He was able to have some much needed time to relax and unwind as well as a week by himself at a cabin in the woods, a focused time of study and sermon preparation. As we talked about a vacation for our family during his sabbatical, we made the decision to take the kids on a trip of a lifetime. We spent ten days in Kauai, Hawaii and enjoyed it to the fullest. The stunning beauty, the time of stillness, the opportunity to try new things (an air tour of the island, surfing for my men, ziplining for Lindsay and a river kayak adventure for Ainsley and me), splashing in waves, snorkeling, reading books beachside, coffee and devotions on the lanai, trying fun foods (like shave ice!!) and relaxing in the pool and hot tub at our condo left us in awe of God’s kindness to us. We made memories that will last a lifetime!
After long flights from Kauai to Kansas, we had the immense joy of spending Thanksgiving with family. The weather was gorgeous, a good transition from summer in Hawaii to winter in Rochester, NY! It was bittersweet to be in Kansas and not see my Mom- the first time that has happened for me in ten years. But being able to share laughter and tears and memories with family was a gift.
As this year comes to a close, I am caught in the middle of two extremes; immense gratitude for the blessings 2021 has held for my family and deep sorrow for the losses that so many precious friends are facing. It has been a HARD year for so many and my heart has broken over and over again. But I think that’s why Paul calls us to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15, NIV). Life is a always a mix of joy and sorrow, happiness and grief, blessings and losses. More than ever, I am committed to keeping my eyes focused on Christ.
I lift my eyes up, up to the mountains,
where does my help come from?
My help comes from you, Maker of heaven, Creator of the earth.
Oh, how I need you, Lord! You are my only hope, you’re my only prayer.
So I will wait for you, to come and rescue me, come and give me life.” (song based on Psalm 121)
If you find yourself in a time of rejoicing or in a time of mourning (or like me, both!), please know that you are loved. Our Lord delights in you. He sees what you are going through and He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. I hope and pray that you know this love! If you don’t, please ask me about the hope that I have. It’s my favorite subject to talk about!
From our family to yours, Merriest of Christmases and a very Happy New Year!
The Daye Family