Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

This year began without any fuss, as they usually do for us, as the clock turned from 11:59PM on December 31 to 12:00AM January 1 with barely a notice. I think we may have even gone to bed before the new year rang in. We were still living in Texas, in my old bedroom at my parents house. What a blessing that entire venture turned out to be! My parents got to know David as well (or better!) than they had wanted to in the past, and he also got to know — and truly love — them. We all get along swimmingly and plan to visit them in Texas as often as possible, and will soon be starting a campaign to get them to come visit us, too, now that we are settled  in Missouri again.

So what is new with us since our letter last year, then?

David has been working full-time on his doctorate degree, and has recently completed the course work and is now focused on his dissertation. It is a huge undertaking, of course, and I am excited to see how it goes for him. He has enjoyed it thus far I think.  That work pretty much consumed him while we were in Texas and there isn’t a whole lot else to write about on his behalf. He continued to work for my father whenever the opportunity presented itself, but business for my dad slowed considerably in 2010 and there was really little work for David for the most part.  As busy as David stayed with his education, he never completely stopped with his music, either. He still picks up a guitar every couple of months to stay sharp (and is in fact playing some beautiful Christmas songs as I write this letter), and also spent what little non-school time he had playing my parents beautiful antique piano. The move to Missouri from Texas forced him to temporarily leave his guitar behind, so he is playing one of his father’s instruments for now. David still enjoys the outdoors whenever possible and we both spent as much of the summer as we could by my parents poolside, exercising, relaxing, and getting as much vitamin D as we could. He spent a lot of his non-school time working on various home improvement projects my parents wanted done. He also liked to spend early mornings and evenings hunting deer right before our move, and while he didn’t manage to get one this year (they were oddly elusive), he did help my father clean and butcher one shortly before the move home, which provided my parents and us with a nice little supply of venison. David is still writing for (his articles can be found here), and is also constantly improving our business website ( and furthering his knowledge in the health field. Now that we are back in Missouri his goal is to be working full-time, seeing clients for health consultations.

As for me? Well I got my first job in retail this past summer. I applied to dozens of locations before I finally got a call back from Pier 1 Imports. I loved my time there for the most part, and miss it now that it is over, though I am also very thankful to be playing the role of full-time housewife for now. I enjoyed the company of most of my co-workers, was always happy working with customers helping them to find just what they needed to complete a space in their home or find a gift for a friend, and loved helping out the new hires once I was “seasoned”. In other news my shop is still around; the jewelry wasn’t selling well and I have recently taken up a new “art”: Felt ninjas! Also with the encouragement of my mother-in-law, I applied earlier this year to become a citizen journalist for and was accepted! So like David, I now write articles for them from time to time (which can be found here), and we make a little money with that when people click on the Google ads above our articles. It doesn’t pay the rent, but it’s something! In the spring we found a kitten that we just couldn’t ignore and brought her home (and my parents were thrilled, let me tell you!). We named her Chloe and she is now living with David’s parents, at least until we decide for sure what to do with her; we wanted to keep her inside but didn’t think it was a good idea for clients with allergies, etc. So that’s still up in the air, but she’s a really sweet cat (mostly) and everybody enjoys her.

So for the past 16 months we lived in Texas with my parents, and near my older sister. Both of my sisters had little girls this year, Vera and Kate, upping our total of nieces to 8! I got to be there for the birth of my older sister’s baby, Kate, and that was an incredible experience that I won’t forget. David and I also got to vacation with my parents again, this time in Branson, Missouri, which was a really enjoyable week. I hope we can do it again someday! Then at Thanksgiving my younger sister and her family came into town from Tennessee and we got to meet precious little Vera for the first time, too! We spent Thanksgiving with my family, I worked my last shift at Pier 1 that week, and then on December 2nd we made the tearful, bittersweet drive home to Missouri, from home in Texas. We are blessed to be able to call both places home, and know that we are warmly welcomed wherever we are. Not many people are able to feel so at home and loved with both sides of their family. We are truly blessed. This year has not been free of sadness though. The day we moved home to Missouri we were told that Grandma Rostollan had passed away earlier that evening. It was very sad news to hear, and yet a relief at the same time. Grandma was so ready to go home to be with Jesus, and her Ray and we know that she is not lonely or in pain anymore, which has been our prayer for her for a long time. Every year will bring with it it’s own set of pain, heartache, grief, and also wonderful surprises, great happiness, and many blessings. We endure because God gives us the strength and courage to do so, even when the going gets rough.

“Be still and know that I am God.” is an oft quoted scripture verse out of the Psalms that graces our kitchen. It’s a very simple and beautiful piece of art, for a simple and beautiful, yet profound, statement. I remember a sermon that my father-in-law preached long before I came to live in Missouri on resting in times of crisis, and he read the  Psalm from which that verse comes, Psalm 46. It was a powerful sermon and a fitting Psalm for the period of life I was going through at the time. I think that it is a perfect Psalm to end with as it is such a comfort, such a relief to be reminded that God is God, as we end this year and begin another, as we all endure our own set of hardships and blessings. God is God of all the nations; it is God and God alone who makes the wars to cease, who quiets the storms, and who bestows upon us all the many blessings we receive. To God all praise and glory!

Psalm 46
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah”
Merry Christmas!