Saturday, December 14, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Jones Family!

A post-graduation portrait
A number of years ago it became quite popular among many families to send out a family Christmas letter along with (or instead of) Christmas cards during the holiday season. Such letters often include a family picture, information on each family member's life during the previous year and a Christmas greeting of some sort. We never really got into that tradition, but today I would like to offer up a digital version of the Jones Family Christmas Letter. I threatened on Twitter this week to make it fictional and test who has been paying attention for the past year, but that idea was shot down. So here's the real scoop...

Will & Michelle- Prom Night!
Let's start with the big events of 2013. Will graduated from high school with honors and has now completed his first semester at St. Pete College. Between school, working at Chick-fil-A and maintaining a growing relationship with his girlfriend Michelle, his life is quite busy. He continues to love movies (even as you read this we may be at The Desolation of Smaug, and we cannot wait for Anchorman 2!), writing and music, and half of his Christmas list is made up of vintage albums (actual vinyl!) because he loves the classic sound. He just may be my son! :) The highlight of my year was the reunion of the FUMC-Kissimmee youth family in April and a chance to catch up with so many old friends. Officiating at Jen Gastler Chan's wedding and getting to spend time with Hal, Joanne and Christine was also a real joy. I had more surgery in July, and I am still in wound care every Monday waiting for a chance to be able to wear a real shoe on my right foot again. But I feel great, and have been able to resume some of my work as a domestic goddess (under my secret identity as Agnes) here at our home in Tampa. I have started volunteering a bit with the technical arts ministry at our church. I also continue to write (this blog continues to be such a blessing to me!) for anyone who asks me to and enjoy conversations with friends from all over the country through the wonders of technology. Marilyn...well all she does is hold it all together! She continues her work in a downtown law office and continues as supermom to Will and as my wife of 27 years now. Watching Will graduate was a little hard on her, but having him still around has been a blessing to us both. Most Sunday mornings you can find us at Van Dyke Church, and we still love to gather around the TV for The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Modern Family- among others. Our extended family- my mom and Marilyn's family- continue to be an important part of our lives, and Michelle and Lisa Jewett are like family to us as well. As with any family, we have our struggles. But through faith and a willingness to count our blessings and live ABOVE our circumstances instead of under them, we are surviving quite nicely...

King of the Beasts
But to be honest, it always feels like my family is MUCH larger than mentioned above. We receive words of support and encouragement so often from friends who have been a part of our various youth ministries from through the years. Many of my oldest friends- and by oldest I mean I have known them the longest, not that they are old, because if they are old so am I - continue to check on and support me. I'm talking about you, Tammy, Steve and Denise!  I would also be remiss to not mention Sabrina Perry, James RobinsonTeresa Tysinger, Todd Willis, Susan McBane Tuggle and Jerry Hanbery and the many others who so often light up my life and lift my spirits. Ashley Goad, Marie Allen Duke and Jennifer Wood Jones also check on me and keep me going. We often dine with friends at our local Chilis, where we have our own personal waitress- and Kelly is part of our family too! My Twitter family is still growing and still amazing, showing me grace and support at every turn. Jenn, Robert, Tina, Jason, Johnny, Amy, Liza, Pam, the entire POTSC (People of the Second Chance) community and so many others are always there to bring a smile to my face. And no list of family members would be complete without mentioning Conner the Dog. Our 10 year old cocker spaniel is my constant companion. Which most of the time is a very good thing. As you can see, my family is large- and it is quite a blessing.

The FUMC-K Family Reunion
So what does 2014 have in store?  It is our prayer that my legal matter will be brought to a conclusion sometime early in the year, freeing me to travel and to seek new ways to be in ministry. It would be so amazing to meet some of the people I have grown to love through Twitter. I hope to take the best of the nearly 1400 posts to this blog and put them in some sort of book form. It would thrill me to begin talking about a reunion of folks from my days at Springfield Friends Meeting (assuming I can travel again) and a follow-up to the FUMC-K event of last spring. And I want to pray for YOU. I love getting prayer requests and being able to go to God on the behalf of the people I love. It is an honor and a blessing to me. More and more I want to live my life in a way that shows others the love of God whose name is Jesus and the true meaning of GRACE! I ask for your prayers as we face this new year together.

We hope you enjoy the holiday season and that it is full of blessings and joy. From my family to yours, have the merriest of Christmas seasons! After all, there's only 11 more sleeps 'til Christmas!  Much love to you all!

Jesus, the only hope for me is you- and YOU alone!

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to spring training friend. May God continue to bless you and your family.


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