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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2012 AND A HAPPY 2013


What a year we have had in our small little world and hope your year has been a good one with many blessings from above. Our year 2012 has been full of many blessings and obstacles and I even debated (with myself) to even do a Christmas letter this year. With all that has happened in our lives, I (Julie) finally came to the conclusion that this year should not be skipped because of all the JOYS, SORROWS and GROWING PAINS of life in which we experienced, truly point to the true meaning of Christmas. The following Scripture has rung loud in my soul the last 11 months…going on 12 as I ponder 2012 and all its happenings.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-9 & 11
For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;


a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

11. He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put timeless into their hearts, without men’s ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done.

“He has made everything appropriate to its time!”

As much as we don’t want to admit it.. Jim and I have witnessed many seasons in life and hope to be a part of many more. This year’s “Season (2012) of Life” I think we experienced every event, emotion that Ecclesiastes describes in that small passage. As we finish the race of 2012 we rest in knowing we have a God that has it all worked out.                                                                                         

“He has made everything appropriate to its time.”

SORROW

We said goodbye this year to my mother; Jan who was loved by many and especially those who called her; “Mama and NANA”, Jim’s; Uncle Tom, my aunt; Aunt Mary Jane with a knowledge and hope….. “Until we meet again.”  

“He has made everything appropriate to its time.”
JOY
We said “hello” to our 1st grandbaby Ella Grace  born November 24, 2012 weighing 7lbs 6oz and 21 inches long. What a special joy she has brought to our lives.
 
“He has made everything appropriate to its time.”
 
GROWING PAINS 
Growing Pains are a good thing when you see God working in your midst.
Jeanine is now referred to as Novice Jeanine and is loving following her heart into the “religious life.” She will finish her canonical year this March in hopes of taking her temporary vows in September 2013. I think we will call her Sr. Jeanine after she takes her temporary vows. She will still have 2-3 more years of discernment before her final vows. We talk with her every month and have made several trips to see her. Her life is full and she loves everything she is being exposed to and the challenges it carries each day. She is blooming in our midst and she thanks the Lord for this road she has chosen to follow…  
                                                                                                      “He has made everything appropriate to its time.”
 
 
Many years ago I would have never dreamed or predicted this amazing faith journey in which our Lord has carried us. One cannot describe with words (at least I can’t) the “why”, “how come?”, when we felt led to study the 2,000 year old history (good and bad) of the Church and Christianity (good and bad) in which it inspired us to understand more about the Catholic faith.  This journey of Church history and learning about the different Christian faith denominations in time challenged me and Jeanine to become Catholic. It was a hard surrender…but when we finally did…Oh my! Never a dull moment. Jim has been very supportive of our journey of faith and has study right beside us, along the way. This October 2nd after 6 years of studying the history of Christianity and the Church, the Catechism, the Sacraments, the “whys” and “how come?” he decided to journey home into the Catholic Faith. 
  
      “He has made everything appropriate to its time.”       

We know this journey of ours might be very confusing to many family and friends….especially our Protestant brothers and sisters in Christ. A favorite quote of ours, in which it might shed some light;
“There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”Fulton J. Sheen
In “love” we challenge anyone who would like to ask questions about “why” Catholic? We are ready and willing to explain any details or concerns you might have. We hope our journey into the Catholic faith might help bridge the gap of misunderstandings that seems to divide. We understand and see the divisions in Christianity are a BIG stumbling block for a hurting world to see who Christ really is. We are all “One” in the Lord.  We pray that wherever God plants you….. GROW IN HIM! And we encourage you; If you’re not planted, you want grow.                                      

“He has made everything appropriate to its time.”
                                                                                                                                                                In closing:
 
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful 2013
 
May the Savior of the world fill your hearts with the coming of His birth on Christmas morn. God’s Peace and Blessings Be with you and your family!   Jim and Julie