Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our Christmas letter...



In lieu of a Christmas letter this year we decided to just add our blog address to our card. Most of you already know what has gone on in our lives over the past year, however there may be a few who are still waiting to hear "the rest of the story..." As last years Christmas letter was "to be continued..." If you recall, last winter we were awaiting the arrival of Anaya, waiting on God for direction and leading for a ministry and a place to live. Well we have the answers to all of those questions and more.


I must admit, last year proved to be one of the most difficult and trying times of our entire life. Now looking back, we can see how God provided so many blessings. For instance, when we lived in Zeeland, we lived in a very old and decrepit farm house. It was fine, and we made a nice home there~however, we were always struggling to fix or repair or live without something(like clean water!) Here, God has blessed us with an beautiful home to live in, we enjoy not dealing with things falling apart, using the tap water and have an incredible view to boot!(OK, we do have the driveway to contend with but God...has provided us with some new snow tires and hopefully the driveway will no longer be a problem!!!)

We moved away from family and friends and some of the conveniences we had back "home." And some days that is still hard and frustrating! But I know that could definitely be a TON worse. I still get to see my family once a week(most of the time) and it is teaching me to be a better planner~although I have a lot to learn on that front yet! We have been blessed with a great church family, and some very good friends! Ryan has been enjoying being in the ministry full time and not being divided and spread thin with the farm!

Then there was the awful and painfully long wait for Anaya's birth certificate. While that was REALLY hard... God blessed us with the awesome opportunity to go to Guatemala and live for almost 2 months!(Ryan and I were talking last night and we can't believe we did that!! I went to a 3rd world country with 5 kids, and he let me!! It was definitely a God thing) That trip will forever be etched in our hearts and minds and we are so grateful to God for it!! When we were in Guatemala, Spencer didn't want to come home. He said he wanted to stay and live in Guatemala. Now that we are home, he says he is going to go to college then go back and live in Guatemala to help the poor people and children there!! That trip changed all of our lives. You can not see such deep poverty and be unaffected by it. We will always have a huge place in our hearts for the people of Guatemala, and we hope to go back there someday.

We are blessed beyond measure, and we are looking forward to another great year ahead! Here are my hip hip hoorays for God three cheers for HIM who has blessed us so abundantly!


Psalm 147:1
1 Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! 2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~I was broken hearted last year, but God...


Isaiah 25:1
1 O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. ~ HE has been faithful...


Psalm 106:48
48 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, "Amen!" Praise the LORD.

4 comments:

Eric and Michelle said...

It is so nice to see the other sides of things. It makes it so much easier to see God's hands huh. I know he is glorified as you praise him.

Aunt Jen said...

I, too, will FOREVER remember that day when we left for Guatemala!! :) We were both MOTHERS looking forward to meeting our babies!!! :) I could cry just thinking about it! :) God is sooo good!!!!

Ferrick said...

You are a wonderful family, how blessed I am to know you. God has done so much in all of us this past year, and we are all better for it. Your blog is wonderful, I love all the new photos and descriptions of the kids. You are so creative in all you do. Merry Christmas Stacy,
Susie

Stephanie said...

So happy to see you all home together for this Christmas! It will be an extra special Christmas. Love the family pic...good looking family!