As we finished out November, many families like ours took time to remember the many things we are grateful for. “Family” was the word used more than anything. People are important in our lives. We all need encouragers, intercessors, confidantes, and those who keep us accountable.

It was Thanksgiving Day when I received a call from my daughter, Christy, saying my mom was not doing well. She had spent the night over at her house with my sister. She had taken a fall earlier in the week but didn’t want us to take her to the hospital. We honored her request but now we needed to make a decision, which in our hearts knew would change the dynamics of our family. She ended up in the trauma unit of OHSU. Mom is a fighter, she had cracked 6 ribs, had 2 broken ribs and a collapsed lung. We know we are in the final days with our precious Mom. Life will be different without the matriarch of our family. She’s been the prayer warrior, confidante, encourager for our family and so many of our friends.

We are now taking it a day at a time. Forever grateful for a godly mother who has been an inspiration in ministry to me. She is a couple months short of being 101 years old. Keep us in prayer as we navigate this new journey.

December is a month where many people get caught up in many celebrations, concerts, and Christmas parties. Let me encourage you to step back from your busyness and remember the reason for the season. Take time to worship the King of Kings, our precious Savior. Don’t get stressed over “things” – children will remember your love and presence more than your gifts. Give them experiences of being together as a family.

Remember, as you start a new year the two greatest gifts you can give are: teaching your children how to pray and helping them know the Word of God. These both take time, but you’ll have no regrets. Teach them the principles to live by according to the Bible. I look back at my heritage and I’m thankful that prayer and the Word were the two pillars we were taught.

My prayer as we end this year is:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

Have a blessed December. Thank you for the honor to lead and serve you.