This is the newsletter we sent out to our family and friends this Christmas.
Since we know we didn't get one to everybody who might be interested, we thought we would post it here. Seasons Greetings to all our blog readers.
How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?
It's hard to believe another year has gone by. This was a year of changes, trials, blessings and joys.When I reflect on this year I am overwhelmed by the goodness of our great God! Here`s a brief overview.
January came and so did our expectations of adding the newest blessing to our family. But he was a little slower in coming than we were thinking and we were made aware that God`s timing is perfect. He also came in a little different manner than we were thinking but as always God knew exactly what was best. Josiah James Daniel joined our family on January 8th via an emergency C-section. To make a long story short, after being 10 days overdue I had an ultrasound which showed the amniotic fluid to be very low, so I went to the hospital to be induced. While I was on the fetal monitor they lost Josiah`s heartbeat and after turning me every position to try to find it, they were unsuccessful. I was immediately prepped for surgery and a few minutes later our son was born. We were so thankful that he was safely in our arms and totally healthy. Children are a gift from God and we feel honoured that God chose to bless us, once again, with a precious son. And this was a double blessing, as Josiah was born on Mark`s birthday.
February was a busy month. Besides adjusting to a beautiful new baby it was time to plan our son, Joshua`s and his wife, Rebecca`s wedding. It was such a joy to plan this special day with Joshua, Rebecca and Rebecca`s family . On Feb. 28th Joshua and Rebecca made a commitment to spend the rest of their lives together. This was the first wedding on both sides, so everything was new to all of us, but after all was celebrated we agreed that it was the perfect day. After a honeymoon to Israel, Josh and Rebecca have settled on the home farm. Being on the same yard has given us the special privelage of getting to know Rebecca better. We feel very blessed that she has joined our family. She has been an amazing wife to our son, and a special daughter and sister-in-law.
March started out with a visit from the Muncks, a family of 12, from Tennessee. Up until this point we had only visited by email so it was great fun to finally meet face to face. And after a couple of days it was plain to see that this would be a friendship that would continue on. Even though they were only here for a few days it felt like we had known them forever. It made it easier to say goodbye when we decided, Lord willing, we would make a trip to Tennessee to visit them in summer.
April was a month busy with calving and getting ready for seeding. After a few years of early seeding it was evident, come the end of the month, that this year would be different. And we patiently waited for the weather to warm up and the fields to dry. But we were going to have to wait until May to scratch the soil this year. Once again, we knew God`s timing was perfect.
On May 8th we were happy to be able to get out on the fields and start planting the crops. But our patience was tested as the rains kept coming and it seemed like we would never get seeding done. Thankfully on May 30th we were able to finish up. We were very thankful that God was merciful and gave us a window of suitable weather to seed. Also on Mother`s day we were told the exciting news that we would be welcoming a new member to our family. But this time it would be a grandchild, due in January. We were overjoyed!
Late June and early July included a trip down south with our destination being the Muncks home in Tennessee. Some of the sights we took in along the way were the Mall of America in Minnesota, the Creation Museum near Petersburg, Kentucky, an Amish village in Arcola, Illinois and then it was on to Cleveland, Tennessee to see our dear friends. And after a visit that went way to fast, we slowly made our way home again. In total we were gone 18 days. It was great time together as a family and we will forever cherish the dear memories from it.
August was another month of resting in the Lord`s timing as cool weather and rains stalled both the crops and the gardens growth. As the days went by and the temperatures stayed cool we petitioned to our Heavenly Father to help things ripen so we could get our crops in the bins. On Aug. 26th we finally brought the combines in the fields and harvest began. But it was not without its struggles as the weather continued to be cool and wet.
Once again patience was needed as we waited for favourable combining weather. We ended up having to dry a lot of grain which made the harvest season a little more hectic. But on September 25th we parked the combines for another year and rejoiced that God had answered our prayers, another crop was safely in the bins. The neatest thing was, a year that looked so bleak to our human eyes, ended up being one of the best crops we have ever had. So all the struggles were worth it and we were, and still are, humbled by God`s loving provision.
October was a very busy month finishing off the field work and starting some fix-up and building projects around the yard. We are always thankful for the many willing hands that we have in our family that make the
projects a little quicker and lighter. What a sense of accomplishment, ownership and closeness when we work hard together as a family to get things done. Sometimes in the midst of it, it is hard to perservere, but when we see our finished project, it is all worth it!
November started in a very unexpected way when Rebecca went into premature labour and God chose to bring Andrew Joshua into the world and our hearts. Once again we rested in the fact that God`s timing is perfect. Andrew was born at a tiny 3lbs. 2 ½ oz. Being 10 weeks early, he had many hurdles to overcome. But we were so thankful that God chose to preserve his little life and even though this meant a long hospital stay we felt blessed beyond measure that we had another precious little one to love on. Andrew is the first grandchild on both sides of the family and also the first nephew to 17 aunts and uncles. He will be very loved :D To read more about Andrew's preemie journey you can visit Josh and Rebecca's Blog,
And that brings us to December. This month has brought many trips to Winnipeg to see our sweet little grandson. We are happy to report that Andrew is doing great and is showing improvement everyday. It is truly a miracle to be able to watch this little man mature and grow. We are all hoping that he will continue to improve so that he can go home soon with his daddy and mommy. The 17 aunts and uncles have never met him in person, so they are quite excited about his homecoming too. With siblings that have such a close relationship, it has been very hard for the brothers and sisters not to be able to see or hold little Andrew and share in person the joy of his life here on earth. They too have been able to instill in their hearts the truth that God's timing is perfect and He knows what's best. And maybe, Lord willing, our Christmas gift this year will be to have Andrew join our celebrations.
So as you can see this indeed was a very eventful year, a year of ups and downs, a year of triumphs and trials, but no matter what the outcome we are still able to say that it was a year where God was God and God was good. Every year there seems to be a theme of what God is teaching us and this year was no exception. As I`m sure you gathered, it was a year where God confirmed in our hearts the truth that His timing is perfect. So many times we see things from our human perspective and think we know what is best for us and those around us, while God is saying, “ Actually, no, this is My best for you.” We can make a choice to reject His ways and try to get things happening in our own timing, or we can choose to rest in Him and know in our hearts that He is God, He is in control and He knows best. We have found that when we choose to rest in Him, we can find true peace, deep inner peace, peace that passes all understanding, peace that lasts!
Our prayer for you is that you will experience the peace of God this Christmas season and throughout the coming year. And that whatever comes your way this year, you will be able to trust in God and know that “His Timing Is Perfect” and "He Knows What is Best For YOU!"
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Love in Christ,
Mark and Rosalie
Jennifer, Megan, Kerri
Caleb, Zachary, Jesse, Nathan,