Thursday, January 9, 2014

2013 letter

If you know me well, you know I love to receive and send snail mail. Stamps, return address labels, hand written notes, the whole sha-bang! So way back in November, my sister-in-law took some pictures, and I got our Christmas cards made and ready to go. But... never printed and sent them. So come December 30th ish, I wrote a Christmas New Year's letter. A friend of mine had sent their Christmas letter and picture via email and that made sense for us to do this year. So that was the plan.

Well, now, it's January 9. And, clearly, you have not received an email. It ended up turning into more of a brief reflection on 2013 rather than your typical Christmas letter. But, I did write it & I still wanted to share it. Before 2014 is halfway over. So here it goes.


Dear Loved Ones,

As I think back on 2013, the word that comes to mind is transition. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Call them what you may – chapters, pages, seasons – life is full of them. Seasons are good. I mean, thank the good Lord we are not constantly in the same exact phase of life for our entire earthly existence.

Think about seasons with me for a minute. We can be in different types of seasons at different times.
Sometimes, our seasons change circumstantially: a new job, spouse, or location.
Sometimes, our seasons change emotionally: experiencing grief, joy, or frustration.
Sometimes, our seasons change spiritually: maybe you are searching, or feeling at peace, or understanding things in a new way.

All that to say, though lots of things have changed for us in the past year, the word that sums up the seasons of 2013 for us is transition.

On Dec 29, 2012, we transitioned into parenthood with the birth of our sweet Adelyn Joy. Even the first year of her life has been full of smaller transitions. Newborn to 3 months to solid food and sitting to crawling and babbling, and now almost walking.

In March, I transitioned to being a working mom and I finished up the school year as a music teacher in Lincoln Public Schools. 

We spent the summer living with Ben’s parents, traveling, and preparing for a cross-country move. In August, we headed to Cambridge, MA where Ben started a new grad program, we got acquainted with a new city, and I began to glimpse what stay-at-home-mommyhood is like. Oh, and we got pregnant.  new friends. new grad school. new neighbors. new city. new baby. and on and on.


And, here we are just starting to feel settled in Cambridge, and we’re already planning a move back to Nebraska – including a new job for Ben and another baby on the way.

Although I long for a season of “settled” to be ahead for us, the Lord has continually reminded me of his goodness and steadfastness even when everything else seems to be in transition. We are where He wants us to be. We can choose joy and contentment. He is growing and shaping us for things that are to come. He is faithful. Always. And, at the end of the day, this life is about His glory being proclaimed and His name being made known.

So, here we are. Saying goodbye to 2013 and hello to another year. And while we are still in the middle of… you guessed it… transition, I am more thankful than ever that our God is Jesus Christ, the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

May you know Him and experience His presence more than ever in 2014.

With love,

Ben, Renee, Adelyn and Baby Cook #2