Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Pa Rum Pa Pa Pum

“Therefore, since we are receiving 
a kingdom that cannot be shaken, 
let us be thankful, 
and so worship God acceptably 
with reverence and awe…”
(Hebrews 12:28)

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Family Highlights of 2012

Jesus Christ
Our Wisdom. Our Righteousness. 
Our Holiness. Our Redemption.
1 Corinthians 1:30

"The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance." ~ Psalm 16:6

Family Christmas Picture 2012 ~ "Face Time"
"I hope to see you soon,
and we will talk face to face.
Peace to you.
The friends here send their greetings."
3 John 1:14

Warm and sincere Christmas time greetings to you and yours! Traditionally each year we share our family highlights in a Christmas letter with our Christmas cards. This year we are doing it here at Joy In The Truth. We are honored you would spend a few minutes visiting with us here. We would love to hear from you and about your 2012 as well!

Our year was filled with many sweet blessings and also opportunities to keep our eyes on Jesus and stretch our faith muscles. As always, God has been faithful to consistently show us His truth and perfect love through our rejoicing and our weeping. We are grateful for the heart lessons He teaches us through every season. We are sweetly hushed and humbled by His tender care, His gentleness and His majestic holiness.

"Let your gentleness be evident to all.
The Lord is near." ~ Phil. 4:5

"I will be his father, and he will be My son.
I will never take My love away from him..."
1 Chronicles 17:13

Jim's company went through many changes this past year. He is still the Senior Director of Technology for Dow Jones Indices, which is now owned by McGraw-Hill. I am proud of his consistent hard work. He honors God at every turn and for that I am grateful. Our hearts are at rest. "A man of integrity walks securely..." (Proverbs 10:9) 

Jim is dedicated to prayerfully and actively being the best husband and father. As his wife and sister in Christ, he keeps me accountable, encourages me, speaks truth to me (when it is easy and when it is hard), challenges me and supports me in the most wonderful ways. He identifies and confirms the gifts God has graciously given me to serve Him, and Jim consistently and naturally nurtures me to use them. We honor him as the head of our home as he leads and guides us as a family and individually. He is our anchor and our sail.

One of Jim's favorite pictures from 
an October 2012 family photo shoot.

Jim is happily still coaching sports through the Children's Ministry Sports Program at our church. He is also now serving as a servant leader in our church's Junior High Ministry. 

Jim and Joshua served on the Mission Philly Team in June where they ministered to at-risk youth in North Philly. Serving the Lord shoulder to shoulder with our son was a highlight for Jim indeed.

After eight years of being a leader in Gabrielle's Awana Kids Club at a local church, Jim is proud and pleased that Gabrielle has now completed the program and graduated this spring. They have enjoyed this special daddy-daughter time each Wednesday evening for many years.

  Jim and Gabrielle ~ when she was a wee one!

One of my favorite pictures 
Jim and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on May 23rd. Two decades!  I am so very grateful to share life with my best friend and my two other most favorite people on earth - Joshua and Gabrielle. Though I need do-overs daily as a wife and as a mom, my family's grace and love for me is a constant sweetness of which I never tire.

Jim is a gift of God's grace and mercy to me.

"I delight in Your decrees;
I will not neglect Your Word."
Psalm 119:16 

This year was filled with amazing blessings and unexpected sorrows. God was gracious to balance both and show me His perfect love, gentleness and faithfulness in all things. 

In March, the Gather and Grow Bible Study girls whom I had the humble privilege of leading in a Bible study for five years, hosted a SURPRISE BRUNCH for me. I was truly overwhelmed with their love and appreciation! Their love and generous, thoughtful and meaningful gifts still speak volumes into my heart daily. What a fabulous group of women. Though our seasons of gathering and growing monthly have ended, these fabulous ladies still spur me and each other on to seek and abide in Christ. They teach me so much about God's love, His gentleness, His faithfulness and His grace. I am so very thankful for these ladies and all of our memories! May He continue to bring forth much fruit through our abiding and through the years of gathering and growing in Him!

They gave me a beautiful Pandora bracelet with different charms they selected and a beautiful scrapbook where they all wrote a personal note to me.  Overwhelmed!

Amazing Women following an Awesome God
"...some of our women amazed us."

It was very fun this year to have an article published titled "Why Is My Raincoat 'Dry Clean Only'?" in my favorite Christian women's magazine in June. 

And little did I know when my sweet southern friend Lysa asked if she could share part of a personal email I sent her in her newest book "Unglued" that my 10 little sentences would be part of a New York Times best-selling book! Glory to God and congratulations to Lysa!

Me and Lysa
Camp of The Woods ~ July 2012

We had two wonderful weddings in our family this year!
My sister Anne got married to "Mr. Wright" in June!
We warmly welcomed Ward into our crazy family!
Gabrielle, Joshua and I were in the wedding party!
We are very happy for Anne and Ward.

Uncle Paul flew up from Texas for the big day!

Sharon, PJ, Paul, Anne
and our sweet Mom

Joshua read from The Word

Our sweet Gabrielle got sentimental
and needed a moment to herself

Mr. and Mrs. Wright

My niece Stephanie married Patrick in August!
We love Patrick!
Gabrielle was the Junior Bridesmaid.
Stephanie, Patrick and Gabrielle
"And they lived happily ever after..."

