Monday, January 04, 2010

The Christmas Letter - Better Late Than Never!

2009 is coming to a close, 2010 will begin unfolding in a matter of days. "Lighting one candle from another..." - Buson Though the last candle isn't extinguished in the passing on of it's flame, it will dwindle and eventually be forgotten in the light of the fresh flame. The assurance of light came from the giving of that flame, though. The remains of our year seem to be more from a bonfire than a candle, and we have felt it's heat. May 2010 be emblazoned by the tinder of '09.

Kindling the Paul family added to the pyre ~


Cassia:

*Working 2 jobs. Sage and Spa Salon where she is a guest care consultant. And Pizza Hut where she is waitressing. Both are allowing her to save for college, and she enjoys the diversity of the atmospheres.

*Enjoying the freedom of being on the road by herself.

*Building relationships. She would say she isn't very good at this, but no one who knows her would say she is anything but fabulous. She calls, makes cards for, emails, prays for, goes to coffee with, bakes cookies for and listens to her friends. There is never enough time for her to spend in connection.

*Walked down the aisle with Kara's grampa at the Chelgrins' wedding. Adoration was mutual.

*Sleep & rest are greatly coveted commodities. Reading, singing, & researching fill in the gaps of the waking hours.

*Looking back on this year she is able to trust more fully in the timing of God, and leaving it in His hands.

*Enjoying this rich season with family and community.

Tofer:

*Graduated in May.

*Also became a licensed driver in May.

*In July moved into his first apartment!

*Has been teaching and participating with dance teams. Hip-hop, break, & pop/lock styles.

*Began working at Rosaurers, but just last month was hired out at Bridger Bowl for the ski season. Saving for college AND shredding the Nar!

*Ultimate frisbee league all summer with Dadd-i-o. He loved it!

*Walked Kara's mom down the aisle at the Chelgrins' wedding. He kept her smiling, instead of crying.

*Music is still huge. Recording, writing, singing, and performing with increasing skill and passion.

Minda:

*Graduated in May.

*Continues to watch her favorite 3yr old and 1yr old; Lily & Noah.

*Got dredlocks at the end of May. She rocks 'em.

*Planning on heading to Israel in June with some family friends who are becoming full time missionaries there. She hopes to possibly stay and train in archaeology instead of moving back to the snows of Montana.

*Took a class with her mom to become a nationally trained & certified phlebotomist.

*Walked two of the grampas down the aisle at the Chelgrin's wedding. They laughed the whole way.

*Going to physical therapy to correct those knee caps that have been popping out of place for 5 years. It's working!

*Reading, knitting, sewing, painting, creating- There is always a project going on.

James:

*Resigned in January from Alliance Fellowship in Bozeman, MT. After 2.5 years the lead pastor was feeling the need to take the church in a direction that was not our heart, and so we stepped aside to allow his vision to come forward.

*Mom and Dad took us in while we tried to figure out what was next. The time with them flew by for us. We ate up every moment of being back with family.

*In May we were accepted into the Acts 29 church planting network and returned to Bozeman to see a new kind of church begin.

*At the end of May Dad called to let us know Grama Ella had died. Unable to return so soon we had to say long distance goodbyes. Closure across hundreds of miles is difficult & seldom satisfies

*Core group meetings began in June; gathering to dream, envision, and lock arms and hearts.

*Meeting people, getting into their lives, being available, seeing mindsets change - that has been the daily modus operendi for the last 6 months. Coffee cafe's, local pubs & eateries, in homes or at shops - he is constantly engaging.

*Ultimate Frisbee in a league with Tofer through the summer gave a much needed outlet for exercise.

*Became an uncle for the second time, several weeks ahead of schedule, when Shaun and Anna gave birth to Marion Elizabeth on a road trip to a friend's wedding in August.

*Officiated his first wedding in October for his younger brother, Joel. Welcome to the family, Courtney! So blessed to have you in our lives!

*Studying. Books, articles, papers, teachings, podcasts; The man has a thirst for learning.

Deea:

*Officially retired from homeschooling at the end of May. All graduates are moving on.
*Thinks her nephew and new niece have to be the cutest people on the planet.  Shaun and Anna are great parents.

*Trying to find footing in this new adventure of church planting. Enjoying the aspects of community and hospitality.

*Continues to be a photographer as jobs arise. Her camera was upgraded this year. She is enjoying the perks.

*Also trained to become a nationally certified phlebotomist. James calls her his little bloodsucker.

*Needs to get in shape; 40 will be no fun flabby.

*Continues to cook, clean, chauffeur, give advice, and find things others have lost. Now if only she could find what seems to be missing in her own world.

