Saturday, December 18, 2010
Yearly Christmas letter
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light....
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:2, 6
To all my dear friends and family,
Merry Christmas!! We have been studying the book of Isaiah in Bible Study Fellowship this year and I have had Handel's Messiah singing in my mind ever since. I cannot even read the passages of scripture the he used for his oratorio anymore, I can only sing them. Derek and I have been listening to this wonderful work as we drive around town in our car.
This will probably be a brief Christmas letter- not because I'm concerned with boring you, of course not. It's just that Derek and I have to go shopping after this so he can buy me my Christmas prezzie, hee, hee.
Let's see, how do I sum up the past year? Let's start with Derek. As usual, my son is the best blessing to me from God. He is a sophomore at New Life Christian School where he's been attending since the 6th grade. We've had our ups and downs, learning how to apply ourselves to our studies etc.. but overall things have gone well. He is still swimming with the USA swim team. He did very well at his first national swim meet in Little Rock, AR a couple of weeks ago. The other parents presented him with a swim bag in celebration of this special occasion. I must admit that choked me up.
Derek also went on his first mission trip to Colorado this past summer with the youth of our church. This was a great experience for Derek in a number of ways. Number one he had to earn through volunteering some of the funds to pay for the trip. Also, he learned invaluable leadership skills as he helped organize and lead “backyard” Bible studies and sports in a unchurched neighborhood for a week. Over a hundred kids attended.
He also volunteered at a local Missionary compound with a Missionary friend of ours. Derek helped him landscape the grounds.
We're both still volunteering at Windridge (a hippo therapeutic center). They've begun giving classes for the volunteers which I have found very interesting and informative about the upkeep of horses.
Derek has just been accepted into the People to People Ambassadorship program. He'll be joining a delegation of students from East Texas and traveling to the United Kingdom to represent America. Prior to that time he will be studying the culture and history of these countries as well as his own so he will be able to carry on informed conversations with the people he will meet in the UK.
Another exciting and wonderful event has happened for Derek. A wonderful caring man has entered into his life and has been spending almost every afternoon with him engaging him in projects around his house. So far they've built a chicken coop, a radio antennae, a dog run and a camera.
This is the father that Derek has missed for so many years in his life. This man has also commented that Derek is the son he has yearned for, for many years.
Oh yeah, can I let you in on a secret? He is the man I've yearned for, for many years as well. Karl and I backed into each other last February through a series of e mails that had nothing to do with dating or romance (they were about Derek joining Civil Air Patrol). One thing led to another and Karl ended up asking me out to lunch. One thing led to another and in March he wrote my parents asking permission to court me. Over the summer we visited my family in Florida and Mississippi and his family in Austin, Alabama and Philadelphia. One thing has still led to another and we have just had our last premarital counseling session with our pastor. That's where things stand,so far. I'll keep everybody posted as one thing leads to yet another.
All I can say is God is amazing, great, good and cares about us. If we wait on the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart. I have waited a long time for Karl. He's been worth the wait.
Other than that, I've quit teaching public school and am now working as a musician at East Texas Baptist University. I play with the students and professors there. When I'm not rehearsing or practicing on the piano I'm writing. Many of you read my blog. I'm using it as a medium to practicing my writing skills as I also write a book about my experience teaching music in elementary school.
For those of you at Johnston McQueen, I think of you often. Feel free to call and we can get together and do lunch some time.
And for all of you, have a wonderful, joy filled Christmas and many, many blessings for the following year!
Sharon and Derek