Thursday, December 23, 2010

i like to pretend that people actually read this thing....:)

merry christmas to my sorely neglected blog friends out there :)
the week of Christmas this year has proved different than planned (violent virus was spread at a party here on monday, and many were wiped out yesterday with fun. i am very grateful to God to have NOT been one of those taken down, however my two bestest friends - Jenn and Tim - both were! It lasted about 10 hours and they are feeling all the way better today! Now for disinfecting e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. in sight ;)

I thought I would share our family christmas letter, and hope you are encouraged and comforted in your hearts as you celebrate the birth of Jesus and the redemption that He secured for us.

you will probably not hear from me again till's hoping to more consistent posting of photos in the new year! woohoo! (we can always hope, right? :)

happy and in love, Lindsey
Greetings from the Quann family to our loved ones around the world!

My (Lindsey) turn to write the family Christmas letter has rolled around again, and I’m so grateful for the chance to take a break from the busyness of these days and reflect on all God has done since this time last year. I think that in 2010 our family has learned more personally the truth from the bible that says “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” (1Corinthians 2:9)

If you asked me to sum up the year of 2010 in the Quann home in just one word, it would be this: Unexpected. Every month has gone by, revealing an unexpected twist or turn in the story that God is writing through the lives of each one of us individually and together as a family. Unexpected joys. Unexpected sorrows. New seasons of life, new relationships, new challenges, new jobs, new direction, new ministry opportunities, new schedules, new family adventures. And yet in the midst of all of the new and unexpected, the good and the bad, the defining factor has been VERY expected, INTENSELY sought after, and FREELY given: deeper relationship with the God of sustaining grace, mercy, and love. He is the strength that held our family together through this year, just like every year before, and every year to come. Even through the most painful moments, when we might have felt like we were falling apart, God was molding us more into the image of His son Jesus, and teaching us more deeply what love really means.

Since even a summary of the events of 2010 would fill a novel, I will keep it to some highlights: Mom and Dad celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a fabulous week together in the outer banks. (Side note: for adult kids still living at home, there are challenges for sure. But getting to see our parents grow in their love and commitment to each other through the changing seasons of life has been an unexpected gift.) Jenna and I got stretched in our girls retreat experiences this summer, as we helped put on not only our usual teen girls retreat in Virginia, but also flew to Guatemala to do a girls retreat at Hope of Life Ministries (Yes, it was in Spanish. Talk about walking by faith!) Jenna continues her job teaching GED classes in King George, and went to her first out of town work conference, which made her feel like an official grown up. She also set a personal record: attended 4 weddings, read 6 books, and took 10 trips in just a 3 month period! Charlie, the brother with many names (Aaron, Quincy, Buddy…), jumped back into school this summer at Germanna Community College. Playing guitar and writing songs has become his favorite pastime and creative outlet, during days filled with calculus, chemistry and engineering classes. (If you frequent downtown Fredericksburg in the evenings, you might even find him and Jenna sitting on the sidewalks making music with an open guitar case, collecting enough change from passersby for a slice of pizza :) I have found myself quite occupied with a very handsome man who loves Jesus, who asked me this summer if I would marry him. And I happily said yes. Thus wedding planning has ensued, and in May 2011 I will become Mrs. Tim Olson! (Side note, to all the 7 year olds out there: you never know if that kid you’re playing with might become your husband/wife 16 years later. Be nice to them :) Ariel, Matt and their 4 adorable kids (Tyler, Audrey, Connor and Karis) still live in our neighborhood and bring sunshine and MUCH laughter into our lives. This fall we accomplished one of our family goals, just in the nick of time: a trip to Niagara Falls, Canada and Buffalo, NY to visit mom’s college before anyone else got married. It was the perfect time of year to visit that area of the world. Pictures do not do it justice. We also got to visit the Republic of Texas for the first time, and celebrate our cousin’s wedding with mom’s side of the family.

Believe me, that is only the tip of the 2010 iceberg! It is our hope and prayer that our glorious Lord Jesus will make Himself known to you intimately in whatever place you find yourself this Christmas. Whether it be a season of busyness or of rest in your life, of joy or of sorrow, that you would find Him to be your ever present help and comfort. The baby in the manger over 2000 years ago is not just a story for little kids. It is the true story of the eternal God setting in motion His plan of eternal love to put our sin to death and bring us to life. It was the beginning of the story that brings us peace in the midst of chaos, and hope in the midst of pain. This Christmas, we are celebrating the birth of the One who is making all things new.
With much JOY, the Quanns