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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

“Your cross is prepared and appointed for you by divine love, and you are cheerfully to accept it. You are to take up the cross as your chosen badge and burden and not to stand caviling at it. Jesus bids you submit your shoulder to His easy yoke. Do not kick at it in petulance, or trample on it in pride, or fall under it in despair, or run away from it in fear; but take it up like a true follower of Jesus!”
  Charles Spurgeon
Dear Loved Ones,
This year our family has experienced again another level of faith building. Many of you who have followed us on our blog living-the-miracle.blogspot.com may find a few things here that are not new but my goal in our letter this year isn’t to focus on all of that, but on the great things that have come from our adversity.

Just a few things we have learned:
  • ·        We ask “why NOT us” instead of “why is the happening to us?” 
  •       We are A LOT stronger than we think we are because we rely on the ONE who is stronger than us all.
  •       We are blessed beyond our wildest imaginations with friends and family members who have showered us with prayer and support through what has been the most challenging time we have experienced yet.
  •           Our day to day life does not have to be beautiful to be meaningful.
  •       Sometimes the greatest peace is found in the middle of the hardest adversity trusting the Prince of Peace.
  •       We serve a God who is so good and so near and has given such amazing gifts to David and I through the years. Five of them we get to love and enjoy every. single. day.

We would love to share:
      Zachary is rocking middle school with honor roll status after the first quarter! He is playing trumpet, soccer, singing in choir and is keeping up with his favorite video games. I have caught him a few times with the guitar in his hands making up songs. He is still a huge Garfield and Peanuts fan and has taken an interest recently in the solar system and American History (you know this makes his mama happy).

·        Ryan is a still a great “juggler” this year keeping busy with show choir, band (euphonium), Opus honor choir, the school musical, choir, soccer, jazz band (trombone and piano), basketball, cross country, piano, and worship team in youth group. He is proud to have obtained his drivers permit this fall!

·       Stacey is focused on basketball despite injury and is having a great season so far! She is committed to her youth group leadership team and has become a superstar babysitter.  She loves her music and has an awesome playlist! She also has become the proud owner of her driver’s permit this fall and likes to drive as long as she is sure we won’t see anyone she knows!

·       Dawn is filling her evenings with babysitting jobs as well. She is the lover of all things aquatic, writing her own songs on the piano, singing, and she uses her talents in choir, show choir, the musical, band (clarinet). She loves to work in the garden, sew, create things with her hands and play Zelda. She has also become a permitted driver this fall.

·       Matthew is still full of energy and life and keeps busy with many things. He recently played piano in his first recital, he loves soccer, wrestling, and reading bedtime stories as far past bedtime as he can get his mom to read. He loves playing Mario Kart during video game times and loves his friends.

David and I have so much to be thankful for this year. As we get closer to the end and I start looking through my journal, I certainly could not have predicted our 2016. I wouldn’t ask to experience it again, but I wouldn’t change a thing either. Our prayer list is longer and our heart is more in tuned to the eternal once again than it was a year ago.  

I am thankful that the Christmas season has brought celebration and preparations that have reduced chemo day to a few hours on Tuesday morning to get done so we can move on to the good stuff of life and praise our God there is so much of that!

We pray for you all and are thankful that you are a part of our lives. Thank you so much for your prayers for us and for your love and support. We love you all so much!

Love, The Sloans

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