It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness... it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope...
-A Tale of Two Cities
2018 was a good year. If you're connected to our family you might be interested to know (or be reminded) that:
- Hayden graduated from LIT and now makes enough to not only buy milk for himself but also is making enough to have bought himself a new(ish) truck and is putting back good savings. He found a sweet girl who will (most of the time) laugh when he's picking on her and seems to like him enough to stick around even for the jokes she doesn't like.
- Hallie is a senior and has been accepted to Texas Tech, (though we're rooting for Lamar). She's getting some great work experience getting and giving quotes at a local insurance company. She has wonderful friends (something I prayed long and hard for) and a nice boyfriend. She's my beauty consultant and I sneak in her room and use her makeup when she's gone.
- Rylie, the baby, is a teenager now. She involves herself in just about every school and church club and activity that she can. Throughout the years, and especially this year, she's suffered not making the team a few times, but in typical Rylie fashion she laments and then picks herself up by the bootstraps and tries the next thing (This is probably one of my favorite things about her-even though it causes me some serious grief and stress.) Band, Bullpup Believers and church youth activities have been a source of real joy and success for her.
- The siblings are starting to go beyond loving each other. I noticed this year that they're really starting to like each other and seem to prefer to hang out with each other versus hanging out with me. It feels slightly injurious, but hey, if this continues maybe I'll have time to take up knitting next year. Nah, but maybe I'll have time to read a book.
- I'm still crazy about Jason and I think he still likes me even though I'm kind of crazy. He stays busy, but I believe in the purposefulness of his long hours. He gets paid for doing kingdom work. How awesome is that? He loves God and loves people and I love watching him do what he's good at.
- I'm still trying to write when I get the opportunity. I started a book this past January about letting go of control. Ironically, no book yet, I'm still gripping the pen. (I need some more work.)
Like every family there are jagged pieces to our puzzle. Sharing just the good stuff, quite frankly, doesn't do justice to the work of Jesus in our lives, particularly in the hard things.
This year has had plenty of trials that honestly had me pleading for mercy. Do you write in a Christmas card that in the past twelve months the family spent too many nights without eating supper together and suffered a hard diagnosis (beyond our ordinary ills)? There were friendships that went by the wayside, losses, several fender benders and car trouble, kid trouble, silly disappointments and tough, valid disappointments too.
There's reason to share the tough stuff too.
Contrary to a good song, Christmas has never really been about our days being merry and bright. Christmas comes to remind us that life without true light is, well, so very dark... even with its annual brags of beautiful growing families, accomplishments and other graces.
So Merry Christmas to you if you've had a year without much trouble, but the wish goes out to you much more if in this season, you're reminded of loss and heartache.
The light shines in the darkness, (I say especially in darkness...) and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
We all have reason to celebrate, and more important, cause to worship.
May you see a great light this season.