Romans 12:1-2

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016!

As I stop to ponder what to write for a Christmas letter, what comes to mind first is God's faithfulness.  Through every high and every low of the year, God is God.

2016 was a very full year - In February we got serious about finding a new home and put ours on the market.  It sold over Spring Break, we found just what we were looking for, and moved in mid-May.  We love our new home so much that it took no transition/adjustment time to be here!  We have great neighbors, know people from church and even have a friend from Scouts around the corner.  The boys' rooms are a bit smaller than before and I jokingly told them we were buying the house for the dogs (they have an amazing back yard!) since the boys will be gone soon!

So, Micah is in his Senior year.  This past summer he spent two weeks in Africa where he preached at a VBS, worked really hard painting and building a fence for a Christian school and assisted with wound care in villages.  He moved from working at Baskin Robbins to Chic-fil-a and continues volunteering at church all while starting college classes.  He has completed 17 hours.  Graduation Day is May 18 and Micah has officially enrolled at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.  He'll live on campus.

Levi is a sophomore at Rejoice.  He is amazingly disciplined and competed in a teen Body Building physique show at the beginning of August.  The meal prep stuck and he completely cooks for himself (and sometimes for us!) now.  Levi will be 16 next April so he has begun "parent taught" driver's ed.

Devon has been at Oklahoma Wesleyan for over seven years and I started year 6 for Owasso Public Schools this fall.  One thing we love to do together is travel. A couple of highlights were Buffalo/Niagara and Lavallette, New Jersey (the beach).  Another highlight for me was seeing The Oak Ridge Boys at the fair (I grew up loving them thanks to Mom!). Devon took an (almost) annual Colorado hiking trip with friends during Labor Day and ran three marathons in six weeks this fall (he got a personal record in one of them!).  I know this is much tamer, but sometimes I play Bunco (especially Bunco for Babies, the fundraiser for the Pregnancy Resource Center in Owasso) and go to Book Club.  In the spring I teach at Writer's Workshop or Literacy Fairs for OETA.

I usually end Christmas letters with a Scripture that has been meaningful for the year - this one is definitely it: Isaiah 58:10-11, If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.  And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. ESV

I have taken it to heart as I teach.  It seems that each year I have more and more children with greater and more varied needs. I continue to trust God's faithfulness in helping me here (and in all areas of my life and family) and trust He will meet you wherever you are prove faithful to you too.

Keep scrolling for pictures!
Merry Christmas!
Devon, Annette, Micah and Levi

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