I like to think I’m good with words, but I am very bad with numbers. Hence, I way over-ordered Christmas cards last year… and then overcorrected this year and ordered too few. So, for those of you who didn’t get your fill of reading about our lives on facebook or who won’t be getting this in the mail, our annual letter…
How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven
No ear may hear His coming
But in this world of sin
Where meek souls will receive him still
The dear Christ enters in
Though we celebrate Jesus’ birth every year in December, this time-worn story of a baby born in a stable shows how unexpectedly and how silently forgiveness can find its way into our souls at any time of the year. In fact, many of us know this story long before we learn to appreciate it. It is a story we need to hold on to for that moment when we finally come face to face with our greatest hurts, our greatest failures, or our greatest desperation for a miracle. As I send out my letters this year, I will pray that the story of Jesus’ birth is etched in your memory deeper every Christmas so that it is there whenever you most need to know the one who is God With Us (Emmanuel!)
At this time of year, I love to receive cards that remind me of all the people we hold dear and I truly enjoy reading all the updates, as I hope you will enjoy ours:
Claire (7) and Rachel (4) can fill reams of blank white pages. Claire likes to draw funny cartoons and brings home a new comic book from 1st grade at least once a week; Rachel is very good at drawing girls in dresses surrounded by butterflies, flowers, and rainbows. Claire is the life of any party (on our photo card, see how many times you can spot Claire’s hands getting in on others’ photos) and makes new friends as easily as she laughs. She is taking piano lessons and learning how to read, but still prefers to have stories read to her. Rachel is very happy to have made one good friend in her 4K class. She tells stories about everybody in her class, but with her particular blend of bashfulness and stubbornness, it took her about 2 months to start saying “Good Morning” out loud to her teacher every morning.
Luke (2) “plays with purpose” according to one of the nursery workers at church. Most days he’s got his shopping cart or wagon full of cars, musical instruments, his favorite books, some horses, and two babies stuffed in for good measure. He loves to imitate his sisters, dote on his brother, and does some pretty hilarious dancing when asked. Caleb (6 months) is sweet and friendly, and will smile at anyone who makes eye contact with him. He’s hungry and growing quickly!
Paul celebrated 5 years at Gateway Community Church this summer and we continue to be blessed by the good friends we worship with each week at Gateway. Paul stays busy with counseling, discipleship, and leading Bible studies and middle school youth group each week. This year we installed a new playground at the church and were grateful to hire a new worship director this fall. She has been a great fit for our church and a blessing to our family by taking a lot off of Paul’s plate.
I (Laura) continue to stay home with the kids, read and write as much as I can while the kids sleep, and take advantage of every opportunity to get out of the house and meet friends. Paul took me on an unforgettable trip to Vancouver for our 10th anniversary where I got to take a class from one of my favorite writers in the mornings, and we could enjoy the beautiful scenery of mountains, ocean, and forests in the afternoons (with Caleb in tow the whole time!) Though there are some crazy moments at our house at least once a day, by the end of each day I’m grateful to be doing what I am doing for this season of our lives!
Paul, Laura, Claire, Rachel, Luke, and Caleb Lundgren