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Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Edwards’ Christmas Letter, 2014


2014 has been a busy, blessed, and difficult year.  We sold our house in Enid and bought a new (old) car.  We had wonderful visits and said goodbye to dear friends.  We laughed, we cried, we grew… it moved us, Bob. :)

Isabelle is a warm, bright, joy-filled, troublesome two-year old.  She has been potty training and is getting proficient at that new skill.  She is still an avid climber, runner, and jumper.  She sings along with the movie Frozen (and helps the reindeer, Sven, lick snowflakes—which makes me wonder what this Hawaiian babe thinks they are exactly?).  Her new favorite word is, “pretties,” exclaimed as she gazes at the decorated (and re-decorated) Christmas tree.

Seth is five years old now and started doing kindergarten work this year.  He is riding his bike without training wheels and as always he is often found building Lego creations and train tracks.  He makes up the most fascinating, hilarious stories (often centered around Minecraft).

Thaddeus, nine, has kept up with swim team—he has worked extremely hard and has moved up two groups.  He is extremely sensitive and cares deeply about others.  He works very hard at memorizing Bible verses for his AWANA club—and has an astounding memory!

Nathanael is in the 7th grade and just turned twelve years old.  He is busy with swim team, AWANAs, and their Lego Robotics team (along with Hannah and Thaddeus).  They participated in a Lego competition in November and had a great time programming, performing a skit, and running their robot.  During one of Ryan’s TDYs this year, Nathanael managed to break his collar bone while riding his scooter outside.  Our dear friends, the Schafers, took care of the rest of the kids while I rushed Nathanael to the ER.  I had to laugh when the nurse asked if he had his helmet on (he did not), regardless he would have needed football pads to avoid the break he got.  Nathanael had a couple month rest from swim team, but he recovered in fine form. In his spare time, Nathanael reads, voraciously! I think he could read 24/7 if things like hunger, sleep, and school did not intrude.

Hannah is almost fourteen years old, and is continuing to grow into a beautiful young lady.  She delights in helping, creating, and relating to others (she is often busy welcoming new friends in her groups).  She, Nathanael, and Thaddeus took part in performing Rapunzel with a Missoula Theatre group for a week in the summer.  Their productions are always fantastic!  In her free moments, Hannah writes as much as Nathanael reads and we often find her reading her stories to the neighborhood—C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, watch out!

Ryan has kept up racing—he added a triathlon and a Spartan race to his repertoire this year.  He keeps busy volunteering with Winner’s Camp (, leading AWANAs Journey Class, and he even put together a race for the Top 3 organization on base.  He has traveled with the Air Force for training and inspections, rediscovering his love for foreign lands.

Rebecca’s days are full of homeschooling, grading, kids’ activities, and managing the home along with running, swimming, writing (, etc., etc.  In the busy-ness, we have instituted a weekly date night.  After fourteen years of occasional dates, this is a wonderful luxury!  All we typically do is get coffee and wander a store or two, but the relaxation is sublime. 

This year we had the blessing of visits by friends and family.  The Boyd family came for several days in July (complete with a camping trip of 13 to Bellows Beach—so much fun!), Ryan’s parents arrived in October, and we were even able to reconnect with the Johnston and Ferguson families from Enid, OK.  It has been such a delight to see so many of you!

May of 2015 will mark 20 years Ryan has served in the military, so we have the question of what/where next? looming over us.  We crave your prayers as we seek God’s direction for our future path.  We are scheduled to complete our tour in Hawaii in Sept. of 2015 and still do not know where our next station will be, but it should be back in the mainland.  (I think all of us are looking forward to experiencing the change of seasons again, but we are trying to enjoy Hawaii’s beauty as much as possible while we are here.)

One of the most significant thoughts I heard this year was from our pastor, James Shiroma, “When we pray earnestly God changes our hearts and sometimes our circumstances.”

I have thought long and hard about that point.  The Jews in Jesus’ time were certain they knew what the Messiah would be and how He would act.  Most of them missed Jesus because they were looking for a king to rescue them from their momentary impoverished circumstances.  Jesus intended to offer a rescue to all mankind.  He came meek as a lamb, offering Himself for us, not as a king conquering a few enemies, but as an ultimate sacrifice to conquer the final enemy, death.

The old Jew Simeon was looking and praying for God’s plan and when he saw the baby Jesus, he knew:  "For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A Light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”  Luke 2:30-32

Yes, we are praying earnestly regarding our future—it may not look as we envision it, but as we pray, God will change our hearts regardless our circumstances.  We also pray for you, that your hearts are changed daily and your eyes see more of Him.  All praise and glory to Him.

Mele Kalikimaka!

The Edwards

Ryan, Rebecca, Hannah, Nathanael, Thaddeus, Seth, and Isabelle