~ Real life mixed with faith ~
How does one write a Christmas letter, without sounding like life is about one step from perfection? It’s difficult these days to be real and yet to still hold on inside to a sense of belief that things are undone. Like the caterpillar who is yet to be the butterfly.
So, I sit here looking out my window’s that haven’t been cleaned in weeks and I remind myself that all the prints are from kids running to wave good-bye to their daddy each morning as he pulls out the drive, this is his favorite part of the day. Life is good.
But it’s also messy.
So, I write not wanting to sound cliché but wanting to be sure the message is clear; we believe in a God who makes messy messes into beautiful beauty. So here’s our letter for 2013:
Ben loves his job at Rogers. Although he still does not have a continuing contract which keeps us (read: ME) in a spot of anxiety. He was asked this year to be the Defensive Coordinator of the football team and he poured his heart into the team. It is a JOY to watch someone do something that they absolutely LOVE. And it was heartbreaking to watch the Rogers Pirates lose every game. Yet, this messy-mess of losses did result in a beautiful bond between the players, “a brotherhood” they called it, and the coaches clearly adored each athlete. A beautiful mess.
Caleb, our nine-year-old firecracker. He lives up to his name, read Numbers 13 or Joshua 14 if you are curious about the Caleb of the bible. Ours too, is strong and determined. He is a boy of justice and this comes with a small price – big debates. He will fight it out, head to head, with anyone who will go at it with him and he. Does. Not. Back. Down. Bless him. He wanted to play football this fall and we found that his forehead like flint is good for more than just debate – he is not one to be reckoned with. He likes to collect “things” from bugs and rocks to little toys called “trash packs.” A beautiful mess.
Nathan, our nine-year-old sports fanatic. It’s amazing to watch the “sports” part of boy get “flipped on” like a switch. He’s suddenly all about Seahawks, football, sports, competition, winning, sportsmanship, etc. It has been fun to watch and challenging, at times, to parent. He cried when the Seahawks lost to the Colts. He’s learning to have sportsmanship when playing football at recess. He’s surprisingly good at balancing fun and brains, but sometimes not so good at balancing self control with impatience. He likes to throw anything in to the air and (hopefully) catch it before it hits a sibling or something made of glass. Also, Nate got baptized at church this fall, a very big honor for his dad to “dunk” him! A beautiful mess.
Alena, our-six-year-old princess. She loves to dance. She took a dance class this year, but also begs her dad weekly to play music from his computer so she can dance around the front room. Her heart is of gold. She likes to “take care of others” which usually ends up with annoyed brothers and Alena in tears, asking…begging for a little sister. She loves her family though and has a hard time being away from those she loves. School, all day every day this year, hasn’t been a piece of cake, it’s just too much time away. This has been tough for her and I! A beautiful mess.
Titus, our two-year-old tank. Titus wants to, and in most cases can, keep up with the big kids. He has been going to school this fall and has loved it! He likes playing with friends and “big-boy” Legos and trucks. He loves wearing a “good-guy” cape and also likes hats. But he is two. Which means sometimes big-boy-Lego creations get destroyed… And two means tantrums, which he is really good at (maybe better than any of the other kids…combined…or maybe I’m just a tired mama :)) Titus encapsulates a beautiful mess.
I have had a great year too! Keeping up with the kids keeps me on my toes but this year I have also really enjoyed co-coordinating a local MOPS group! It's been a good way for me to get out into the community and meet people while also being encouraged, in Jesus, by other women. I also still have a love/hate relationship with our life in the country. Although I love the space and all the fun it brings (gardening, privacy and true peace) it has also challenged me with the not-so-fun things it brings (mice, loneliness, and hard work!). A beautiful mess.
We hope you can see that we believe that this little family is being changed daily by grace and love. Each of us has a beautiful story that unfolds minute by minute. Each mess is an opportunity for our Savior to make something beautiful. We pray He is working in each of you to do the same.
The Cochran Clan
Ben, Crystal, Caleb, Nathan, Alena and Titus