It’s time again for our annual Thanksgiving letter. This is always such a fun letter to write at such a good time of year. Autumn is a soothing time of year here in Erie, PA. We’ve made it through the sticky heat of summer and we’re gearing up for the long, gray winter, but right now we are enjoying bright blue skies, a tapestry of brilliantly colored leaves gently falling around us, and that pleasantly crisp nip in the air. It’s a good time of year to stop and thank God for His many gifts to us.
Our health. As Adiel struggled through a rough bout of morning sickness this summer, we were reminded again of how important our health is to our daily lives and how much we take it for granted. All six of us (including the newest one on the way) are healthy and well. We can breathe, walk, run, see, hear, get out of bed in the morning- all because God has given us good health. We are very thankful indeed that God has made our unborn child healthy, too, which is evident by a strong heartbeat and a lot of kicking!
Our love. “All You Need Is Love.” Isn’t that how the song goes? And while our own feeble love is so insufficient much of the time, when it’s backed by Jesus’ all- sufficient love then that really is all you need. Sometimes it seems like we’re full to bursting with love in our family: Lily is so good with Evangeline- helping her, comforting her, being patient with her, Malachi is already tenderly loving his newest sibling- he’ll rub Mommy’s belly and talk to “Baby Boo,” and the kids take turns going out on “Daddy Dates” with Joshua- what a treat that is! And Adiel still stays at home and shows her love through cleaning, cooking, teaching, etc. We all genuinely like being around each other and we are so grateful for this love that fills our lives.
Our home. We’ve lived in this house for a little over four years and it has been a good home for us. Even though we are starting to feel a little cramped here as our family continues to expand, we are so grateful for a warm, comfortable house to call home. These four walls hold some of our best memories.
Our Family. This is the gift that keeps on growing! Just when we think this parenting thing can’t get any crazier, along comes another addition of joy, trials and dirty diapers. We’re so excited for Kid #4 to arrive in February, but in the meantime we’re keeping mighty busy with the other three kids! Lily is a very loquacious 5-year-old Kindergartener and she’s learning like crazy! We’re doing our best to keep up with her growing mind, but she learns everything we put in front of her and is eager for more. She is so excited to learn how to read and Adiel is thrilled to have the honor of being her teacher. Malachi just turned four and is growing in size, brains, and character. He is turning into a little gentleman. Well, he’s gentle when he wants to be, but when it comes to getting rough and tough with a mud puddle or wrestling with Daddy, then he leaves gentleness behind! In fact, the only one who can compete with Malachi’s roughness at times is little Evangeline. At 1 ½ she’s gaining quite a reputation for herself as one tough cute cookie. She may be pint-sized, but that little girl makes up for her size with her spunk. She doesn’t seem to realize that she’s small so she runs, climbs, wrestles, and gets into trouble just as much as her big siblings. We’re kind of hoping our next kid is a little mellower than Evangeline.
And Joshua and Adiel are still truckin’ away at raising this family and keeping busy with their own talents- music and winemaking for Joshua and photography and homemaking for Adiel. We’re a strange crew when you put us all together, but this family is still striving toward holiness in our own odd ways.
Our Hope. We have had some really great times as a family, but we’ve also gone through some dark, horrible times. We’ve experienced death and heartache, sickness and pain, but through each and every moment we’ve been held together by the promises of God and the hope we’ve found in Him. Today the sun is shining, but tomorrow maybe it will rain again. But we know that even then our hope doesn’t change. We know our place in God’s kingdom and we know that this earth isn’t really where we belong. Heaven isn’t that far away and we are getting ready for it. And that hope is truly something to be thankful for!
Here we are at the end of another letter at the end of another year. How exciting it is to anticipate the events waiting for us in the coming year! We hope you, too, are filled with the wonder of God’s goodness toward us simple humans. How good He is!
With our love,
Joshua, Adiel, Lily, Malachi and Evangeline