Christmas Letter, 2016
I have a confession to make, it’s been 5 years since I’ve sent out a Christmas Card. I had them all ready four years ago but before I could get to the post office my step-son, Alan, died in a car accident. Just surviving Christmas 2012 was all we could do. In 2013 we were hanging on, but still very sad. In 2014 I tried again, but things just didn’t feel right. Last year we were reeling from the sudden death of Hannah and Nelson’s daughter, Elinor Jo…
What a way to start a Christmas letter, huh?
I share all of this because I am learning to embrace the thought that the most important thing we may be able to do this time of year is graciously receive and live into the gift of Emmanuel, God-with-us. I have no doubt that our experiences of loss, grief and even new life, are able to remind us that God IS with us in our ordinary every-day lives, as well as in times of sheer joy and sorrow. And for this I humbly give thanks.
As I write this note I am grateful to share that my children are all doing well. Lauren and Bryan and boys; Zayden and Emry, are living in Waverly, Ia. Hannah and Nelson are stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, NC. Ethan lives in San Luis Obispo, Ca. and Justin is preparing to attend Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa in January! Alan’s family is doing well too, at their home in South Carolina.
This year has been quite eventful for me; I had the opportunity to travel to Greece in January to work alongside refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan; and in June I moved to a new appointment! I am blessed to be able to combine my two vocations to serve as Director of Communications for the West Virginia Annual Conference. Justin and I live in Charleston, West Virginia now and we are having a great time exploring this beautiful part of the country.
|me and Justin, our friend Jo Megil and Hannah|
Be well, love well and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas. As we celebrate the birth of Emmanuel it is our prayer that you and yours will know peace, joy and good health.
Deborah and Justin
p.s. I want to share my favorite photo of 2016. This was taken at the baptism of my youngest grandson, Emry Wynn, who was born February 5th. I love big brother Zayden’s expression! Such a blessing!
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
(John 1:14 The Message)