Merry Christmas from the Funkhousers!
In our last Christmas letter, Ben and I included this quote from Ann Voskamp:
“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement, vowed to Awe Himself, covenanted to Christ –and I took the whole of everything He gave in this gloried world into my open arms with thanks.”
I think I could sum up by saying that if 2014 was our year of learning gratitude, 2015 was our year to KEEP learning it.
For those of you who like bullet points, here is the recap of our year:
- We spent three incredible months in Amsterdam, which I won’t write about because that’s what half this blog is full of anyways.
- We moved to SE Portland and are trying hard to invest in this community long-term…
- Although we still dream about moving back to Europe 😉
- Ben is now past his 3 year mark at CIS and still enjoys biking to work when possible (thankful for rain gear) and learning more about active and environmentally friendly transportation.
- Jenna quit her job as an in-home caregiver and works (close to) full time for Abolition Now as Communications Director. She is learning a LOT!
- We started caring a whole lot more about justice, inequality, and redemptive love.
This past year has been such a season of growth for us as a couple. We’ve seen so many areas where we want to change. Where we want to see the world change. Where we want to see our communities and cultures change. And yet, through it all, God invites us to give thanks. To rejoice in the day he has made. To embrace His goodness, wisdom, and permanence, even while facing some of the darkest evil the world can offer.
If we were to add one word that specifically summed up the beginning of our journey in 2015, however, I would take one step past gratitude. I would add generosity and love.
We’ve seen what a deeper level of generosity could look like in our lives, and we’re taking wobbly steps, one by one, figuring out how to get there. However, we have to be honest and say that we have sometimes felt alone in this effort. We’ve struggled against despair and cynicism and selfishness and apathy. We have made dumb decisions or reacted to things in a way that was full of frustration rather than love. If you ever think of it, we would really appreciate your prayers as we walk this road together.
We truly believe that our actions towards justice are important. They create change, support , and reveal the heart of God. But as Paul said so convictingly in 1 Corinthians 13, “If I give all I possess to the poor, and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
So here’s to a new year and new mercies every morning! May this be year of drawing closer to the heart of God in beautiful and surprising ways. May we learn more and more what it looks like to do everything rooted in the Gospel and in Perfect Love.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.
2 thoughts on “Our Christmas Letter”
Hi Jenna, Thanks for Christmas letters &your greetings. It is always good to hear from you. Dee probably will be sending you a Christmas card in the mail, I will take this opportunity to wish you both a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year. It looks like our rain today is on the verge of turning into snow. I have a wreath to put up & I want to hang it on the wall outside by fr0nt door before it snows to much I better get going. We just got package from you in the front door now, Dee tells me, Thanks. Love, Grandpa George
Hi Grandpa! I’m glad our package made it there safely 🙂 Enjoy the snow for us! We wish you both a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as well! We love you and hope to see you again soon. Love, Jenna