Feels a lot like Grace :: Christmas 2013

Dear family and friends,

Merry Christmas! I love that we’ve come around a whole year again. I’m mentally gathering in the harvest of all the fruit of a year, and it feels so satisfying and full. Reflecting on a single year and treasuring all the moments we found grace, is a gift. Here we are one year ago:

2012's Christmas Thompson family of 4 (with a bun in the oven)

2012’s Christmas Thompson family of 4

And here is 2013 in review:

When I reflect on this year, my words fumble because my heart is so full that too many thoughts come to mind at the same time. God has been so gracious to us this year. Although we’ve gone through some heavy providence, His light still shines in our darkness. And I’m learning that every single time a {life moment} takes me by surprise, what’s really surprising me is my own tolerance of darkness in that area. It’s a shock when God turns on the spotlight of life into the area I was comfortable with and reveals some major act of redemption that He has planned. But He doesn’t leave me in shock. I’m learning to keep my eyes open long enough to let them adjust, and for the first time in my life He’s led me into a deeper relationship with Himself. This year has been all about deeper relationships.

In 2013, we had a few opportunities to travel. Even thinking about it now fills me with gratitude. I went to the Bible Study Fellowship retreat in Cincinnati, OH. There I was exposed to some amazing Bible scholars and practical training. Amazing grace was being able to actually process the teaching and thoughts in the very moment. Being quite pregnant at the time, thinking clearly was usually clouded by hormones. It’s humbling to be pregnant, at least for me, but I kept the lessons I was learning close to my heart. A month after the retreat, I traveled back to the same spot for a homeschool convention. Another amazing grace. Everything about my philosophy on parenting and schooling was influenced. I was humbled again, and yet the lower I went the more clearly I could hear Jesus’ calling. I came home emptied of my faults and filled with the Spirit’s passion to serve, love, train, and teach my children. A month after this, it was Rob’s turn to travel. He went to the annual Pure Life conference. I was supposed to go too, but at this time I was on bed rest. Here it is again: Amazing grace. I love these words that talk about the experience. May brought an anniversary that was sweeter than all the previous ones. And another grace? Yes! We added a member to our ranks! Emmett James was born on June 11, 2013 after such a unique and life changing pregnancy and delivery. God alone is to credit for all the goodness Emmett has brought to our family. He feels a lot like grace. God has given our little family this gift of grace: Jesus in our midst who teaches us His way. Love. Sacrifice. Rest. Relationship. Mercy. The lessons have been applied to us all and our relationships have grown deeper, stronger roots in Christ. So this growth was due to Emmett and it wasn’t. He broke me, yet God continues to reveal to me that His strength is made perfect in my weakness. And His grace is sufficient and trustworthy.

Family Facts:

  • Graham: 4 years old, in Kindergarten with Joe, a Wii fanatic, and can read!
  • JoeAnna: 6 years old, lost a total of 6 teeth, loves the freedom of being home educated, and will have glasses soon! {Far-sighted, which explains why she holds her books so close. Poor kid! Reading is going to be much easier soon.}
  • Emmett has struggled with his health, but not his growth! 21lbs at 6 months and still gaining steadily.
  • Joe and Graham each attended Nature Camp at the DeGraaf Nature Center and gymnastics classes this summer.
  • We are all still studying the Bible at BSF: Matthew is the book study this year. We love learning together.
Christmas 2013, family of 5!

Christmas 2013, family of 5!

Thank you so much for keeping in touch with us. The connection God has allowed us to grow with so many friends and family is the greatest blessing and encouragement. We pray that each of you has a feeling of grace this season and throughout the New Year! Love, Cara

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