The grace of God and the generosity of friends have allowed us to pursue this endeavor without too much trepidation. We are so grateful for both and feel undeserving of either.

We hope that this new decade holds wonders, and surprises, blessings and joys in abundance for you all!!

Please feel free to print the photo for your fridge!  Hopefully next year we will be able to send hardcopy! :)

19 comments:

Aubrey said...

I love your Christmas letters. I was re-reading last year's just yesterday. It is such a blessing to get to watch you and your family from afar.

On a slightly different note but not totally unrelated...I cried when I read the line about officially retired from homeschooling and the graduates moving on. The fact that I knew this already aside. It's neat somehow to think of you finishing up just as I am getting started.

May the Lord continue to lead you, friend!

Deeapaulitan said...

I feel the same about you and your wee ones, Aubrey. Love being able to 'see' them grow up. Not homeschooling has been bittersweet. I love who they are and watching them govern their lives. It's precious. I thought, though, when I was done that I would move on to several things I love... Photography, crafting, traveling, spending time with friends, etc... But little to none of that has happened. It's only been 6 months, so I guess I should cut myslef some slack, but I'm anxious to be "doing". :) I just need to rest in the moments. Love you. Hugs all around - even Josh can have one! ;D

Anonymous said...

Hi Pauls, Thanks for keeping us up to date with the family. You all are such an inspiration and a testimony to God's goodness. I love you all, Sadie

Addie said...

Beautiful update - great picture! I love getting to know your family and all the great personalities therein.

Anonymous said...

Hello Pauls!

What a lovely Christmas letter and beautiful photos! It is wonderful to hear it all and to be able to envision your lives better having visited *in person!* this summer. You are all dear and wonderful!

Love,
The Boumas

Juanita said...

What a lovely read - your family seems to be doing well.

Sorry to hear about your Gran and thanks for teaching me a new word (I had to look up 'phlebotomist') :-)

Best wishes for continuing success in 2010.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Deea for the lovely Christmas Letter! Sadly, I let that task go this year so I could enjoy the holidays with less stress. Next year, I hope to return to it.

I am researching cameras. What is your upgrade, if you don't mind sharing? Thanks. God bless you!
Laura

Anonymous said...

Loved reading your letter. Thank you! Love you guys and may you be blessed beyond measure this year!
Donna

Anonymous said...

Ooh yes, thanks for this...I knew we were missing someone this year! Love you guys! Malinda cracks me up....reminds me of Olivia's humor! ~Dawn

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much for including me on your letter list! I can not believe that it's been so long! Those kids grew up FAST!!

Many blessings wished for you always! :)
Tiff

Anonymous said...

Deea, this is lovely. I think it's better this way than coming through the mail. This year I'll be looking for what's missing in my own world too. A wonderful 2010 to you and your beautiful family!
Sadalit

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your christmas letter via the blog. I can't wait to see what happens in 2010!

Mindy

Anonymous said...

Dear James and Deea,

It was great hearing from you and a pleasure seeing you when you were at GHC a few months ago.
We enjoy hearing about your family’s activities…what a busy bunch…isn’t it amazing how fast time flies?


We were tickled to hear about Minda’s plans for Israel…we’ve been there several times and have a ‘heart for the Jews’.
It’s a fascinating culture especially when you realize that is the ‘birthplace of our faith’.

May God continue to bless all of you as you pursue His will,
Gary & Carol

Anonymous said...

Thanks for saving trees, Deea!!! :)

Hugs!

Jillian

shanda said...

Always a great update done very creatively. Love you guys!! I can recommend a couple of books on the pastor's wife if you'd like. I think the lack of footing keeps us dependent on God:)
Bless you!
Shanda

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy your letters in whatever form. It's amazing to me to read about your kids grown up and on their own! I'm getting used to it, but very slowly. then again, I am having a hard time reckoning myself as a grandmother of seven!

Missing you, Lorraine

Anonymous said...

Deea,
Not only are you a great photographer, but you're also an excellent writer. Probably all those years of home schooling you did(: Malinda is taller than you! wow. Loved her crazy pic. Glad the kids are doing well and you two too.
Love and miss all of you.
Dalene

Deeapaulitan said...

Thank you everyone! Happy New Year!

Shanda - YES!! Recommend away! I need all the help I can get! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this Deea!
The pictures are great. I love Christopher's short hair. Nathanael just got his cut. Are you his friend on FB? If not, put in a request and I know he'll accept.
This is so wierd having kids grow up and leave but that's what we raised them to do I suppose.
Love you,
Peggy