My fellow friends, family, and bloggers. Six years ago, at the urging of my sweet sister-in-law, I sat down at the computer and entered the mysterious world of blogging. In the beginning, I was in a blogging groove, and it was good. But, as with so many things in this life, the blog and I, well – we lost that loving feeling. Still, I’m not ready to call it quits – so here we go again….
In the spirit of recent reflection, and in hopes of a brighter blogging future, I bring you…The State of the TEAM.
2013 was the inaugural year of life in full-time ministry for our family. Boy have we learned some things. Patience, trust, gratitude (so much gratitude), grace and humility to name a few. As December 31st rolled around, I honestly could not stop thanking God for the faithfulness He has shown us. So much more than we could imagine. My heart was overflowing with thanksgiving for the incredible ways He has proven himself trustworthy, redeeming, and involved with the details of our lives. He alone is worthy of our praise.
I feel so blessed to have celebrated so many wonderful moments with family in the past year. Parents, siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews…we’ve seen almost all of them! I do not take that for granted for a second.
Nathanael, Philip, Anna Elizabeth and Luke all completed their first semester of school with great academic achievements and praise from teachers, coaches, mentors, and peers. I say that with a heart of thanksgiving and nothing else.
In 2013, Nate was the starting center for every high school football game from pre-season, through the playoffs, all the way to the State Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 30th. It was an incredible season woven with more hardships than usual, but I know my son and his teammates came to realize they are much stronger than they imagined they were. At the Football Banquet, Nathanael received his second letter, his letter jacket, and was named Team Captain – which, as an O-lineman and a Junior, was a pretty high honor. Nathanael’s work with FCA continues to blossom, and his vision is to see a team bible study with one-on-one discipleship happening on every sports team at Carmel High School. He has plans to return with our church to South Africa over Spring Break for another short-term mission trip, and we are starting the college search process. In what may be the most exciting/scary news of 2013, Nate finally got his license on December 31st, and has been getting some great snow and ice driving practice in ever since!
Philip will turn 15 years old tomorrow. Wow, huh? He is appreciating life as a high school freshman, playing club men’s volleyball, and enjoying an active social life. Philip is blessed to have an incredible group of friends that he connects with at school, in sports, and through Bible study – and that, my friends, is a true gift. The rate at which he is growing is currently blowing my mind, and he has a new interest in music – the cajon drum, in particular. (I love that kid and all his quirkiness). Philip’s 5 year “Diaversary” came and went on December 29th and I have to admit that for the first time since he was diagnosed, I didn’t get all down in the dumps – which encouraged and confused me at the same time. Watching him be so responsible, so brave, so strong, and so stubborn when it comes to managing this disease can wreak some havoc on this Momma’s emotions. I’m so very proud of him for so many reasons. I know for a fact that in his 15th year, Philip is looking forward to taking drivers ed, playing volleyball for the high school team, returning to SOS Memphis for a summer mission trip, and Chris Dudley Basketball Camp in Oregon. Thankfully, Philip also just got a job that will help fund all these big plans! (He is joining Nate and me at Capstone Cafe and Bookstore and is learning the art of espresso making).
As for the only young lady in the house, our Anna Elizabeth is blossoming into a lovely one. That girl – I’m enamored by her. If you’ve seen her lately, chances are it has been with a book or a Kindle in her hand – she’s a voracious reader. Anna and I had the opportunity to travel to Texas in December – just the two of us (thanks again, Dad!) – and I cannot begin to tell you how much fun it was. Seeing family was awesome (especially my brand new niece, Sadie), but the travel to and from was almost as much fun – just hanging with my girl. It wouldn’t surprise me if in 2014, we start sharing shoes…she’s growing by leaps and bounds – physically, intellectually, and spiritually. So thankful for that sweet and spunky girl.
Luke turned 8 years old on the 11th of January, but for days before, and several days since, we have heard phrases like, “but it’s my birthday” when he’s wanting to drive home a point or sway a decision in his favor. Luke favors the birthMONTH over the birthday, and no one really has the heart to tell him to give it a rest because he’s so passionate about it. Since he was intent on doing a flag football party at the stadium for his birthday celebration, and that field has been under snow a majority of the time since early December (including today), we are postponing the party to a date “yet to be determined.” Unfortunately, this means that in Luke’s mind the whole birthday thing isn’t over until he cuts the cake with a sweaty group of 2nd and 3rd grade boys wearing detachable plastic flags around their waists. Since it looks like winter is serious this year, we may still be in “Luke birthday season” come mid June. We’ll see. In other “youngest child” news, he has yet to cut his hair. It seems the longer it gets, the more attitude he acquires. I have recently been tempted to take my kitchen scissors (that can barely cut paper, mind you) to those golden locks in hopes to turn back time – maybe get a glimpse of “baby” Luke again. I keep stopping short since all he really asked for at Christmas were headbands and Nike socks – and if I cut off all his hair he would have no use for all the headbands he received, and that just seems like a waste. Seriously, underneath the “too cool for school” front, Luke is a super sweet boy who adores his family, cares deeply for his friends, and continues to grow in the nurture and admonition of The Lord.
When I look at our 2014 calendar I could easily become overwhelmed, but I am choosing to see opportunities instead. Opportunities to draw closer to Jesus, to one another, to extended family, and to our local church body. I see TEAMThompson taking the hope of the gospel to the world around us both near and far. I believe our family is going to be stretched this year in ways I can’t quite explain, and I trust our faithful God will use all of these opportunities to make us more into His image.