Christine and I Wish You a Joyous Christmas and A New Year Filled With Hope!
You can smell the Scottish Short Bread Christine is baking to celebrate this season with members of our Mustard Seed House Community and many good friends in the Seattle area. One of our favorite things is hosting friends and family over the the holidays for the rich range of Christmas yummies that Christine prepares. Our holiday punch will be made from the apple cider she made from our over 400 pounds of apples this year.
As Christine and Goldie and I race into a new year we have so much to celebrate. First we are grateful to God that we seem to be growing in both our appreciation for one another, our gratitude to God for the opportunity extend hospitality to others. We are celebrating 27 great years together and our life together just seems to keep getting better. We suspect one of the factors is taking a two day retreat four times a year to review how we are doing and to set new goals. Would appreciate prayers for our next retreat right after Christmas.
I am personally celebrating that Christine’s new book, The Gift of Wonder is helping so many people reporting that it is helping them find a very fresh approach to prayer. For those living in Denver and Southern Cal Christine will be coming your way:
Denver- The Refuge– January 12, 2020 2:30-4:30
Los Angles- Mary & Joseph Retreat Centre – February 15, 2020
Torrance- Life Covenant Church- February 16, 2020
San Diego – Cultivate Conference- February 20-22, 2020
I am also celebrating a growing relationship with a good friend this season Dwight Friesen who is a professor at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. We appreciate your prayers as we are exploring some ways to collaborate together.
Dwight and I are both increasingly concerned, as we gallop into this new decade of the 2020s that we are not just living in normal changing times but that the rate of change seems to be accelerating at a concerning rate. We are also growing divisiveness in so many of our communities as well. We are looking for new innovations that offer a little hope in times like theses. Can you send us your ideas?
I (Christine) am grateful for the wonderful opportunities we have had this year to enjoy friends and family around the world. I have particularly enjoyed the thrill of becoming a great aunt for several new arrivals starting with Lucy Aroney, born to my nephew Matt and his wife Kass just after Christmas. This was rapidly followed by twins to Matt’s sister Lauren and May born to my good friend Cheryl’s son Wade and his wife Abbey. Though I am not an official aunt to May, my close bond to Cheryl certainly makes me feel like one.
As a very special treat Matt and Kass brought Lucy to visit us in June and then we were able to travel to Australia in November, not just to meet the new family members but to have time with all the family. It was a very special time with much laughter, fun and celebration. Like Tom I am grateful for the joy of our relationship that I think increases the joy and delight in celebrations like these.
In April we also had a special visit to Beacon New York to spend time with Tom’s family. Unfortunately the celebrations revolved around a memorial for his younger brother Jack who died earlier in the year, but it as is so often the case, it takes an event like this to bring the whole family together.
In August we spent a wonderful week on Vancouver Island at Tofino and Ucluelet with our good friends Tom and Kim, little realizing that their lives were about to change forever. In September Kim had a heart transplant and is still slowly recovering.
Advent is about waiting for the coming of Christ in whom one day all will be made whole again. As we celebrate the joy of new life in the midst of illness and death we hold onto this hope with a deep longing.
Tom and Christine and Goldie