Merry Christmas to all we love far and near!
I love that the Christmas season starts with Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for what God has blessed us with that I can't even put it into words. Life isn't at all easy, but I can't look at anything in our life and not see God's hand in it. He is good, He is sovereign and He is divine. To know that His fingers craft the story of our lives leaves me speechless.
So, what have we been up to in 2014? Catching up is probably the best way to describe it around here this year. Trying not to be too wordy, let me condense:
Healing: Jody is healing from surgeries and will be having the last reconstructive surgery that should close the door on this journey in January. Zachary has been healing from the broken arm he got on Labor Day when he fell from the monkey bars. We were blessed with the best doctor who did everything he could to keep Zach from surgery successfully! Stacey has been healing from tendonitis in her right knee. Doctor tells us that when a very active kid has a growth spurt sometimes the tendons in knees stage a revolt. Back on two feet again feels good! No basketball for her this winter but just watch out in seventh grade!
Growing: Speaking of growing, Stacey and Ryan are competing for fastest growers in the house this year. Ryan grew 3 inches since May and Stacey can chalk up 2 inches. Zachary and Matt are both getting taller and are growing in many other ways too. The triplets are doing well in middle school and have become quite used to the new schedules and activities. Zach is doing well in third grade and Matt? Well he is ROCKING kindergarten!
Competing: This year Zachary and Dawn both reached competition level in gymnastics and were able to attend many meets. They constantly improved their scores as their seasons progressed and it was fun to watch and learn how it all works in the world of gymnastics. Ryan and Stacey played many soccer games this year and we are seeing great confidence and improvement in their seasons as well. Zachary and Matthew also had a great soccer season.
Achieving: Dawn was chosen for the 2014 Opus choir in Ames and we were proud to be able to travel to the ISU campus and hear the beautiful music made by many talented singers. Ryan was chosen to play his baritone in the Marion Honor Band, which will perform in January. He is doing very well in band and also plays the drums in the show choir band this year. Ryan, Stacey and Zachary all got high scores in their piano competitions this fall too. I love the music we hear everyday around here!
Improving: We have continued to make our house a home this past year and started some improvements with the hall bathroom where we stripped off the wall paper and painted this fall. We have enough sun in our backyard now that we got to enjoy a garden in the backyard, which helped in improving our diets and helping David and I to shed some pounds. Once the boxes got unpacked in the garage David was able to try out the oil pit in the garage and changing oil in the vehicles is kind of a cool experience!
Beginning: Matthew has begun school. It is quiet during the day in the house now without my little tag-a-long but his teacher says that we made the right choice to send him this year. He is doing well and making lots of friends like we knew he would. He also had his first year of soccer, which he LOVED and has recently started wrestling club.
Adjusting: This mom is adjusting! What a different life this year than I have been leading the past twelve! No one is running around my ankles and dropping things behind me faster than I can pick them up. I have been able to do more volunteering at the school and with a few other organizations locally. I can’t say I don’t miss little people in my house all day, but I can say I am proud to watch the children move through their life stages and be available to guide and cheer them on. It really is my dream job.
Providing: David has gone through a big transition at work this year. Honeywell bought out his company Intermec and so there are a lot of things that have changed for him as he continues to take care and provide for our family. We are hoping that there will be a little more down time for him in the coming year so we can take a few trips. We are hoping Georgia this summer!
Preparing: We are embarking on the next stage very quickly times three because you realize the next time I write we will have three teenagers under our roof. Don’t think I am not pondering that with God on a daily basis. I do have to say in my experience, the things I dread the most when I look at them ahead of time are the things that surprised me as the easiest or best. Teenagers? God is good…bring it on!
Rejoicing: So many good things have been reported to us this year! Friends and loved ones cancer free, healing, births of healthy babies, negative results on medical tests, all the way down to things like good report cards and watching our Zachary grow and rise to challenges that we wouldn’t have expected him to take on. There is something good in each day, some days we have to look pretty hard, and some days we have to take the bull by the horns and make something good, but He is faithful to lead the way.
Praying: There are so many people who we are lifting in prayer right now in the struggles they are facing. We are first hand witnesses of the power of prayer, not just the healing prayers but also the sustaining prayers. Those are the ones we pray each day that uplift the ones we love and are invaluable in those times of need. Again, thank you all for your continued prayers for our family this past year.
Living: One thing that we can say this year is that we are living life…all of us. Things have been a little topsy-turvy here in the past year and a half. We are plugging away on the medical bills and getting back into a full schedule of activities. I still get tired faster than I used to and if given a choice between a sitting task or one that requires me to be on my feet, I still seem to like to pick the less active thing. My oncologist graduated me from her office to the “survivor team” who I will be seeing now instead of her to report any problems or concerns. Life is good. Now, if we can just find a way to burn some calories while I taxi all of these people around town each day to their various activities! It is much better sitting behind the steering wheel than it is stuck in the recliner!
Our wish for all of you this Christmas season is that this coming year be full of glimpses of heaven because on the first Christmas so long ago, heaven came to earth and left His mark.
Love you all!