This year comes to an end and a new year beckons us forth. The 300-some days that have passed have offered such great memories and adventures. The approaching 300-some days offer the same. We can't help but echo Dave Ramsey and say "Today, this year, we are doing better than we deserve." We cannot, however look back, look forward or be in the present without fully acknowledging that God, the same God who came to earth as a babe, deserves all the glory and all the credit for the beauty of the life we are living. It is in recognizing this, we go forward in recounting our 2009 and wishing you all the best for your approaching year.
This year is highlighted by a 40+ day road trip throughout the west. We experienced the kindness of strangers, the majesty of creation, the love of family and friends and opportunities to serve our "neighbors" in love. The trip was possible because of our careers as paraprofessionals/teacher's assistants allowing for 3 months off to explore 16 National Parks, 9 states, a few Islands, and put over 10,000 miles our newly named Subaru: Navajo Durango.
This year has taught us the value of meaningful, authentic community as we have been privileged to live with a beautiful family that challenges us to love deeper, serve passionately and give generously. We have the honor of living in close proximity to a friend who gives more of himself in his relationships than could ever be asked or expected. We meet weekly with a handful of friends from church who serve as a constant source of encouragement, entertainment and even nourishment! We continue to welcome strangers into our home via CouchSurfing.org and have made some valuable relationships within that community, seeing some previous guests take up residence in Laramie and meeting some foreign friends who had previously contacted us with questions about Laramie. The University has given us the opportunity to meet with two International students, showing them American life and Wyoming life at it's finest (we hope). We are able to share meals with numerous friends, co-workers and family whom we adore and love. When considering our relationships, we know that we have been given much, and can only hope to return that blessing.
We hope this year has brought great happiness to your own households and leaves you feeling confident in the days to come. We wish you peace, love, and the blessing of great friendships that can carry you through whatever hardship or joy may come your way in 2010.
Grace and Peace,