What’s in a year? Is it memories, events, or simply a span of time?
The real question: How can I explain all of the memories, events, and blessings that have befallen us this year in a single Christmas letter? As I reflect on 2011, and attempt to corral my thoughts, I am humbled, and thankful for the hand of God in our lives.
Our over-the-road job kept us in 20,000+ miles a month, and well fed. It also took us by the homes of friends and family that we wouldn’t normally get to see. We even met some folks we had been following for years on their blog but had never met. We spent time with Kathleen and Craig, where we planned a week long sailing vacation in the San Juan Islands in October. Fabulous!
Kevin and I qualified for our bareboat charter licenses a couple years ago, and this vacation was our first time out on our own. Kevin “captained”, I crewed, Kathleen cooked, Craig held everyone together, and it all turned out to be a wonderful week of exploring the jewel-like string of Islands that God placed in the Pacific Northwest. Truly a blessing.
We continued over-road-trucking until August. The job that had been bringing blessing for five years was becoming a old because we weren’t getting home very often. After about six months of talking and praying about it, we started with a new company in September. We haul dry ice for “Continental Carbonic Products.”, we stay in the mid-west, and we get home a lot more often. It is a much smaller company than we were used to, with a very steep learning curve in the beginning, but we are settling in to our new job wonderfully.
To give you an idea of the difference working for a small company can make; three weeks after we started, I landed in the hospital for emergency surgery. While I was recuperating for six weeks, they let Kevin work as a solo driver, and they kept me on the payroll instead of letting me go (the way CFI did when Kevin got sick). Much better to work for! Plus being home more = very happy Grandpa & Grandma.
I’m recovered, and back to work now. While in the hospital, Kevin was my nurse, and faithful attendant. It was a time of walking by faith for me, and a time for prayers for Kevin. Both of us came away from the experience with a deeper faith in the God that loves us.
Our family is and continues to be our greatest blessing. Matt and Dana are giving us a third grandchild this May. Jordyn, their oldest, is in her 2nd year of pre-school and is smart as a whip! Johnathon turned 2 the day after Thanksgiving and keeps his mom on the run! Doug continues to work and go to school. He moved on to University for his Junior year. Cathi moved to Vancouver, BC and started a new job this summer.
So that brings me to the end of this year. We are thankful for evidence of the hand of God working in our lives, we owe Him our very life, love and allegiance. While we don’t know the actual day of the birth of our King and Savior, we can use this season of holiness to honor and thank our Lord for the gift of salvation he offered and we have partaken of.
We hope the New Year finds each one of you happy and healthy, and deep in the hand of the One that loves you most.