Merry Christmas 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

It’s been so long since I’ve written that I feel like I should give an update for more than just this year. I guess I’ll start with October 17, 2015. California was in a drought, and while Mike backed the moving van up our new driveway, light showers began to fall. I stood in the rain waiting, feeling like there was something more in the weather—maybe it was a symbol of God’s blessing. And as we carried boxes through the front door, I noticed the knocker made in the shape of an anchor. For several years life had felt less concrete, more shifting. An anchor stamped at the front and center of our home was the perfect reminder for my heart. Our hope is sure and steadfast, an anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19).

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Walking through that door into the last months of 2015, then into 2016, would carry many more changes than just a house. We would transition from one church to another. Mike would venture into business with his dad again. The kids would continue to grow.

Lydia is no longer my little baby. She’s talking, sassy, and nearing three years old. Judah will be seven next month, loving anything wrestling, Legos, Star Wars, and superheroes. He dresses in character almost every day. My favorite’s when he wears his dark, hooded shirt backward and pulls the hood over his face for a ninja mask. Karis is a sweet, changing eight-year-old girl. She seemed to mature overnight. When I learned that some people consider eight-years-old part of the tween years, the two of us started a devotional for the age group. Whew, I had no idea!

As for the rest of 2016, we did many of the same things. There were holidays with family, homeschool near daily, birthday parties, ballet, baseball, and swim team. We hiked trails near home in the summer, entered projects in the fair, went apple picking, and took a trip to the pumpkin patch. Then there were new things, like horseback riding, a day trip to San Francisco, Tahoe for a weekend, and visiting Uncle D and Auntie Audra in Boise for fall break.

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While reviewing our year, I came across this verse I’d documented early on, “In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling,” (Exodus 15:13). Looking at 2016, I can see this beautiful leading of God for our family. I can attest that when life no longer feels concrete there is hope in the baby of that first Christmas. His name is Jesus, Emmanuel, God With Us. Our prayer is that you, too, would find the blessing He offers in Himself as the anchor of your soul. Merry Christmas!

With Love,
The Bennetts

Favorite (a Five Minute Friday)

Sometimes life feels ideal, like when you’re driving on a Friday with morning light cascading through the forest. Summer’s breath lifts madrone leaves in a shimmy, and the Yard Sale sign tacked to the grafted base of a pine is stirring your spirit to adventure.

You remember waking early those weekends as a child, piling in grandma’s little hatchback for her favorite pastime—hitting yard sales with the rising sun. You moaned, and half the time, stayed in the car while she and mom searched for treasures—treasures you saw as “old” and “junk.”

With time you’ve changed, and now, three kids of your own are strapped in seat belts, along for the ride, and all you want is to veer off course for adventure… in search of treasure. “Old” is what you value.

But you choose to stay the course, and you pass the house with the tables and the boxes and the couches and the books, and you hold it with your eyes, hoping to spot a gem through the driver’s side window.

But just like that, it’s gone.
You grieve a little.

Peering back at the road, the light captures your eyes.
The golden grasses shine and leaves flitter.
You feel thankful–because life feels ideal.
The old is good and the new is better, while a rich God “rejoices over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

It has been SO long since I’ve participated in a Five Minute Friday! I’m not even sure if I’ve linked up since it’s been at Kate Motaung’s. Anyway, I’m happy to be back today and encourage you to check out her blog and the other FMF’s. :)

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