â€œThe Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritanceâ€¦.You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.â€ ~Psalm 16:5-6, 11 (ESV)
Dear Family and Friends,
This year seems to have passed in a blur of happy surprises, simple everyday moments, and unexpected trials. But, as I think back over all that has happened, I am both humbled and amazed at all that the Lord has done â€“ in our home, our family, and our church.
Our children are a constant joy, and tangible reminders of Godâ€™s sovereignty, grace, and timing. They humble us, stretch us, and show us our need to be completely dependent on the Lord each day as we seek to faithfully parent, train, and disciple them.
Hannah turned 9 in April, and is in the fourth grade! She enjoys our school time, and science continues to be her favorite subject. This year, my little animal-lover is thrilled to be studying Zoology! She actually jumped up and down after I purchased the books at the homeschool convention this summer. But, she is still my creative little artist. She designed and built a moving Lego merry-go-round! She loves to write and tell long, elaborate stories, often keeping her brother entertained by transforming the living room into a forest wonderland, a train station, or some far-away kingdom! She definitely inherited her daddyâ€™s artistic talent, and I think she has checked out every â€œhow to drawâ€ book in our local library, as she attempts to illustrate the many books and stories she is writing! She is a sweet and eager helper, and willingly jumps in to help with whatever I needâ€¦washing dishes, picking up toys, making lunch. She is a wonderful big sister! And, despite their age differences, she adores and genuinely enjoys her brother and sister!
Titus turned 2 in February! He is all boy! Full of energy, from the moment he wakes up! He runs. Everywhere. If he could, he would spend all day outside, playing at the park, or digging up the back yard. He is currently obsessed with fire trucks, police cars, and construction equipmentâ€¦especially bulldozers, front end loaders, and dump trucks. He is so curious about everything, and most days, he has more questions than I have answers for! (Thankfully, he still buys â€œBecause.â€ as a valid answer!) We started â€œTitus-schoolâ€ (or, what most people would call pre-school) this year, and he is so excited to be sitting at the school table with his big sister, learning his colors, numbers, letters, and days of the week. He is a great big brother, and loves his â€œbaby Bekahâ€ (and, he is the only one that gets away with calling her that!). He checks on her when she cries, gives her kisses and hugs when she gets hurt, and occasionally offers to share his special monkey. They are both learning how to share their toys, and how to be kind. But most of the time, they get along great!
Rebekah turned 1 on October 10th! It has been so fun to watch her grow and change this past year! She talks a lot, but mostly in her own little language. She does say â€œbyeâ€ to Daddy, with waves and kisses, as he leaves each morning. And, she has learned some sign language. â€œMoreâ€ seems to be her favorite signâ€¦probably because it gets the most immediate results. But, my favorite is the way she signs â€œthank youâ€ by blowing a kiss to whomever she is thanking! So sweet. She folds her hands to pray with us before meals, at bedtime, and in churchâ€¦always offering her enthusiastic â€œMmmen!â€ at the end. She officially started walking just after her first birthday, and is getting faster every day! She is full of personality, and has added so much joy to our home with her sweet smiles, contagious giggles, and silly faces. She loves her big brother and sister, and enjoys following them around, watching them, copying them, and just generally doing (or trying to do) whatever they are doingâ€¦including being a big sister!!
As you might imagine, my days (and nights) are filled with caring for our children and our home. Some days, the laundry is never-ending (and weâ€™re about to add more!)â€¦I often resemble a ping pong ball as I try to simultaneously homeschool a fourth grader and a pre-schooler, while supervising toddler playtimeâ€¦Sleep is in short supplyâ€¦And, I seem to spend an extraordinary amount of time wiping things – little noses, little cheeks, little fingerprints, and little bottoms. But, each day, all of these things (and more!) remind me that being a mommy is one of the greatest privileges, responsibilities, and ministries I will ever have!
Although it can often seem that way, our children are not the only thing keeping us busyâ€¦
This summer, Jason became the senior/teaching pastor of Grace Community Bible Church. We have been blessed to be part of this church for 4 years, but this has been a big change (for us, and for our church). He is continuing to counsel, disciple, and oversee a variety of ministries, and has added preachingÂ regularlyÂ to his responsibilities! He is enjoying studying and preaching through the book of Acts on Sunday mornings, and (finally!) finishing up a series on the book of Proverbs on Wednesday nights. We have been so encouraged by our friends during this transition, and are even more grateful for the wonderful church family that the Lord has given us to serve alongside of here! And, we are looking forward to how the Lord will continue to grow us and use our little church in the future.
This year has challenged and stretched us in unexpected ways. But, it has also been a year of immense joy as we have once again seen our Lordâ€™s faithfulness to convict, encourage, strengthen, and sustain us each day!
This Christmas, we remember back to that moment, long ago, when God Himself took on flesh, and became man. We celebrate His birth, yes. But, more than that, we celebrate His sinless life, His perfect sacrifice for our sin, in His death on the cross, and His victory over death and sin in His resurrection.
And, it is only by His grace that we live, not just one day, but each day, in that hopeâ€¦In the Light that was shined into the deepest darkness of our sin.
And, it is our prayer that you also may know the hope and joy that only comes from knowing our Saviorâ€¦this Christmas and in the year to come.
By His Grace,
Jason, Veronica, Hannah, Titus, Rebekah, & Baby