seldom calm, always bright {Merry Christmas 2017}

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

I never read that one when I was supposed to in tenth grade, but I think that one’s taken.

So we’ll go with: Nothing’s changed. Everything’s changed.

In 2017, we had a baby. Everett is the sweetest, happiest babe, and the only child people don’t immediately credit to Matt’s genes. The true baby of the family, he still has his siblings pretty smitten six months later. He helps us stop and cherish life and has made us better parents.

True to time flying, Grace is a six-year-old first grader. She’s interested in about everything, but her current favorites are doing gymnastics not only at lessons, but all over our house; art; and singing. Everything she does is ‘hard.’ She loves hard, fights hard, puts everything she has in to everything she does, and even sometimes learns things the hard way. 🙂

Milly is thriving in her second year of preschool, making friends left and right. Independent from the time she started refusing naps at two years old – keeping herself awake by playing Anna & Elsa with two of her fingers – she’s surprised us in how much she’s taken to her friends. She’s also blossomed in the role of Big Sister while Big Sister is at school.

Campbell recently turned two. We tried not to push tractors on him just because we are a farm family, but the kid is all boy and adores anything with wheels – tractors, trains, diggers, trucks. His sweetness makes his orneriness more funny than angering.

Matt is still working as an agronomist/consultant. We’re so fortunate he works for a wonderful family and has clients who put their trust in him.

We listed our house back in March, and it’s pending sale right now. We’ve learned a lot here. Maybe I’ll share the story later, but the jist is that our ‘dream home’ was just a house. Our stuff is just stuff. It doesn’t define us. It doesn’t make us happy. We knew that in theory five years ago; we know it for certain now.

When we first stuck the ‘For Sale’ sign in the yard, we didn’t know our next move. In the cool way he does, God orchestrated the next step for us at just the right time. We’re moving about 10 miles east of our current house to one that’s less than half of the square footage. By choice. And then we will probably move again sometime in the future. Maybe even build a house and start a Christmas tree farm. And we couldn’t be more excited.

Everyone thinks we’ve lost our minds: downsizing, starting something new, buying our fourth house in nine years. Some call it unpredictable; we call keeping it fresh. Like I said: everything’s changed; nothing’s changed. In other words, there’s not much calm. And our ideas are sometimes even bright. 🙂

Speaking of change … I’m in awe of a God who is real, alive, and relevant today AND never changes.

Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, he promised his people through the prophet Jeremiah that if they seek him with all their hearts, they would find him (Jeremiah 29:13). His promise applied to the Israelites in Babylonian captivity, it applied to the wisemen and shepherds seeking the King that first Christmas, and it applies to us today.

This Christmas, I hope you find the reason for the hope this weary world so desperately needs.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

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