Gabrielle and Joshua
A Jr. Bridesmaid and A Greeter

Stephanie and Moi

Another wonderful blessing was getting together with friends of over 25 years. We don't get to see each other often, and it was really fun to reunite and catch up! We met at our church's singles ministry in the late 80s and it was great to get together. 

I was truly honored to speak at a Christmas Tea
on December 1st in New Jersey. God is so faithful and answered every prayer. His Word went out and He filled in my many gaps. I am SO thankful for amazing friends who love and pray for me through every season and who God uses to fill in many gaps.
Heather, Maria, Moi, Cheryl
"I am a friend to all who fear You,
to all who follow Your precepts."
Psalm 119:63

I am so thankful to the Lord for the many personal sweet blessings from the Lord this year!


Joshua graduated from 6th grade and elementary school in June. We can hardly believe we now have a junior high student!

Friends joined us for Joshua's 6th grade graduation celebration

Some of Joshua's good buddies

Joshua's favorite sport to play is basketball!

Father/Son Basketball game at CCA
(Jim making the shot; Joshua jumping up behind him)

Joshua celebrated his 12th birthday with a few good buddies
getting a tour of the Wells Fargo Center
(home of the 76ers and the Philadelphia Flyers)
Joshua on the Zamboni machine

In September, Jim planned a very special evening for Joshua to mark the milestone of finishing elementary school and entering Junior High School. Wonderful, godly men gathered with us in The Library Room of The Yardley Inn to share their heart with Joshua about becoming a man of honor. We are so humbled and blessed by the amazing outpouring of love for Joshua. What was shared, serendipitous gifts that were given to Joshua, the fellowship and food...all were amazing gifts from God for Joshua and for Jim and I as his parents. He is our young man of honor.

"...accompanied by valiant men
whose hearts God had touched."
1 Samuel 10:26
Valiant Men ~ Buddy, Jim, Andrea, Tito, Craig, Rob, Charles
Pop Pop, Wade, Ken, Joshua, Billy, Kris, Nick
(Gil, Mike, Cary and Geoff could not attend but sent Joshua letters of wisdom and love.)

Joshua and Pop Pop

Joshua and his good buddy Kris
with a framed Psalm 23 personalized for Joshua

Joshua is our young man of honor and we pray he walks with Jesus every moment of his life.

"How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to Your word."
Psalm 119:9

In Aunt Anne's wedding

In cousin's Stephanie's wedding

One of our favorite pictures of Gabrielle


Liturgical dance at CCA

Gabrielle is a lot of fun, and I admire her enthusiasm and her desire to try new things. Finally at the age of 10 she was old enough to zip line at Camp of The Woods. Once harnessed, she climbed right up that very tall tree on metal spikes. She zipped right across the woods!

We celebrated Gabrielle's 10th birthday in New York City with an early-morning train ride to see "Live! With Kelly"! Gabrielle invited a few girlfriends and their moms! Joshua and his good buddy Andy came too! It was a very fun birthday celebration!

Some moms and some older sisters joined us!

Andy, Joshua and Aunt Anne came along too!

Kelly Ripa and Josh Groben

Kelly was very sweet with Gabrielle

Smile for mom!

Gabrielle, her friends and Kelly!

The moms and aunts

We went to Serendipity afterwards
for lunch and ice cream

Gabrielle continues to kick up her Irish feet! At the Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas in November, Gabrielle's 8-hand team earned 5th place out of 42 teams! They qualified for Worlds! Very exciting!
Gabrielle is in the top row,
first from the right.

Gabrielle is our sweet Irish lassie, and we pray she abides in Jesus and His truth every minute of every day.

Vacations 2012

Disney World with Jim's Parents - April 2012

Pop Pop and Nana rock!

Camp of The Woods - July 2012
Joshua, Judah, Andy

Go Joshua Go! He's becoming a pro!

Andy zip lining for the very first time!

Shannon and precious Talia

That's my girl Gabrielle!
She been waiting to turn 10 so she could zip!
She climbed right up that tree on metal spikes!
I love her spunk and enthusiasm!

On Lake Pleasant

Ice Cream in the Tee Pee!

Jim and Andrea

Geoff threatening to eat a toad!

A beautiful gift from my friend Lysa.
She and her family were in the same longhouse.
Lysa spoke in the morning seminar sessions.
Enjoyed afternoons on the beach together.
(I also supplied her children with pyrotechnics,
but that's a story for another day.)

Abby Ellen and Gabrielle

Gabrielle mini golfing with the wee ones.

Lots of tennis was played!

Camping at Harpers Ferry 
with the Gills and Bowens
August 2012

The ropes and zip line course!

Campfire and roasting marshmallows

Joshua hanging out with Austin

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

"Lord, You establish peace for us;
all that we have accomplished 
You have done for us.
O Lord, our God...
Your name alone do we honor."
Isaiah 26:12-13

He establishes peace for us. For that, we are so grateful. Anything we have accomplished or will accomplish, He has done for us. His Name alone do we honor.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting! We are so thankful for the blessings we have received from His hand. We pray your Christmas season and the New Year 2013 are filled with His presence, His joy and His peace.