03 January 2017

2016 Reflection Letter

            We pray that this letter finds you facing the start of 2017 with renewed energy and a deepened faith as you have seen prayers answered and joy renewed.  We continue to fight for our faith to be bigger than our fears.   We studied Ephesians 6 this year and have been finding ways to apply it.  One way we have been able to do this was after reading “The Prince Warriors” by Pricilla Shirer:  “That is why you must always follow the Way of the Armor, because sometimes your worst enemy…is yourself.”
This year we had the privilege to see prayers that we have prayed for several years answered.  With those answered prayers came big changes for our little family.  At the end of February, David was hired as Financial Manager for Pearson Air here in Arlington, and, in leaving the car business, he was able to start spending his Saturdays with us.  He says he could not have imagined a better position for himself and looks forward to a long career there.  In 2016, I had 2 more stable MRIs and my brain cancer continues to behave itself.  We have made several medication changes and I am feeling some better.  In June 2016, I crossed a major milestone with 5 years survival. Then in October after almost a year of searching, we found and purchased our forever home.  God’s hands were all in the details of that process and our home of 15 years sold in one day.  We moved in on November 17th and are still getting settled.
We’ve been learning.  David and I attended the Global Leadership Summit where David’s leadership skills were challenged and built, and I walked away determined to be present more than perfect.  Kirstyn started junior high and took on all advanced placement classes, and continues to work very hard to make all A’s.  James spent countless hours studying Albert Einstein and learning the beginnings of how to write computer code.  He was designated as Gifted and Talented and is currently watching YouTube for “life hacks” and “science experiments”.  Both kids have taken up golf and have been playing in Jr. PGA leagues.  We’ve even been able to play as a family… it’s only slightly humbling to have the kids giving me advice and pointers.
Kirstyn (13) continues to amaze us with her music talent and bravery.  She went from singing on the KidsRock praise team to the Youth Praise team.  She has had opportunities to sing solos in the 6th grade musical, talent show, summer camp, and in “big church” in our Christmas kickoff called Hanging of the Green.  She also made All Region Honors Choir through school and is still playing piano and collecting blue ribbons and trophies. 
James (9) is our left brained child.  His math skills impress us all.  He really started to enjoy golf when his coach taught him how to read the greens.  He went from holding the club to lying down with a level and a sheet full of mathematical formulas and like the rest of us is practicing getting his body to do what he knows needs to happen to sink the putt.  He played basketball and football, and really found a love for the game (and his hustle) when he put on a helmet and pads for the first time this fall. 
We have traveled to visit family and for adventure.  David and I celebrated our 15th anniversary on our first cruise.  In July we went to the beach and built sandcastles.  And in December we went to Disney with our kids and our moms. We shared in so much joy when we attended weddings and birthday parties.  We mourned the loss of my Uncle Johnny, Great Uncle Frank, and Great Uncle CA, and continue to be reminded of the importance of family and living out our faith in Jesus.  We celebrated Thanksgiving in Arkansas on the farm and then Christmas in our new home with both of our moms and my grandmother here.
We wish you many blessings in 2017, and I want to leave you with James’ takeaway from Harvest America, “Stuff you do might be good, but that’s all just doo-doo.  All that really matters is what Jesus did for us.”  So go forth, and share the Gospel and the love of Jesus in your own way and we will too!  Our prayer going into 2017 was said best by Oswald Chambers, “Beware of spending too much time looking back at what you once were when God wants you to become something you have never been.”


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