Dear Friends & Family, 

I’m not sure which it is but it’s either the older I get or the more pain that comes into my life, the more grateful I am for what I’ve got.  This has been one of the most difficult years of my life…there’s no getting around it or trying to paint a prettier picture.  It’s just been plain hard, filled with lots of waiting and a lot of events that I never would’ve guessed could unfold in this sweet little life of mine.

And yet, I look around my life and I cry grateful tears.  I seriously love my life.  (Crazy, I know…)

My children are amazing.  They are both kind, funny, smart kids who are on their way to adulthood.  Sara turns fifteen tomorrow, led the freshman homecoming team this year, has done a lot of babysitting simply because she loves kids, and starts driver’s ed in January.  And Jack is now a teenager, in eighth grade, raised over $3000 for Feed My Starving Children last summer, and loves being on the basketball team.  For some reason, my love for them has grown exponentially this year.  It’s been an oddly sweet season for the three of us.

We have lived in a beautiful place that we will miss, and as of today, we can say that we will be moving into our new home very soon and it is more than we could’ve ever asked for.   We are surrounded by beauty.  My kids love their school.  I love the writing and speaking work I am privileged to do.  We each have friends that love us and take care of us and that make our lives so much richer.  People who loved us well before this tough year have loved us deeper and better than ever.  We have everything we need and everything we could ask for.

And all of this…every moment, every gift, every character-forming trial…comes from or through God.  I have never been more convinced of his fierce love for me and my children as I have been this year.  He is making himself abundantly clear to me as Heavenly Father, as Husband, and as Friend.  He is our shelter.  He is the giver of every gift I’ve listed off and every gift I’ve forgotten to mention.

My hope for you and your family during this Thanksgiving week and through the holiday season is that no matter what is going on in your life this year – whether it has been a year full of blessings or a year rife with heartache, or something in between – that you know and experience the love and peace of Christ.  It’s real, it’s available, it’s powerful, and it’s overwhelmingly sweet and good.

Happy Holidays from Beth, Sara and Jack