I gave up trying to write those family update Christmas letters quite a few years ago. However, this morning, while my young adults are sleeping and my husband is already at work, I’ve been sitting nearby the Christmas tree and looking through the photos I’ve taken over the past year. They remind me of the joy that has filled this year.
If we’d done a “family Christmas card photo” the one to the left would surely have been it. We travelled to CitiField for an inter-league game between the Mets and the Yankees. Our allegiances are displayed in the photo, and let’s just say the majority ruled in this outing. We had a great time together with our good friends Andy and Ray who went with us.
There were many more traditional highlights, including our daughter’s graduation from high school and her unique graduation party at a local minor league baseball park. Her year was filled with celebrations like proms and senior events, graduation, followed by the excitement and trepidation of moving to college and learning in a new environment. As I write, I can hear a clock she received as a Christmas gift ticking; it’s face depicts trigonometry, a favorite subject of hers. It’s a good thing she’s studying math education!
Also in 2010, our son earned his certificate in audio recording and chose to stay on to study technical theater, pursuing a career path using skills he has loved learning nearly his whole life. His 2010 has been full of adjustments and tech weeks, mastering new skills and polishing long-learned ones. He has designed sound or lighting for more shows than I can count, is working at a middle school as a technical director for their productions and teaching the skills he loves to 11 and 12 year olds. He spent a week in the summer providing tech support and helping to teach beat-making and some basic recording skills to inner city kids at a Hip Hop camp called Blaze Fest. He will graduate again in the new year and has a lot of options in front of him as he steps out into adulthood.
My husband and I welcomed a new God-child, Payton Hope, into our lives, as well. She is a sweet, sweet baby and we look forward to supporting her in her growth in faith into the future. We have been blessed to be able to care for two special children during some difficult times for their single mothers; Mia, our daughter’s God-child, and Rome, the son of our friend Tara. Amidst all this, there have been family visits, and travels to see friends old and new, and many times at home. A favorite visit was to surprise Cathie with the presence of her aunt, uncle and toddler cousin, Hannah, for family weekend at her university in Niagara Falls.
Even in the times of strain, and there have been significant strains, this year is marked by joy of the deepest kind. There are many situations we could have done without, but we had our faith and each other to keep us afloat. I don’t think there is anything more important.
In a few hours from this post, I will begin my journey toward Carrefour, near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I arrive with our team of 15 on Monday, December 27, and will be there until January 2. I have anticipated this deeply for nearly a year, and am excited and humbled to be called to go. God’s people have provided abundantly for this trip. So much so, that there is half of a second trip’s funding available. When will I go again? God will make a way, clearly, and… there will be joy.