Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Year in Review

I'm sitting down to write this entry after just returning from a sonogram appointment. What has happened today is characteristic of this entire year. What I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that God is sovereign and that nothing happens outside of His control. It's not that we have some battles that God wins and other battles that satan wins. Rather God orchestrates everything that comes to pass, and He is victorious over all. Satan has no power beyond what God has given him. This is a truth that has given me strength to stand in the midst of intense trial and difficulty. Today we saw that our third little baby conceived this year has no heartbeat. This comes two short weeks after seeing the heartbeat. I'd ask for a second opinion, but today's sonogram only showed 2 days of growth since the measurements a fortnight ago. While I trust in a loving God that works all things for my good, it is still hard to deal with these human emotions. There's another family in my extended family that has endured the same trial. God is working something in both our families, though it remains a mystery to us.

The year has not been entirely composed of bad news. First, as I have mentioned, God has used and continues to use the trials to bring about positive change in our lives. Next, there have been strides that the children are making in their learning and training. Brittney, Brianna, and Justin are doing well learning the piano. Brittney continues to advance in her sewing. She is being a very big blessing in sewing clothes for herself and her sisters. She even had an amazing opportunity this month to sit under the instruction of Lisa Sorrell and make herself a pair of leather ladies shoes. We did not entirely know the reputation of Mrs. Sorrell, but apparently she is a world famous bootmaker. Everyone we've talked to that knows anything about boot and shoe making knows her and admires her work. Here is her website: This was a great opportunity for Brittney to learn from an expert. Brittney enjoyed it very much and may want to pursue this interest further.

Michael has established for himself a good reputation as a hard worker in our neighborhood. He is regularly hired to do flowerbeds, work on fences, weed eating, or whatever other odd jobs that need to be done. He is trying to save money for land in order to build his own home.

Brianna continues to excel in her piano playing. She is also working with Brittney in improving her sewing ability. She and Brittney are making quilts and doing an excellent job.

Justin is doing very well at the piano. He is "all boy" and loves to play outside and wrestle.

Paton is coming along very good in his reading. He now takes his turn reading during our family worship time. We have to encourage him to speak up because he's a little soft spoken. But he's doing great.

Sarah loves to play with Samuel. She got her first haircut in December.

Samuel is speaking quite a bit in sentences. Sometimes you have to guess what he's saying, but if you get it right he'll tell you. "Yes."

I have also been blessed to have a Christian brother in my life, Robert Graham. As I mentioned in my 2008 Year in Review, he hired on in October of that year. Over this past year we have become very good friends. We have a lot of discussions on the way to and from work. He lives only a mile away from me and sits in the cube right next to me at work. We've been able to save gas riding together and build each other up with Christian fellowship on a daily basis.

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention the blessing of my dear wife, Sheri. The things that we've been through this year, we've certainly faced them head on together. We celebrated 19 years of marriage this year. She remains a constant strength in my life. Sheri, I love you and I thank God for you.

Only the Lord knows what 2010 will bring. We would still love to move back down to Texas. Maybe the Lord will bring that about.

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