Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Fabulous Year

I can't say this has been a perfect year and without troubles, but I might say it has been the best year of my life. So much has happened. So much has changed. I have changed. I would like to tell you a bit about about the big, life-changing happenings of this year, along with a BUNCH of pictures. Beware and have fun!

1. Passion Conference
Early this year, I went to my first Passion Conference, and likely my last. It was a neat experience and we were able to get a great deal. It was neat to be with so many Christians and people joining together to praise God and learn more about Him. For more about this, go here.

2. Engaged!!
My youngest brother, Gabriel, brought his girlfriend, Emily, to our house in January. While they were here, he asked her to be his wife. It was great to get to know her and celebrate with them. More.

3. That Classroom
I went to Minnesota in March for Gabriel's wedding, but while I was there, I had my first experience in this classroom. I sat through a whole class (up until cohorts split) of what was the freshmen class at the time. The lesson that day was by Scott Hubbard about the Kingdom of God. It was a long class, and I began to think that I might not like to go to BCS. Anyway that was the first of many more class times. I tell you about that later. More.

4. Married!!
About 2 1/2 months after they got engaged, Gabriel and Emily happily married. I mean, happy! It was such a sweet wedding, and of course, these two were overjoyed. I loved seeing Gabriel so glad to be married after years of patiently waiting for her to say yes. 

5. Haiti
In April I went to Haiti for the third time, but this time I was alone; none of my family was with me. Although I wasn't scared, it was a big step for me. Not only did I speak at the women's conference again this year, but I also taught the children, and slept on a school building floor in the country!. I had a hard time picking out a picture that could say it all. I decided this one would work well. It shows me teaching, the children, my favorite place (Valley of Hope), and new friends. It was a great growing experience for me. More about this.

6. Camp Counselor
This summer I started my first real job, and it was certainly the best first job I could have imagined. I learned so much about working hard, loving children, being everyone's mother, making friends, and loving God. This picture says a lot: being outside a LOT and friends. More and more.

7. Priscilla Gets Married
I came home early one week of work, so I could help and be apart of Priscilla and Justus's wedding in August. I loved being more involved in this wedding. My first sister to get married! It was a great time, and I love going to the Witmers' house now!

8. College!!
Probably the biggest thing that happened to me this year was moving away from home to the Minnesota to attend Bethlehem College and Seminary. This was a huge step for me, and I had a rough time. However, I learned a lot, acquired new friends, and realized more and more how much I need God. I even had a class that was taught by Scott Hubbard. This picture above is before Mom, Dad, and the younger went back home after dropping me off. 

In college...
I met so many more people. 

We had lots of get-togethers.

We ate WAY too many donuts.

I hung out with these three (and Tyler) a crazy amount. But I loved it. 

I played tourist/city girl. 

I was tormented by the presence of these kids. Just kidding; half the time, I invited myself to be the third wheel. 

I have learned I become a mother very easily. These are just a few of my children. 

I made good food, like this creamy cabbage soup. Don't ask me what I put in it. 

I spent an unreasonable amount of time here. Can you guess what it is?

Oh, yes, and I studied. 

9. Thanksgiving
I love being an aunty. 

This year we were all together as a family for Thanksgiving for the first time in many years. It was a blast. I am so blessed to have such a great, big family. 
Back row: Dad, Mom, Jesse (31) and his girlfriend Annaliese, Tyler and Hannah (24), Bethany (19)
Second row: Me (20), Lydia (13), Priscilla (22) and Justus, Emily and Gabriel (26)
Third row: Josiah (29) and Cindy with Johanna. 
More and more.

10. Coming Home!!!!!!!!!!
One of the biggest joys was coming home to my country house on a hill. I love this place, and if I could help it, I might would just stay here for the rest of my life. 

Wow! What a year! I have seen God work in amazing ways, and I have gone through dark times when it seems He isn't working at all. I am so glad to be saved and bought with a price, a child redeemed and loved by a Saviour who is my Prince of Peace. This year would be empty if it hadn't been for you, Father, so thank You for being my Light and being good to Your little girl. 

I hope your year has been good and full of the Lord.

