love came down from heaven.
love still dwells among us.
love has a name.
Howdy, and welcome to the place I store all manner of thoughts and stories and recipes. It seems the perfect spot to write a little love letter to you this Christmas. I know, Christmas letters are supposed to be more like a diary of activities – but it seems the older I get, the lists of activities are eclipsed by moments. And those moments are what Brad and I hold close to our hearts.
Things are all in place here at CasaRock – the tree is filled with more ornaments than ever, a growing number of stockings are hung on the mantle (including a sweet little pink one in honor of Sawyer’s little sister Tyler, who will make her debut in early April), and the kitchen has a holiday dusting of powdered sugar and spice after more than one “let’s bake some happy things for folks” sessions. It would be most delightful to have you here right now, sitting on the sofa with us and talking about how time flies so quickly and how God has blessed so richly. Story after story would be shared, one weaving into another like a tapestry so that it’s hard to tell where the stories begin or end. I’ve woven many of our stories in this love letter – simply click to see where the stories take you.
My stories would be about answered prayer, like a new job for Brad – and how his position as CFO at a company called Five Stone Advisors couldn’t be more perfectly crafted for him. And we’d mention how I changed positions at Austin Christian Fellowship, into a role in communications that has allowed me to share everything I’ve ever learned about advocacy and marketing and storytelling with not only our church but other ministries as well.
The stories would be about leaps of faith – of my knees shaking as I stood at a pulpit and preached (yes, preached) at a women’s conference in Jamaica with an incredible ministry called Mission Discovery. They leapt first by asking if I would be willing, and it made my leap to share my story of abuse and redemption worthwhile.
The stories would be about sleepovers and spaghetti and swimming pools – and Sawyer, the Little Man who has ambushed our hearts and filled our cabinets with Goldfish. He gives the best “mmmmwahhh” kisses ever.
The stories would be about stories themselves – stories about Ian and Gina, and how much fun it is to see how the Lord is working in and through them. Brad and I would talk about their ministry to students, and how their home is always open to folks in need of a listening ear or a comfy place to stay.
I’d have to mention how good it feels to serve them as a volunteer in student ministry, and how much my own life has been changed because of the young women placed in my care. We’d talk about what an honor it is to see them love each other – and their son – well. And we’d talk about how great it is to watch Ian teach – and how proud we are of him.
The stories might bring a tear or two, but would also be filled with hope, as we talked about visits to Uganda, Guatemala, Jamaica, London, and Russia. We’d talk about orphans we had met, people who inspired us, and ministries committed to transforming lives in hard places.
And the stories would include two fluffy characters named Millie and Pearl, four-legged furbabies always available with a word of wisdom.
And no matter what, the stories would always wind back to thankfulness. Of how grateful we are for family, for friends, for hard times and good times and a faith that lets us cling tightly in this crazy, broken world and be perfectly loved in the midst of our own imperfection. I’d have to stop for a second – a bit overwhelmed by it all.
I’d love to hear your stories. The joyful ones.The hard ones. The every one. So let’s make a date – come to CasaRock and let’s sit on the balcony underneath the Texas stars. Let’s laugh and dream and solve the world’s problems together. Let’s pray for each other and for this big old world. “Peace on earth, GOOD WILL to man.”
Very happy Christmas. Love and peace beyond measure to you!