I cannot believe I am sitting here writing our annual CHRISTmas letter as it seems the year has come and gone in such a whirlwind of events. 2015 has been a year of growth and change and as Danny says, “mountain top experiences and valleys”. Some of it we welcomed with open arms and some of it we fought with much tenacity but 2015 still won and got its way and ultimately we have grown, changed, and come out a little bit smarter.
How did we grow?
I remain teaching struggling readers in Ferris and I am currently working on my Master’s Degree at DBU. This semester was the most challenging yet as the writing assignments were incredibly detailed. I grew as a writer this year and I am thankful for Danny who reads through my work to make sure I sound a little less “elementary” and a little more “graduate degree studenty”. I am working with some of my most challenging students that I have had in the past 18 years and I am thankful that while they are struggling readers, they are making lots of gains in their reading. It is so exciting to see the reading light bulb click on!
Danny has entered his 26th year at DBU and his 5th year teaching. He loves teaching and has a heart for his students. He has enjoyed the new challenges that have come his way and he was able to introduce a new Public Relations Major to the department. In his film class, he has started a new assignment where students will have the opportunity to make a film, and he is sitting on his first doctoral committee. His table has turned, so to speak, something that has definitely broadened his horizons.
Buster Keaton Rose. Easter weekend was marked with the loss of Buster, our 12 year old member of our little family who, as Danny says was, “part dog, part Muppet, and all heart”. It has brought quite a change to our house as he literally followed me around EVERYWHERE and yearned for Danny and he was surprisingly clumsy. Dixie grieved for a while, developed ridiculous allergies (like her momma) and has adjusted to being a very vocal “only” dog and Spooky…well, Spooky misses Buster somewhere deep down inside her heart…very deep.
How did we change?
Learning Lab. I had an opportunity to attend a learning Lab with Matryoshka Haus in London, England this summer. The concept is to show you how to share Christ in a post Christian society. Danny has noticed a kind of unrest in me in the past couple of years and pushed me out the door! I really cannot tell you everything I learned, that would be a whole other blog. But there are two main ideas I will leave here for you to ponder. The first is to view church as a verb, not a building. As Christians our job is to get out there a live life among EVERYONE giving grace and love while showing hospitality. The second main idea is to “Let go of the Jesus you know to discover the Jesus you do not know”. I am working on both and am thankful for dear friends, Joel, Laura, and Grace Pulis that have helped me in this endeavor and continue to support me in faithwalking.
Adventures. We agreed that while gifts can be fun, experiences are even better and have begun to experience life in a real way. Here are some highlights.
- · Kayaking on Town Lake
- · Biking Town Lake Trail
- · Christmas 2014 at Disney and Breakfast at Kona Café (a favorite honeymoon spot)
- · Biking, lots of biking. And “Jalking” (I’m now a jog-walker thanks to old ligaments)
- · 2 Concerts in 24 hours: Keith Urban and Brad Paisley
- · A Bucket List Run in Hyde Park
- · A Conference in Vegas
- · Serving others
It’s been a busy year and as we take some time to slow down, please know that if you are reading this, you are loved by us. Now have a Happy CHRISTmas and go out there and do good things!
Danny, Amy, Dixie, and Spooky