Saturday, December 31, 2016

Setting the Stones for 2016

I have seen so many parallels this past year as I have read through Exodus and Joshua in Scripture. The stories in these Old Testament books have resonated in my heart and gave me reason to ponder and consider the faithfulness and unchangingness of our loving God.

Just as God had Joshua instruct 12 men representing the 12 Tribes of Israel to lay down stones as remembrance after they crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, I'd like to set out some stones (represented by photos) remembering this past year--a year of re-entry, change, transition and the beginning of re-settling into a 'new land' on the other side of the river that was crossed.

a renewed wonder of God's creation in nature
 and a beautiful climate in which to enjoy it

the blessing of wonderful next door neighbors
 (this table was given to us by our next door neighbors)

a visual reminder of the host country and amazing community in which we lived

Lilacs from our yard which speaks to the sweet tenderness of God

'new' family pets that have warmed our hearts
after having to leave behind our beloved pets in Nicaragua

a pair of ducks representing the paradox in which we live this side of Heaven
A pinecone symbolizing the new roles that we will step into
at Shelter Pines--a ministry that allows us to grow
in the ministry of caring for cross-cultural workers

Keys to our 'new' home
(and a great keychain from an even greater friend)
proving God always provides
the provision of a welcoming, friendly and community-oriented church 
this is Creamy. he is my aunt's cat. she and creamy were so kind as to let us
live with them for a couple of months. we are thankful to our 'in-state' family
who have gone above and beyond in caring for us in so many ways.

this dresser represents the many, many 'material' things
that God has so graciously provided for us
through the generosity of others

since we don't have a photo of our wonderful new friends
who welcomed us into a fun and friendly small group I am using this
photo of the beautiful deer that visit our yard

Interestingly, there are 12 'stones' pictured above (I didn't plan that intentionally). 

Thank you for journeying with us this past year. We loved seeing our friends from Nicaland who visited us throughout the year. We are so thankful to have met new friends here in Colorado who have  welcomed us and embraced our quirky repatriated selves!  And props to our kids who have navigated this re-entry journey like champs!

Happy New Year!
With LOVE,
Jeff and Bethany
Andrew, Ella and Noah