Christmas isn't Christmas, 'till it happens in your hearts...

(The title of this post is an old Christmas tune I once sang at a kid's Christmas concert at church and I always think of it at this time of year...it's so elemental, yet beautifully true.)

The real reason for this post is three-fold:
1) I left a lot hanging with my last post...I DID recover from what HAD to be something I ate- yuck. I finished the week at school complete with kids crazy for Christmas break! Brent and I then journeyed to Missouri late Friday night, and despite our check engine light coming on before St. Louis we made it home safely and have been enjoying time here ever since.
2) I am just going to say it up front: my blogging may be sparse now that I'm at home. Not only are Brent and I busy splitting time between our two wonderful families, we are also busy sleeping in, napping, reading, sleeping, watching movies, and partaking in many other important ventures. :) I hope to update at least once or twice more before we head back to Louisville after the new year.
3) I actually mailed out Christmas letters this year (yeah, talk about feeling like an adult! Whew! It was exhilarating...and surprisingly costly! ) Anyway, needless to say I underestimated the amount of pictures I would need, and then ran out of time tracking down every one's addresses. So, I figure if you are interested enough in my life to check my blog periodically, and you did not receive a Christmas letter from me: shame on me...BUT here it is for you! There were a few pictures with it, but since I'm not on my computer I can't put those back on here...but if you missed it in the mail: here it is!!! Just for you...

Hello from Louisville, Kentucky! We still can’t quite believe we are here, but we’re more and more certain that this is just where God wanted us for this time. We can’t believe that it has already been 6 months since we packed up everything we could and headed out east, but it really is time to start thinking about Christmas and what next year holds.

If I had to summarize our past year in one word it would be CHANGE (not meaning to echo any political campaigns, either J). Not only a year ago both Brent and I were busy college seniors anxiously awaiting what lay ahead of us. In April Brent secured a year long internship/job at Southeast Christian Church here in Louisville (www.southeastchristian.org). After much prayer and many tears thinking about leaving home, we knew we were to follow that call. We both graduated in May, I landed a job at South Oldham Middle School (in the number 1 school district in the state of Kentucky) teaching 8th grade Language Arts. During this job hunt we were busy finishing up final papers and making last minute plans for our upcoming wedding.

June 7th came with no rain and we still reflect on how perfect it was to get married in my grandparent’s garden. We only wish we would have had more time to spend with all of you who made the trip to share that special day.

After a wonderful and relaxing honeymoon to Colorado, it was time to load the truck, say some very hard goodbyes, cram as many memories of home in our bags as we could, and make our big move eastward. I’ll never forget that Tuesday in June when we unloaded everything, Brent drove off to work, and I waved goodbye to family. I looked around the apartment full of boxes and belongings and knew the romance and newness of it all had faded.

Slowly the boxes were unpacked. Slowly we began to make friends (which the Schoon family would be proud to know we taught Nerts), and slowly we felt more settled. In October a fellow teacher of mine hugged me and said, “Wow! I can’t believe everything you have been through and accomplished in the last few months!” I immediately melted into tears simply in appreciation for someone recognizing everything we’ve done since May.

It has been lonely at times, and it has been thrilling at times, but overall Brent and I are happy to be able to share so much time together and figure out the beauty of marriage on our own. We miss family and home deeply, but are thankful for this time to become “The Irwins.” Brent is really enjoying his job in the Sport’s and Fitness ministry at our church. He has helped organize and prepare for softball, soccer, basketball, racquetball, and volleyball (did I miss anything?!). He is currently coaching a young basketball team of 8 and 9 year olds, and we are taking advantage of such a wonderful sports complex so near by. We are both playing in the adult basketball league, and let’s just say that his team has been slightly more successful than mine! As far as my job goes….whew!!! I’m tired A LOT. I remember being an 8th grader and I think 8th graders just make people tired wherever they go J but I am also beginning to see some of the benefits of teaching. Just recently I asked my students to write “Why I write…” and what they produced moved me to tears. I posted it on my blog if you want to check it out and see what 8th graders truly are capable of: www.kelseylynae.blogspot.com. (Duh...I think you got this)

With all this CHANGE Brent and I have become ever more grateful for everything in our past that has made us who we are. We are thankful for family dinners around the table that faded into hour long conversations. We are thankful for friends who never wanted to be entertained but just wanted to be with us. We are grateful for family that invested in us, prayed for us, and walked with us. We are grateful for a God that goes before us and beside us.

Has all the CHANGE that marriage, moving, and new jobs brought us been easy? NO, but we are ever-thankful for the life we have been given, for the gift we have in each other, and for the Savior we celebrate this season. We look forward to spending two full weeks at home over Christmas relaxing with friends and family, and recharging in the land that made us who we are. Whatever you may be doing this year for Christmas may the Lord of every CHANGE in our lives bless you, and may you be refreshed and renewed by His goodness as the new year begins.
Love and Blessings,
Brent and Kelsey

1 comment:

nertzfan said...

Hi, I found your blog post through a search for “Nerts”. It is cool to see others that know about the game. I hope you don’t mind but I wanted to let you know about playnertz.com, the site for the National Nertz Association. There is a bunch of interesting Nertz information there and you can also find out how to play Nertz online there. I hope you will check it out. Feel free to join and also let your friends and family know. Thanks