Out to get another year!
Here we come, 2018!

*I made a total of 18 posts this month!! That's a bunch and it certainly beats the record for any other month that I've had this blog. I hope I haven't lost you. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

It is amazing to think that God became man, a righteous, sinless, humble man. 

He lived perfectly, was killed unrighteously, and rose again victoriously. 

Christmas is such a wonderful time to remember and ponder His great love, grace, mercy, and kindness to us who deserve nothing. 

He is worthy of so much praise. 

My favorite trees in my favorite woods. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

My Little Dear

This little chunk turned 13 years-old today!

She is my little girl, but she's growing up and I have to face that reality. 

She's no longer a baby. 

She's getting big!

Oh, well, that's life!

Happy Birthday, Lydia!
I love you!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Gray Havens

Hannah introduced this band to us a few years back, so I thought I would introduce them to you with one of my favorite songs.
I hope you enjoy.

A Man After God's Own Heart

His name was not David. He did not live in ages past, or in other lands. He was no king, no wise man, not soldier.
He was born in 1989, in North Carolina, 3rd son of a young couple. He was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 11. But I don't want to tell his whole life story. I want to focus on who he was.

He was a bright young man, full of compassion, kindness, jokes, worship, love, sickness, faith. 

He suffered, he sang, he sought God. He lived, he died, he lives forever in the Father's presence. 

He was a man after God's own heart. 

He was my brother.

He was Micah.

He was one of the sweetest boys I ever knew. 

A smilin' hospital boy. 

Micah loved his guitar. 

Micah (on the left) was a trooper even with crutches. He just used his crutch as his gun. 

He also knew how to play the mandolin. 

I always did love my boys. Here I am being joined by Micah, Priscilla, and Gabriel in blowing out my candles. 

Such a happy young man. This was after church one year when Micah came home to a new bike for his Birthday. 

I wonder if Micah was more excited about Bethany's guitar than Bethany was. 

He was one handsome chap. 

With his camera in hand, Micah was always ready to capture a moment through the lens. 

If you can't tell, it was hard for the Birthday kid to blow out the candles alone. 

A happy Mama with her four boys. 

Surrounded by his little sisters, Micah made for a good brother. 

When Lydia came around, Micah loved to lull her by his guitar playing. 

I wish I had known him better. 

Micah taught me what it's like to suffer and still smile. Suffer and still say, "God is good."

Probably all of us kids have compared ourselves to Micah. We have his love for this or that, we have his face, we have his eyes, we want to be like him. But I don't care if I don't look a thing like him, what I want is Micah's faith. I want to love God the way he did. I want to live for Christ the way  he did. I want to sing and worship from my heart like Micah did. 

I want to be a woman after God's own heart. 

I love you, Micah!


Monday, December 18, 2017


Saturday evening Hannah and I arrived back to our country. It was lovely.

One of the first things I noticed was the smell: the fresh fallen leaves. decaying in sun and rain. The smell of country, our country, our home.

Then I noticed the stars. Even when the sky is not completely clear, the stars twinkle and shine. The trees: dozens, no, hundreds, thousands. Everywhere there are trees, lovely trees. And peace, such a wonderful calm and silence, besides distant barking dogs. It is dark here. You know it is morning because it gets lighter, but at night, there are no street lights, flashing ambulance sirens, or speeding cars. When it's night, it's night; when it's day, that's exactly what it is. I guess that is what we expect.

Our counters are so white. Pure, beautiful, cleanable white. The counters in the White House are not that way.

Yesterday I heard a wren sing. Yesterday I joined Bobson and Carson (I was Johnson) searching for the robber in the woods. I was barefoot.

I am home.

Hannah and Lydia in our bedroom.

Our delightful woods.

Enjoying some of my old master pieces.

Search partners Carson and Bobson.

The Honorable Bobson. 

Tea against a backdrop of WHITE counters!

We also put the Christmas stuff up. 

My angel. 

Yesterday we celebrated 12 years since my brother Micah went to God's heavenly Kingdom. I plan to post more about that another time. 

We had cake and sparkling cider. 

Sun, blue, and TREES! Lots of them.