It seems like just a few weeks ago we were celebrating the start of the new year and here we are wrapping it up already! As it is with most years, this year was filled with twist, turns, created some wonderful memories and experienced some challenges!
My husband, Rick and I were blessed to go on a mission’s trip in February to Panama. He worked with the construction team and I worked with the medical team, handing out reading glasses. You know God’s hand is on you and your team when we can work all day in a community center with no air conditioning with temps in the 80’s and 90’s and everyone holds up just fine! We love the people of Panama, and especially love hanging out with the kids!
Rick and I had the opportunity to travel to Arizona for our first time in March! We went out there to see some friends but was also excited to see the Grand Canyon and the Sedona area for the first time as well! You always hear people say, pictures don’t do it justice and with the Grand Canyon that is certainly true! It was majestic and even though there were probably thousands of people visiting there that day, we often felt like we had the place to ourselves taking in these amazing views!
In April, Rick’s parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary! Wow! How many families get to celebrate that! We were able to surprise them with a luncheon with some of their friends and family. A touching moment for me was watching my parents join with my in-laws as my dad prayed over them.
In April we hosted a lady’s conference at our church. Wonderful opportunity to connect with several ladies from our church as well as ladies from our community! Blessed to have also attended some other conferences this year including Joyce Meyer’s and Designed for Life.
My bike riding journey has continued! Still love when I get the opportunities to ride in the great outdoors, especially love when I get to ride with a friend! This summer I attempted a couple organized rides, there is a great energy with those along with the added bonus of getting to meet other riders. I rode in the Tour de Cure which raises funds and awareness for American Diabetes Association and I rode in the Tour de Donut… crazy enough, they encourage you to eat donuts during your ride!
In September I had the opportunity to go on a road trip with a wonderful group of lady friends! We wanted to celebrate with one of our friends that was having a big birthday! We headed to Arkansas to go diamond mining! None of us struck it rich, but we absolutely enjoyed our time together!
In July our church’s leadership ask if I would consider being the Pastor over our youth group, for at least a season of time. When I talked to Rick, we felt no hesitation to dive into this, even though our schedules had been incredibly full already, we knew it must be a God thing! Accepting this, meant somethings had to be put on hold, so that we could free up some of our time. We were so excited our son Seth jumped in with us too, to run sound, lights and video for us on our weekly meetings. Since August… besides our weekly meetings, we’ve worked with our Pastor of worship to help us start a youth band, we’ve hosted a pool party, have done a couple fund raisers, attended a youth convention, worked at updating our youth room and hosted a Christmas party! Kelly Clarkson has a song that says, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”…ok, that thought might have originally came out of James! Honestly, we are just so thankful that when God calls us to something he can also provide the stamina, time and energy needed for the task at hand!
Another journey that I am still on, is writing a weekly blog and getting various opportunities to speak, I have to thank so many of you that have been such an encouragement to me! I am still learning and growing, some days and weeks are more challenging than others, so your emails, texts, phone calls and Facebook messages have given me encouragement and mental strength… some of you don’t know how timely those have been! Thank you!
We are so thankful for our 3 sons! Our oldest son, Steve is still working at Colorado Center for the Blind, teaching mobility and encouraging others that have lost their sight. Our middle son, Sean is still working for Fed Ex, this is their crazy time of the year! Our youngest son, Seth is still at Kid’s Kingdom, working the elementary age kids and working with their computer lab.
We can’t wait for our son Steve to be in town here in the next few days, love, love, love, having ALL our guys together! Rick and I are so grateful we will be celebrating this Christmas with all our family and many friends that we will get to connect with as well! Life is certainly not perfect, but we feel so amazingly blessed with our family, friends, neighbors and church family! We pray each of you have an abundantly blessed and favored Christmas and New Year!
I am going to take the next couple weeks off from writing my blog post to focus on some quality time with family and friends!