Merry Christmas, friends! And what a year it has been. It feels like so much has happened since our letter last year.
To give you the highlights:
- This year felt like a big learning curve in our new and growing roles at work. We’re so grateful for these opportunities and are glad we “took the plunge” last year!
- Ben continues his work with L’Arche and just applied for PSU’s Graduate Program in Social Work. We are praying he gets in and begins next fall!
- Jenna traveled with Loom to Tanzania in April, her first time to Africa (it was beautiful and very wet!) She is excited to to return this February.
- We both traveled around Scandinavia visiting family this June, and spent a few wonderful days back in Amsterdam (it was beautiful and very hot!).
- Both of us are trying out new volunteer roles: occasional dinner chef at L’Arche for Jenna and crisis line worker for Ben
- We moved a few miles down the road in October and have enjoyed sharing a place with friends (and their cat).
- We spent most of the year car-free which was a fun experiment
- After much prayer and counsel, we joined an Anglican church this month and are thankful for the opportunity for spiritual formation through the ancient liturgy and practices of the Church.
In all honesty, this has felt like a year of opposites in many ways. It has been a year of making many new friends and reconnecting with old ones, of really testing out what it means to live according to our values and how to walk the delicate road of adapting without compromising. We love the direction our lives are going and yet so much still feels uncertain. It seems fitting that we write these words during Advent, the period of waiting in the mystery.
More than anything, this year has been a reminder that as John Lennon said, “life is what happens while we are making plans.” We continue to look ahead and hope for the future, but more than anything we’re learning that wherever God takes us, we bring ourselves along. We want to invest just as much into becoming whole, healthy, mature people as we invest in getting to the next phase of life, whatever that holds.
Thank you for being a part of this journey with us. It means more than you know!
We’d like to end with these marvelous words which have been such an encouragement to us during this season. May it bless you as well as we “trust in the slow work of God’ together.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin