Each passing year brings back memories doesn’t it? Now that we are in Tennessee, Nana can drive from Missouri and be with us which is wonderful! We were watching some home videos of Christmas times past and the boys kept asking to rewind the years they were with their cousins…its hard and good to move around and be in so many different communities. All the good that comes from new relationships and new growth and new learning experiences is something we wouldn’t trade because we get to go with God and give our lives away. BUT, Christmas has plenty of moments for me of ” I MISS MY FAMILY”. I miss living in the same neighborhood as my Dad and Sister. I miss sledding down the hills and watching the boys wipe out on snowboards. I miss the soft sound of massive amounts of snow falling and little faces wrapped up in scarfs and hats. I miss my nieces and nephews saying, “Auntie, come play with ME!”. The late nights that my Sis and I would get around the holidays were priceless. The wall sized growth chart in Papa and Grandma Kay’s pantry is not growing with Howell kids measurements anymore…but I love look back at them when we visit. I cherish them and thank God for each year we got to be together.
I am grateful for our full life here in Tennessee. I love how our boys are growing and changing. The families we get to work with at Fellowship and the students lives we get to share are unbelievable and precious. I would never want it any other way! The friends and staff that we get to do life with were handpicked for our family. Each one bringing joy, love and hospitality to the Howells. Our marriage has been challenged with the stress of relocating and job changes but God has prove to be more than faithful as we followed His lead. My husband toiled over our new/old home that we got to move into this fall. We are grateful for the added space and perfect Student Pastor family yard. We feel spoiled to make this great home our own and share it with as many as possible. God has traveled with us, gave us insight and depend our faith and for that I am so thankful.
Whether here or in Alaska with family this Christmas, we are filled with JOY because the God who made us family has connected our hearts and lives and that connection won’t be broken no matter how far the distance. I am full of hope as I think of our soverign God who knows our steps and His desire is to draw us to Himself as a place of complete dependance. When I try and measure anything up to the plan of God…nothing compares. I hope this Christmas our lives whether hope filled or looking for hope will be challenged by the God of this universe who desires for us to have the best life….but not by our standards, by His alone.