2021 in Review- Family Style
As we reflect on 2021, our hearts are filled with gratitude as we saw God faithfully provide, guide and care for our family over and over again. We saw God do what we felt was impossible, as He built our Wycliffe ministry partnership team and we began full time service as supported missionaries. We had the joy of visiting family and partners in Colorado while building deeper bonds as a family road tripping together. We saw God work out the details of our summer in cross cultural training as we spent 4 weeks doing remote classes while the kids were cared for at home by our sweet friend, Trinity. We saw God lead and provide as we sought wisdom for the 2021-2022 school year. After much prayer and many conversations, we sent our kids to a small school in town. Yet another reminder that God knows best and He’s good to guide and direct our steps as we seek Him.
As our 4 oldest kids are in school and I (Christina) have been homeschooling Olive, I’ve had the privilege to spend my time in a variety of ways. In addition to normal everyday mom duties, I’ve been able to help and spend time with my parents on a more frequent basis, as my dad’s health continues to decline through his battle with Parkinson’s. It’s a true GIFT that Covid opened the doors for us to serve remotely and be only two hours from my parents.
I’ve had a lot of fun being a substitute (everything from lunch lady to gym teacher to almost every grade teacher) at the kids’ school - a way to still be actively involved in their lives and present in their school community. Now that we’re serving from WI, I’m also back to serving with our church youth group and loving investing in the lives of the next generation.
Though I’ve tried out new things, I’ve determined to use this school year to intentionally seek the Lord for what He may have in store for the next year when all our kids will be in school. There’s a number of things that interest me, use my giftings or even challenge me- and so I’m waiting on the Lord to guide my steps. I’d be honored if you’d pray Colossians 1:6-12 with me (paraphrased) (That I’d be filled with the knowledge of God’s will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding SO THAT I may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him, bear fruit, grow in the knowledge of God, be strengthened with his power and give thanks to Him).
We’ve shared in a previous newsletter, Darren is now managing the other software developers on his team - giving him opportunities to invest in his teammates while still actively coding Paratext. His free time is spent being active in the lives of our kids and serving at our church- as an elder and in the tech booth alongside our son, Zack. We look forward to sharing updates on what he is doing through future newsletters.
Zack thinks 8th grade is “fine,” which is what we’d call, great. He had a blast running cross country, joining the robotics team, and playing basketball. He also enjoys serving in the tech booth at church. Soon he will be the tallest person in the family.
Sadie looks forward to going to her 5th grade class each day. She had a bunch of fun playing soccer and basketball this year. She loves writing her own stories and is usually surrounded by at least 25 books she’s reading. Sadie loves to help teach Sunday school and care for the toddlers on Sunday mornings.
Holden is growing up so fast and already in second grade. He played soccer this fall and can often be found cartwheeling in any open space he finds. Holden is a bunch of fun and keeps us on our toes (or should we say on our knees in prayer) as we never know what he is about to do or say :)
Smith started Kindergarten this year and says his favorite parts of school are computers, lunch, play time and gym (sounds about right for a busy kindergarten boy). He loved playing soccer last summer, and looks forward to doing it again this year. He’s our musical boy that often sneaks away to play the guitar and make up his own worship songs. We pray his little heart of worship only grows as he gets older!
Olive is doing 4K at home, though she gets to experience going to “school” when Christina substitute teaches and Olive attends their childcare. Olive is sweet and spunky though she had some rough patches in 2021. She had a number of kidney infections that hospitalized her this year, but she was a champ through it all. We are thankful to the medical staff who treated her and we are praying that as her body continues to grow she’ll be less prone to infections.