I have an announcement to make to all my friends and family. There will be no Denison Christmas card this year, and I am sorry. I have mailed cards faithfully for the past thirty-five years, but this year I had to take something off my list. I enjoy receiving cards, photos, and messages from all of you and I feel badly about not returning the effort. Please don’t remove me from your list. Jim and I are still alive, all is well, and no news really is good news. Christmas is in a few days and I still have not wrapped ONE gift for my family.

People who know me know how unusual that statement is. I was always the one who was completely ready for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. While Jim was a pastor our Christmas schedule made Santa’s look like a vacation. We had a bunch of church programs, Sunday school parties, friend’s parties, school events and various speaking engagements. I knew if I waited until Thanksgiving to shop I would be up a creek without a paddle.

What happened this year? A move. Jim preaches at the chapel for the Harbor at Possum Kingdom most Sundays. We have fallen in love with the serenity of the Harbor and the people we worship with in that small, beautiful chapel. It was quite a change for us after the big, wonderful churches we had been in, but we have so enjoyed the sense of family and community that comes with a simple time of worship. We feel blessed by God to be part of that group each week.

We were given the opportunity to move to another place at the Harbor that had more room for us to invite friends and family. We jumped at that opportunity and have spent countless hours making that move. Every mid-life muscle we own is crying out in distress. Poor Jim is trying to write the Lenten guide for the ministry, preach, speak, write, and haul boxes too. I’ve decided the next move I make is going to be to “the home” and the kids will have to worry about all the details, decisions, and deliberations.

Our Dallas lives were put on hold, rescheduled, and reorganized to adjust to the change. We were blessed and happy to settle the furniture in place and now we will take our time hanging pictures and making it our home away from home. Sometimes Christmas gifts don’t come wrapped up with bows!

Jim and I were overwhelmingly tired and all we could do was smile at each other and praise God for the many blessings he has provided us across all these years. Our ministry is high on that list. We are privileged to send God’s word out to each of you and to share it with many people we will never know this side of heaven.  

So, to all my friends and family, I ask you to accept this blog post, download the Advent book and know my heart of gratitude for each of you is found in those words. You can look forward to the Lenten book that Jim is writing. (I’ve had a sneak peak at the content and it is excellent!) Easter is very early next year and will be here before we know it.

Maybe the solution to my Christmas card conundrum will be sending Easter cards this year! I won’t make the promise, but I will try to make the effort. Who knows, maybe I’ll get a great family picture on Christmas day. (If you listen carefully you might just hear my sons groaning at those words.)  

I’ll close with this:  If I could have written a Christmas card to each of you it would have said something like:

Thank you for your love, friendship, your encouragement and your faithfulness to our Lord.
We wish you a Christmas filled with joy and the holy presence of Jesus.
May He live in you just as He came to live in that manger, so long ago.
May each of us serve Jesus joyfully until he returns in glory.
May the Lord bless you and yours with a very Merry Christmas
And guide you through each day of the coming new year.

In his love and ours,
Jim and Janet

I will blog again for the New Year! Now . . . I’ve got some wrapping to do!!



Join us at www.christianparenting.org and chime in on this week’s discussion question: How old should kids be before they play tackle football or other contact sports?

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