merry christmas, love the willeys.

by willeya

I AM SO NOT THE KIND TO SEND OUT CHRISTMAS LETTERS.

i did well to give atticus a bath before the christmas eve service.  but then i got this idea to write our “christmas letter” on here and [electronically] distribute it far and wide.

he he ha ha ho ho chuckle chuckle.  this is the sound of me beating the system.

mom and i are drinking cheap wine and dad is whisteling at the key finder he bought at a garage sale.  sound of music is playing in the background.  so this is christmas

and i’m in a silly-not-serious mood but this is the only time i’ve got so ahem here goes:

hmm…how to do this.  how about our year in a word? one for each of us. then pictures.  yes, that’ll do just fine.

DEAR {LOVED} ONE [said in my “letter reading” voice]

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOURS.  I HOPE YOU ARE UNDER THE MISTLETOE ENJOYING THE LOVE AND WARMTH OF THIS SEASON AS I WRITE.  WARM FUZZIES WARM FUZZIES.

FOR CHRISTMAS TOMORROW ATTICUS WILL BE IN IL, BEN IN NJ, AND I IN THE AIR SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN [BEN AND I ARE LEAVING FOR CHINA MONDAY MORNING AND LEAVING THE BABE WITH MY PARENTS]. BUT THE SPACE IS ONLY PHYSICAL.  WE AS A FAMILY HAVE GROWN EVEN CLOSER THIS PAST YEAR.  OUR BABY NOW BOY [19 MONTHS] HAS A UNIQUE PERSONALITY ALL HIS OWN AND RAISING HIM TOGETHER HAS GIVEN BEN AND I NEW LAYERS OF LOVE.

BUT ALAS, WE ARE STILL INDIVIDUALS WITH OUR OWN JOURNEYS AND PERSPECTIVES.  SO IF YOU ASKED US TO BOIL THIS YEAR INTO ONE WORD, THIS IS WHAT WE’D SAY:

ATTICUS: 

GROWTH.  I CAN FINALLY WALK NOW, THOUGH I FEEL SAFER HOLDING ONTO SOMEONE’S HAND.  I SAY WORDS LIKE “SANTA” “KOMBUCHA” AND “TOUCHDOWN”.  I AM DEEPLY ATTACHED TO MY BLANKET AND I KNOW MY GRANDPARENTS BY NAME.  I SEEM TO BE RELATIONAL AND TENDER LIKE MY DAD AND RELATIONAL AND SLOW INTENTIONAL LIKE MY MOM.  I AM DOUBLY RELATIONAL.  I CAN NOW SIT A WHOLE HOUR TO WATCH SESAME STREET.

BEN: [I APOLOGIZE FOR THE FORMATTING ERRORS BUT PLEASE DEAL]

IN BETWEEN.  This year has continued a long transition in my life. Moving from Chicago to New Jersey brought about much more than geographic change. It brought a change of home, family, finances and relationships.
I have sought to approach such a change honestly. So I use an honest word: I still feel in-between.
I am in-between being a youth pastor at a small church to being a couple things at a big church. I love them both dearly. I find myself learning the transition and seeing the differences …
I am still in-between knowing what it means to go from being a busy couple in grad school to a family that does adult stuff like going to bed on time, watching the diet of our son and trying to get to know our neighbors.
I am in-between in my relationship with Jesus. I found myself more driven, probably more legalistic (bad) and passionate (good) before. Now, with stability I find myself understanding and resting in God’s sufficiency (good) and am less likely to pursue HIm with ardent determination (bad).
It is beautiful this long learning experience. A blessing of stability, a contentment of non-arrival, a restful place knowing that He will land me in many places, and in many others leave me here in-between.

AUDI/ANNA [ADRIANA]: 

MY WORD COMES QUICKLY AND WITH NO HESITATION.  IT IS PEACE. UNDOUBTEDLY PEACE. THE WORD HAS GROWN INTO ME – OR PERHAPS I INTO IT – VERY SPECIFICALLY THIS PAST YEAR. I THINK IT STARTED IN THOSE LONG EARLY DAYS WHEN ATTICUS WAS ASLEEP MORE THAN AWAKE. THE SILENCE MADE ME FIDGET. A RESTLESSNESS MOVED DEEP IN MY SOUL.  IT WAS STILL MOVING WHEN ATTICUS TURNED ONE. THEN THE SEARCH FOR PEACE – BE STILL – BEGAN IN EARNEST. I WROTE ABOUT IT HERE.

THIS YEAR I DISCOVERED THAT PEACE IS STAYING WHERE GOD IS MOMENT BY MOMENT. 

I HAVE BEEN SURPRISED ALL THE PLACES GOD HAS LEAD ME TO PEACE.  I’VE FOUND IT IN LEARNING TO LOVE MY FAMILY IN A WAY THAT’S MORE ABOUT US THAN CULTURAL NORMS. MORE THAN ONCE IT WAS IN MY MORNING COFFEE.  AND IN BEGINNING TO WORK AS A COUNSELOR [I BEGIN WORK JANUARY 9]. IN FINDING MY VOICE ON THIS BLOG.  IN CLEANING LAUNDRY AND MAKING WEIRD FOOD.  IN GRACE WHEN IT ALL GOES TO POT.  IT’S IN FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT AND BIG TRIPS TO CHINA. IN THIS PLACE CALLED NEW JERSEY AND THESE PEOPLE CALLED FRIENDS AND FAMILY.  JOY BECAME STRONG WHEN I CHOSE IT SMALL AND SPECIFIC.

IT’S BECOMING ALL GRACE – AND PEACE – TO ME.

THIS WAS YESTERDAY’S ADVENT READING.  THIS? THIS WAS OUR YEAR…

BLESSED BE THE LORD GOD OFISRAEL, FOR HE HAS VISITED US…AND RAISED UP A HORN OF SALVATION FOR US…TO GRANT THAT WE, BEING RESCUED FROM THE HAND OF OUR ENEMIES, MAY SERVE HIM WITHOUT FEAR, IN HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS ALL OUR DAYS…TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH…

TO GUIDE OUR FEET INTO THE WAY OF PEACE. Luke 1: 68-79.

PEACE TO YOU TOO, OUR DEAR FRIENDS. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS,

LOVE THE WILLEYS.

PS. PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST TELLING ME HOW YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE TOO.  I’LL CONSIDER IT YOUR CHRISTMAS CARD :)

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