Merry Christmas! My Christmas Letter! :-)

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The year of 2013 has been one of growth, CHANGE, Challenges, and leaning deeper into HIM!

While last year at this time we were in a messy season of life.  My dad had just passed away on December 18th.  Timmy’s Birthday was the 20th and I was in Iowa.  The weekend after Christmas I spent with my brother working on sorting out life.  It was the first time that I realized how spiritually dried up I was!  I moved out in February and started attending Madison Park Church.  The kids go to church with Josh.  I was so dried up that I enjoyed just being at church.  Now there are Sundays where I want my kids in church with me but I look at this season as an opportunity to serve.  Mid march brought emergency hysterectomy and my mom came down to spend a week with me and get me unpacked while I recovered.  At the end of April brought a change in jobs and I attempted to sell cars.  In May we celebrated Lily’s 10th birthday at the Children’s Museum in Indy.  We didn’t do gifts but rather focused on spending time with family.  Her Uncle John and Grandma Sue and Grandpa Bill came down to celebrate with her!  In June I quit my job at the car dealership and spent time with my kids.  In July we made the trek out to Iowa.  One I was not looking forward to as I had not been since dad’s funeral and it was the first as a single parent but we made it!  We passed out roses in honor of Dad’s birthday and threw the money in the pool!  We had ice cream cake and rode 4 wheelers.  My “mom” even noticed that I was happier than she could remember and I had smile on my face that wasn’t going any where!  In August I served with Women of Faith as a talent runner and that was the BEST thing ever!  I got to serve Lisa Harper all weekend! I have also enjoyed reconnecting with my passion for music and concerts!    I returned to school but not for Medical Assisting.  God had called me into ministry back in my early 20’s and I RAN as far away as I could but now I am in complete surrender!  I am at Anderson University studying Integrated Leadership with a concentration in Christian Ministry.  What that will look like, I have NOT A clue but GOD does!  I work full time, go to school full time and work part time.  I started working this fall at JcPenney.  I had NEVER done retail but thought why not!  I found out that I LOVE retail!  I was going to quit BUT my store manager had a conversation that went something like this….first I was on register and had the wrong name tag on.  I had asked for help so here it goes

SM: “yeah, Julie what do you need?”

Me: “well, first of all my name is NOT Julie but Jennifer”

SM: Ohhhh ok……….Are YOU the one I have been hearing about?”

Me: (Smile) “Well that depends, what have YOU heard about ME?”

SM: “that you are leaving us!”

Me: “Yup!  That is correct!  I needed a FT job.”

SM: “Well, would you reconsider? Because we kind of need you!”

Me: “Yes, L my department Lead has already talked to me and YES I am thinking about it!”

SM: “Great!  We would love to keep you!”

Me: about 15 minutes later….”I’ll STAY!  Can we talk about management?!?!”

SM: “GREAT!!!  THANK YOU! and sure!”

Me: “oh and can I have a name tag with the CORRECT name on it?”

SM: “Absolutely!”

So, I am staying at JcPenney and pursing the management track which includes an internship and leadership program post college.

I’ve already had 2 people tell me they would work for me.

So, this year has been challenging but I am grateful that it is behind me!

Lily is 10 and in the 5th grade.  She is a solid kid who the teacher wishes he had more like her!  She started a writing club at school and has had 2 boys ask her out.  One she told them they would need to ask her dad and the other she said “NO” and he cried!  Yup!  That’s Lily!  In the spring she did horse lessons and has continued piano throughout the year.  She started gymnastics this fall and has LOVED being back in the gym.  I love her spirit and the time we get to spend together.  On her birthday we went to the Children’s Museum and she climbed the Rock Wall which is an actually rock wall not with any helps!  It is HARD but she did it!  She went to a Chris Tomlin Concert with me too!

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Timmy is 8 and in the second grade!  He loves spending time at the Children’s Museum as well!  When we are there we are upstairs in the science works at this machine!  My favorite thing that we did this summer was hearing Timmy riding the 4 wheeler with Grandma Sandy!  That kid has a contagious laugh.  His heart is doing well and we are managing his asthma!

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William is 6 1/2 and in the 1st grade.  He is a very loving child and has no fear!  We go to the YMCA and this past fall he jumped into the pool, in the deep end, with a noodle but let go and swam back to the edge.  Gave this mama a bit of heart attack but I was filled with Joy watching him enjoy life!  He also has discovered basketball!  That has been fun watching him make all his granny shots!  He and Timmy both played soccer this fall as well.

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Praying you and yours has a Merry Christmas and remember it’s not about the gifts and the food but about spending TIME with those most important to you around you!

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