I read a quote from Jamie Finn the other day that seems to sum up what God has consistently placed on my heart in 2022. It pulls from 1Corinthians 13 where the Holy Spirit reminds us that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things 😊
The quote goes like this, “Love doesn’t float downstream with the natural current of annoyances and provocations. It paddles hard, against the flow, toward forgiveness and understanding, toward charity and kindness.”
I remember when 1Corinthians 13 was read at Matt’s and my wedding more than 26 years ago. The scripture carries a message that has always been special to me, but it seems that God places it deeper within my heart with every year that passes. As our family prepares to close out 2022, I think of how we have been blessed with love. Jesus fills our hearts each day with the kind of love that perseveres, inspires, and strengthens regardless of circumstance. And, I am reminded of what a beautiful gift that is.
Ashley Grace graduated with honors from Notre Dame University in the spring of 2022 with majors in Political Science and Theology, and a minor in Public Service. Notre Dame gifted her with close friendships and good years as she navigated college life, and we are thankful for that! In June, she moved to an apartment in downtown Chicago as she prepared to teach 25 energetic 3rd and 4th graders at Grace Christian Academy in Little Village. Her days are filled with lots of little, needy hands and hearts as she inspires them to find purpose in knowledge and to love each other well. She has a great support system in Chicago with Luke and his family, as well as many Notre Dame friends.
Megan continues to pole vault her way through college at Davidson. She is a Physics major and reports that she is “going through her nerd phase”. She loves her track team, her Young Life group, FCA, and her fellow physics majors on campus. God blessed her with victory at the A10 Indoor Championships in 2022 and she flies higher over the bar with each season that passes. She spent another summer working at the K Bar Z ranch in Wyoming, and is truly blessed with a “2nd family” on the ranch. She has mentioned wanting to come home and farm after college, so we are hopeful that she will head back to the prairie in a few years.
Karyn is a senior in high school this year and will join the Corps of Cadets at Texas A & M University in the fall of 2023. In addition to the Corps, she plans to be a Forensic Science major in her time in Aggieland. She is very excited to head south for a few winters 😊 and reports that she will not miss the cold Nebraska wind! Karyn’s quiet strength and kindness is a constant source of inspiration for me. I got to coach her for the last time this fall in Cross Country, and watched God bless her with a 3rd place run in the 300 Hurdles at the Nebraska State Track and Field Championships last spring. She continues to be active in our church family, go on mission trip each summer to Mexico, and be on the One Act Performing Arts team at school.
Matt and I still work to tend to the family farm. I am consistently amazed at how talented he is at “leading the ship”. I love his heart for the land, the crew that he cares for deeply, and the savvy he brings to the family business. He serves on many local boards and also has a heart for our community. I am so very thankful to get to “do life with him”! We took a delayed 25th anniversary trip last winter to the Virgin Islands which was awesome! Matt still glides across the water like a teenager as he water skis and we love spending time at the lake each summer. This fall we were blessed to become foster parents to a sweet and amazing 7th grade daughter who I met through our church. Our house is a lively place!
I continue to volunteer with our student ministries team at church, coach swim team and cross country, substitute teach at the local middle school, and help Matt on the farm. I’ve circled back to my love of psychology as I’ve completed online classes to be trained as a Mental Health Coach. It is my hope that these classes will better equip me to love and support the kids that God brings into my life.
Our family wishes each of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!