In lieu of Christmas cards, I decided to go with a Christmas post! Truth be told I’m horrible at Christmas cards. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ordered cards and not got the to sending them out part.  On top of that, I’ve been thinking hard on ways to save over the holidays to make room for more generosity.  Skipping cards to give a little more seems like a really easy way to cut back.

This year has been filled with so much goodness for our family.  We ended 2016 with the birth of our daughter.  Can’t believe she is already one! During my pregnancy I struggled with pretty severe anxiety.  Since her birth God has lifted the bulk of this burden from my life.  Adding a third child to our home has been a delight.  Our girl has been the sweetest of gifts.  Watching her grow has been the highlight of this year!

This summer our friends convinced us to try out camping.  So are so glad we decided to give it a shot because we fell in love.  We took three camping trips over the summer and can’t wait for spring so we can go again!

This summer was a time of transition for our family.  We felt God nudging us for sometime towards a couple of big changes.  First was joined a new church.  Not for lack of love for our old one.  We grew up at Area 10.  There is so much goodness there.  We are forever thankful for the wisdom poured into us over our years at Area 10.

That being said sometimes when you grow up you learn things about yourself, you didn’t even know existed.  Over the past few years filled with growing our family, our faith has grown in new ways.  We felt it was time to step out in a new direction.  We are still praying God will guide our family into the places He has for us, as we strive to live our best life with Him.

The other big change this year brought was Kindergarten! The past few years we have been praying about school. Last year we “tested” out a homeschool co-op in the area.  We talked to a lot of people about schooling options.  Brent and I have talked and talked to try to discover what we feel is the best for our family in this season.   With a little fear and trembling we decided to give homeschool a shot.

The past few months of school have been an adjustment.  We’ve had to get used to adding school time and activities to our day.  We also are working on cultivating a strong community for our family to be connected to.  That being said, so far we have loved having our big boy learn at home.  He is doing great.  We feel blessed to have found a great co-op to be apart of and Isaac finished his first soccer season playing with a local homeschool league.  We look forward to seeing what the school year ahead holds for us!

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Other highlights of this year included my 30th birthday surprise party (Brent rocked it), being apart of a Supper Club this year, Lucas turned 3, visits to and from family (my grandparents and sister), Spring Break with Brent’s family in Nag’s Head, NC, Isaac turned 5 (oh my), another niece being birthed by Brent’s sister this summer, I completed my first sprint triathlon (a huge goal met for me!), joining an amazing small group this fall, finding out my brother and sister-in-law are expecting!, Halloween with friends, Thanksgiving break and we are loving December. So much to celebrate this month- Ruthie turns ONE, advent season, Christmas break and Brent and I celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary (crazy).

For 2018 our prayer is that we would grow in the ability to live with simplicity and sincerity (2 Corinthians 1).  That we would become the love of God in all our places.  We would trust God to continue to provide for our family, as he so faithfully has these past 10 years.  That we would live with a heart of thanks, not taking for granted the gifts each day brings.

We also pray your 2018 is full of God’s goodness. Merry Christmas from our family!

Love,

The Idleman’s

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