I've been working on this blog over the past few days instead of writing a Christmas letter, so I thought I would include a recap of our last year for those who are interested.
After a 2008 that included a lot of waiting, 2009 kicked off in high gear.
Josh had started his job as a security officer on executive
protection detail at Focus on the Family just before the new year rolled around, but he hadn't yet finished his documentary work with Backroads Producers. He spent January doing doubletime to keep up with both responsibilities. Within a few weeks, the Bomber's Moon documentary was completed, and it aired on Rocky Mountain PBS in late January. Since then, he has continued to volunteer with Backroads Producers and their non-profit, From Mists of Time, to record interviews with WWII veterans. What an honor to talk with these great folks. We won't have them around forever, and it is a privilege for him to be a part of capturing their stories.
Josh's work at Focus on the Family has taken him to California, Virginia, Georgia, Washington D.C., Alabama, Missouri and Texas, traveling primarily with Dr. and Mrs. Dobson. One of his more interesting assignments was to accompany them as Dr. Dobson gave the driver's chapel message and the invocation at a NASCAR race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Dr. Dobson will be retiring from the Focus on the Family daily radio broadcast in February 2010, and it remains to be seen what Josh's job will look like after that. We would appreciate your prayers for this upcoming transition.
January also brought our fifth wedding anniversary, which we celebrated with an overnight at the Taharaa Mountain Lodge in Estes Park, Co. It's a beautiful B&B where we stayed on our honeymoon, and we definitely recommend it to anyone traveling to Rocky Mountain National Park.
I have continued my work at the Focus on the Family Institute, which has been in the process this year of changing its name to the Focus Leadership Institute. I still love working with college students and walking with them through one of the most formative times in their lives. My official responsibility is to serve the graduates of the Institute as Alumni Coordinator. I have been in a season of laying groundwork, both philosophically and technologically, and I am excited to see what comes next. I am growing a big vision for helping our graduates to network
with each other, to continue sharpening their minds as thinking Christians.
In March, we traveled to Indiana for Josh's Grandma Keffer's 90th birthday. All of her kids and grandkids were in attendance--probably the first time in 15 years that everyone had been together. What fun!
The big news of our year, of course, was the birth of Lorien Grace on July 19th. She weighed in at 9 lbs. 6 oz. and was 20.5 inches long. AND she was nearly a week overdue. I've told her many times since then that if she was going to wait that long, I'm glad she picked a meaningful day to arrive as 7/19 is my parents' anniversary and the birthday of our friend Elena and Josh's cousin Angela. Her name comes from the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien, and we chose it because it means "a place of light in a dark world."
It's absolutely impossible to describe the blessing and the joy Lorien has brought to us (not to mention a measure of change and sleep deprivation we never thought possible). One of the most meaningful moments I had in her very-newborn days happened in the middle of the night. She had had quite a bit of fluid in her lungs and stomach at birth, and subsequently had some gagging, gurgling moments that definitely scared us as new parents. One night as I worried about this, the Lord gently reminded me that I am not the one who keeps her little heart beating and her little lungs breathing, and I couldn't if I tried. He is the one who will sustain her throughout her life. Josh and I are just stewards whom He has entrusted with her care for a time. What a humbling, comforting moment for a new mommy!
This fall has been a time of adjusting to our "new normal." And it's been a time of joy as we have introduced Lorien to our friends and family. We have made two trips to Ohio, and we just spent Christmas with the whole Keffer family here in Colorado. Lorien was so blessed to be able to meet three great grandmothers on our travels. Not too many kids have that privilege. We also got to visit Taylor University for my 10-year reunion, and we saw Uncle Doug while he was in the U.S. for just a few days (he teaches at the American Embassy School in New Dehli India.)
As far as work goes, I took six full weeks off after Lorien was born, and then went back to work part time in September. I will use up the last of my maternity leave this week, and return to work full time. I am thankful to have a leadership team that is allowing me to work from home two days a week. On the three days each week when I'm in the office, Lorien is hanging out with Grammie Keffer--an arragement they both enjoy very much. (And Grandpa too, when he's not at work.)
For those keeping track, yes, we were trying to sell our townhome last Christmas, and no, we were not able to sell it. We took it off the market a few weeks before Lorien was born. We thought it might be a little crazy to try to sell with a brand new baby in the house. Now that things have settled down a bit (and it seems that just maybe the market is looking up a little), we are hoping to put it back up for sale in the next few months.
Well, that's the condensed version of our last year. We'd love to hear about yours. And may God bless you and your family richly in 2010.
Lindy, Josh and Lorien