Year In Reveiw

2009 ~ Year In Review

“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” -Habakkuk 1:5 

    

Dear Family and Friends,

 

As 2009 rapidly comes to a close, we are reflecting on all that the Lord has done in our lives, as a family, over the past year…

 

We arrived in Arizona on December 29th of 2008. So, the first few days and weeks of this year were somewhat lost in the chaos of an interstate move – unpacking boxes, rearranging furniture, locating belongings, jumping into life at our new church, and just trying to find our way around town! But, in the midst of it, we enjoyed visits with both of our parents (and very much appreciated their help in unpacking and organizing!).

 

On Sunday, January 4th, Jason officially began his new job, and he was warmly welcomed as the Associate Pastor at Way of Grace Church!! Because our church is still relatively new, he does a little bit of everything: teaching, administration, discipling, outreach…and, occasionally, preaching! (If you are interested, you can listen to his sermons online, here.) His new job definitely keeps him busy, but he loves it. The church’s office is not too far away from our new home (about half a mile!), so he has taken full advantage of Arizona’s 300 days of sunshine, and often rides his bike to and from work! 

 

In some ways, life is very different than it was just twelve short months ago, but in others, it is still very much the same. Because some have asked, here is a little glimpse into a typical week for us:

 

Sundays, as you can imagine, are a little bit crazy. Our church meets at a local high school, so Jason leaves the house quite early to get everything set up for our service. Hannah and I usually follow a little bit later. Hannah especially loves her Sunday school class, helping me set up the nursery room once a month, and running around with her friends before and after the services. She still misses her “California friends,” and still occasionally asks when they are coming over, but her new friends here have been an answer to prayer, and such a special blessing! 

 

Because he now works on Sunday, Jason gets Mondays off! Going to church has always been a part of our life – and not just going, but serving. He has more official responsibilities now, and he is technically getting paid for his time and ministry – which is nice! But, even after a year, it is still a little hard to get used to the idea! So, we have all enjoyed the “extra” family time! And, we have loved exploring our new surroundings, finding new places, and new things to do together. Of course, all this extra family time on the weekend makes our week seem incredibly short! 

 

Tuesday mornings find us at Hannah’s ballet class. She loves practicing, and showing off what she has learned any chance she gets! And, she is looking forward to her first recital! Thankfully, Tuesday afternoons are usually fairly quiet… But, we manage to fill them up with playdates, trips to the park (or, when it was really hot, the splash pad!), or walking the dog. (Yes, the dog! In March, we adopted a sweet, one-year-old, Chinese SharPei Mix. We named her Shiloh. The cats weren’t thrilled about our newest addition, and after she chewed up the couch, neither was I. But, she has since endeared herself to all of us, and has earned a special place in our hearts, and our family. The cats, well, they just tolerate her.)

 

Wednesdays are another busy day! In the morning, I am involved with one of our weekly women’s Bible studies, which I have even had the (very humbling) privilege of teaching on occasion! We have studied the Names of God, the Psalms, and are currently going through Paul Tripp’s War of Words(which I would highly recommend, by the way). On Wednesday evenings, Hannah and I head out to Cubbies (at another local church). One of Hannah’s main questions before we moved was whether or not they would have Cubbies in Arizona! She was thrilled to find out that they did! She loves her leaders, has made some sweet friends, and does such a great job learning her verses! As a 4-year-old, this is her second year as a Cubbie, and it continues to be one of the highlights of her week! (And, she is already looking forward to Sparks…and a new red vest to replace the blue one, next year!)

 

On Thursday nights, Jason teaches the Youth Study, which we host in our home. We have a group of about 10 students (junior high and high school) that show up faithfully every week! Hannah absolutely adores “the teenagers” and eagerly counts down the days and minutes until they arrive! She loves to help us set up the living room, and pass out the song sheets. I think she considers herself part of the group, and actively participates in the singing, and sometimes even the study – when Mommy lets her stay up past her bedtime.

 

Our life still includes the regular, everyday stuff too! Hannah and I are continuing enjoy “pre-school” at home – although she is often doing kindergarten-level work. So far, she loves being homeschooled. One of her favorite “subjects” is to practice writing letters and words! She is also a budding artist, and loves coloring and drawing.  She definitely inherited Daddy’s abilities in that area!! It is such a joy to be home with our daughter, and caring for our home. Each day we are reminded that “ministry” is not limited to the church, and, that parenthood is one of the greatest privileges, responsibilities, and ministries we will ever have. We pray that we would be faithful, and constantly look to the Lord for wisdom and patience as we raise our sweet girl to know and follow Him.

 

Yes, our days and weeks are definitely full – sometimes to overflowing! But, the Lord has called us here, and He has blessed us, stretched us, encouraged us, sustained us, challenged us, convicted us, strengthened us, protected us, and brought us through another year!

 

In the busyness, and uncertainty that is life in this world, may your hearts be encouraged as you reflect on the birth of our Savior this Christmas. And, may you be astounded by the work of the Lord in your life and in your family in the year to come.

 

By His Grace,
 Jason, Veronica, & Hannah
2009