Saturday morning I feasted on Cranberry-Pumpkin bread, peanut brittle, cider, and good conversation. Although I do frequently talk to myself, this time I wasn’t alone. I had invited a few friends over to visit and enjoy some Christmas goodies. And I’m so glad I did. (For the bread recipe see “Pumpkin Bread, Peanut Brittle, and Lies.”)
The Christmas season often flies by in a whirlwind. By the time we slow down to think about what we want to do, it’s over. But I want this year to be different. I want to do a better job of focusing on those I love and remembering why we celebrate.
The Christmas coffee gathering was one way to do that. Another is grabbing some time with the grandkids. Today I will be doing Christmas crafts with four of them. Hobby Lobby was happy to see me walk in the door.
A Small Gift for You
I wish you and I could sit down at my kitchen table with a mug of strong coffee and a slice of pumpkin bread. I’d love to talk with you about what God is doing in your life and how you sense Him leading you into 2022. I would also thank you for the encouraging words you’ve sent throughout the year and the ways you’ve supported God’s work in my life.
But, since that’s not possible today, I’d like to offer a small gift as a way to express my gratitude. As many of you know, in October my new spiritual legacy themed devotional was released. “Heirloom: Living & Leaving a Legacy of Faith” tells 52 inspiring stories of faith from the past that still inspire us today. The most valuable thing we can leave for our families is a legacy of faith. Telling our own story of faith is part of this legacy. (Find out more about “Heirloom” or see it on Amazon.)
“We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.” Ps 78:4 NLT
My gift to you is a guide to help you write your faith story for your family. The downloadable PDF,“Spiritual Heirloom,” gives question prompts in several categories to help you write about your spiritual journey with Jesus. Download this guide here.
Brief Howard Update
If you want to stop reading, you won’t hurt my feelings! But, for those who are interested, I thought I’d share a few family and ministry highlights from 2022:
- February Deep Freeze – Texas experienced some historic low temperatures and our power grid was not prepared. At the Howard house we suffered through rolling blackouts and one busted pipe.
- Spring Fun – Fishing and baseball (t-ball) peppered our spring months. Between times at the fishing camp with family and friends, we plopped down in lawn chairs at ball games for three grandsons.
- Big Birthday – I turned 60 in September. My family made a big fuss over me and planned a beautiful party to celebrate! Then in November, Wayne and I and dear friends continued the 60th celebration with a week in the USVI!
- Summer Road trip – In July, Wayne and I drove from Texas to Iowa for a friend’s wedding. While we were there we visited the “Field of Dreams” farm. That was fun!
- Bucket List item – Wayne and I love baseball and the Astros are our team. So, when they made it to the World Series, we decided we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to go. It was such a fun experience! AND, it was one of the games the ‘Stros won!
- New Books – This year I wrote one book and launched two. “Heirloom,” which I wrote in 2020, made its debut in October. “Deep Rooted: Growing through the Book of Mark,” which I wrote over the summer, released the end of November. Right now I am working on a Romans volume of the Deep Rooted series that will be released late spring 2022!
- Remembering Mom – Mom lost her battle with Alzheimer’s late in 2020, so we hit all those “firsts” in 2021.
Although we still felt COVID’s impact this year – Thanksgiving didn’t turn out like we had planned – some things began to look more normal. For instance, I had more “live, in-person” speaking events than virtual this year! And I’m looking forward to a full year of family and ministry in 2022. (Please be sure to check out next week’s blog. I will be sharing tips, tools, and resources to help you launch into a spiritually healthy new year!)
I pray you have a joyous time celebrating the birth of our Savior. Whether your Christmas will be small and quiet or loud and rambunctious, may you experience an overwhelming sense of wonder that the God of all creation took on flesh so He could die in our place.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14, ESV
Merry Christmas, Kathy