(This is my 2006 Christmas letter, for those of you unfortunate souls who will not receive a hard copy, if you are interested...)
Friday, December 15, 2006
Dear Family & Friends,
Whew. Now that this week is nearly over I feel I can finally sit down to write that Christmas letter I’ve been meaning to get to all month.
I will try to give you a synopsis of what I’ve been up to this year by first telling you how the last month has gone.
The last couple weeks have flown by as I’ve been going from one thing to the next—mostly from rehearsals and more rehearsals to programs and more programs! This week we had a K5-3rd grade program on Tuesday night and a 4th-6th grade program on Thursday night. Monday the Jr. High and high school choirs sang at the mall. Sunday afternoon I had a small piano recital between cantata practices for church. Last week was our first-ever Preschool only Christmas program on Thursday night. So I have been working on helping to get these programs together (thankfully I’m not really “in charge” of any of them except for my own recitals) and making PowerPoints for the big nights. That’s probably why this Christmas letter will be late…Oh yes, I finally got my Christmas tree up at home too.
Things are starting to slow down now as there are only a few days left in school before Christmas vacation. Our church musical is this Sunday, so there’s only one more practice for that. And next week I am having one more piano recital for the rest of my students. Then I am looking forward to traveling and seeing my family!
I am still enjoying my job at Faith Christian School (www.fcslafayette.org) teaching piano and accompanying. I also enjoy being on the Worship Team for church and playing the piano on Sundays. It seems there always a special event going on too that I am involved in.
I think since my last letter came out the main thing I have to share with you is my new puppy—Juju (Jubal Lee), whom I took home at 9 weeks old in June. She weighed about 9 pounds then, and is up to close to 50 pounds now at 8 months old—complete with puppy energy to go with it. She is a German shepherd mix—supposed to have lab, chow, retriever, and who knows what else. She loves everybody and everything and is a very happy dog when she can be around people—or chewing on something (hopefully not my shoes or socks or dirty clothes or towels—some of her favorites).
My summer project (other than training a puppy and reading all the dog books from the library) was getting my youngest sister Sarah’s room ready for her to move into. I painted it red and helped her decorate (well, I helped her find what she was looking for) when she moved in in August.
I have been having fun this year with all the “new toys” I got this summer. I am more set up to spend time at home, as now I have my MacBook to work on projects at home (it was nice this week to be able to search for clip art in my leisure time at home instead of at school). I have a piano now at home so I don’t HAVE to go to church to practice (although I don’t use it all that much—but it’s nice that it’s there). And having a dog to come home to and a sister around helps to enjoy my house…and remind me to keep it clean, as Juju is great for making lots of messes (ripping up stuffed animals, getting in the trash) and reminding me to vacuum. Having Sarah around as a housemate helps me remember to do the dishes (as there are more of them now) and take out the trash (as that seems to multiply) too.
This year has been a transitioning year as I have had to make changes to my “single, carefree” lifestyle by adopting more responsibilities with a puppy and a roommate. So now I have a little “family” in my house—that takes more work and more communicating, but I guess that’s all part of life. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking by wanting to have these things to care for…but in the long run I know it is helping me to actually become more like Christ by working on new areas of growth in my own life and stretching me a little more.
I think the biggest concept God has been reminding me of this past year is not to think too highly of “my” things—now that I have to share them. I have been used to being the only person that touches “my stuff.” So it’s been good for me to realize that it’s okay if your sister loads things onto YOUR computer, or if the carpet gets a spot on it (the house is meant to be lived in, not as a showpiece). It’s all right if your sister invites people over to the house, even if it means more work for you. Whatever happens to “stuff” is okay—if your sister dents your garage door or burns your stove covers, if you leave your dog out and she chews lip gloss on the carpet, knocks a homemade cheesecake on the floor, digs holes in the yard, or spills orange juice on your laptop—I want to respond to these things in such a way that I can give a good account to God. (And not leave these things in her reach ever again!) I want to be a good steward of what God has entrusted me with—we are only here on earth for a short time anyway, and our material goods are only given to us to maintain for a short time. But we will be held accountable for the way we interact with people in our speech, thoughts, and actions.
So Merry Christmas to all, and may we all be seeking to progress in our sanctification as we grow closer to God than we have ever been before.
I look forward to hearing from all of you as well.
Love in Christ, the Greatest Gift of all,