2010 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends! I hope you are all able to take a little extra time to focus on Jesus this season – truly the greatest gift ever given!

As I reflect upon this past year, I am full of gratitude. I’m thankful for many things but restored health is at the top of my list – especially for my dad who received a much needed heart transplant last Spring. Before his surgery, he and my mother moved in with our family so that they could be near Charlotte, the nearest city to their south Georgia town where he could have a transplant. The time my parents lived with us was a time of sweetness, yet also a time of

Our small group gathered around Dad's chair. He was in the hospital and sent the heart pillow for us to sign.

much anxiety. For five months, in the midst of a trial, the Lord gave our family extended time to be together and much grace.  Normally, out-of-town grandchildren are able to “put on their best behavior” for a few visiting days a year to see family. For that matter, grandparents and parents are able to do the same! For the first time in my children’s lives, they were able to “be real” with Nana and Pop. We lived life together. We laughed, cried, and yes, at times, showed our “at-home-and-not-visiting” sides. I consider that a blessing because I’ve longed for my parents to really know my children. Through our time together, we all grew very close. My parents also met many of my friends and were embraced by them. Our church and small group prayed with and for them. Our cell phones were always kept nearby because at any time a much anticipated phone call requesting we be in Charlotte ASAP could occur. We worried. We waited. And we wondered if the call would come before Daddy’s worn out heart might stop. When asked what she wanted for Mother’s Day, my mother replied, “For Byron to have a new heart.” Her wish was granted! Just as we sat down to a lovely Mother’s Day meal, that phone call came! Now, Daddy, while still facing some health challenges, is recovering well and enjoying the miracle of his new heart.

Mom and Dad after Dad's surgery.

Our family has so much to be thankful for. Our children are growing and healthy. Christina, one year ago, had leg surgery to correct tibial torsion, a twisted tibia that she’d had since birth but was not discovered until it began to cause her pain in adolescence. What began as a limp developed into a loss of her ability to even walk without severe pain. It was right after her surgery that my parents moved in with us. We are so thankful to live during a time that such things can be corrected. When asked what she was thankful for this Thanksgiving, Christina replied, “Doctors. Without them, I’d be crippled.” This is so true, and without them, my daddy would not have a new heart.

Yet, even greater than a fixed tibia or a new heart is the precious gift of our Savior. He gives new spiritual hearts to all who turn from their sin and believe in Him. This truth has become very real to me this year as I have prayed and prayed for restored health for my dad. Someone, who lost his life, was able to bless my daddy with a very precious gift – one that cannot be bought. And by this gift, my daddy’s earthly life has been extended. We are incredibly thankful. Yet, even still, all of our lives are merely a vapor. (James 4:14)

However, for those of us who know Jesus, our lives are eternal! He came to us as a tiny baby and those who believe will not perish! There is no greater gift! May we all come and adore the Christ child this Christmas and always!



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