Christmas 2015

What a year. Wow. It has been a whirlwind. From beginning to end we have been on the run. While the year has been marked by a number of remarkable moments, the biggest happened last week.

Adoption Update

After a few years in the adoption process, we are very excited that last week we accepted a referral for a child who will, assuming everything goes smoothly, be a part of our family by the end of 2016! There are too many layers to this to share all of them with you right now, but suffice it to say that this news came at the best possible time and was an even more-spectacular-than-expected answer to prayer. Would you please pray for us as we finalize paperwork, write big checks (if you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation you can do so here) and prepare to spend almost a month overseas picking the child up later in 2016? We are hopeful that we can have more info to share with you soon regarding the age, sex & location of the child.

The girls come to Christ

Since our girls were little, we have prayed with and for them every day that they would follow Jesus. In one of our favorite moments of the year, both girls independently made decisions to follow Christ, went through our New Believers class at our church, Fairview Church, and were baptized by their daddy. We would love for you to see the video of them being baptized, as well as the video of them sharing their testimonies. You can see them all at this link.

A new home

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This year was also a big year for us as we bought a new house. After living in the Nashville area for almost 3 years, we finally moved out of our rental and into a home of our own. We love the house. It’s spacious (with lots of room for guests) and features a great yard for the girls to play in.

We bought our house in Lebanon, TN which is east of Nashville and close to our church. We wanted to live in the same community as our church, and have really enjoyed being near our friends. The drive is a little further for Micah, but he doesn’t seem to mind driving. We hope that you will stop by and see us sometime if you are driving through the area. We love to have guests so come see us sometime!

Kessed Noel

Kessed is now 9 years old (she’ll be 10 soon – that’s important and she would want us to share that with you 😉 ). Kessed is in the 4th grade and has been busy with school. This year we’ve learned that she loves art, and she’s gifted at it too. Our house has become a holding tank for Kessed’s art projects. We love her art.

She also saved her money up this year and purchased an iPod touch. She is a texting machine so, if you have an Apple product, and if she knows it, watch out because you may get inundated under a massive number of her texts. *grin*

Kessed, as always, loves soccer but with moving she took a year off. We anticipate her being back out there in the spring – and she has been adamant she’s ready to play again. We’ve been told that our new child is a soccer fan and Kessed is very excited about that.

Sarah Grace

Grace is now 12 and in 6th grade. In our area this means that she is also in the youth group. Thankfully we have a great church, a great youth group and a great youth pastor. Even still, we are not big fans of being old enough to have a child in the youth group. 😉

One of her favorite trips of the year was a trip with the family, and her friend Isabel, to Jackson, MS for her birthday. We had to be there for Micah to preach, and we took advantage of the weekend to take the girls to a Matthew West & Francesca Battistelli concert. The girls loved it!

Finally, Grace has become an even more voracious reader. She is rarely without a book in her hand. The other day Tracy was at the Post Office and couldn’t find her only to turn around and find her on the ground, in the corner, reading a book.

Tracy

Tracy had a great year as well! She got a new house and a new child (with our adoption), plus she and Micah took a trip to Hawaii for their 15th anniversary. Micah was invited to speak to Hawaiian pastors, and so Tracy joined him in early February and they enjoyed a few days relaxing together. It was wonderful! Tracy also got a new wedding ring this year. Her original engagement band broke and so we replaced it with a brand new setting, but were able to use her original diamond as the centerpiece of the new setting.

This was also a tough year for Tracy (and the rest of the family) as her Grandpa Kenny passed away. He had been in declining health for a while and Kenny loved Jesus, so we are thankful that he is enjoying the presence of Jesus now, but the loss was painful and Tracy misses him.

Micah

Micah has had a wonderful year. Celebrating the new house, his daughters coming to faith and the gift of a new child through being matched for adoption top the list, but he also got to see his commentary finally published and he got to attend Game 2 of the World Series, as Johnny Cueto pitched his Kansas City Royals to a win, and the Royals would go on to win the World Series! There were times when we weren’t sure we would ever see that happen, let alone Micah have the opportunity to be there in person.

A major change this year has been Micah serving as the Interim at First Baptist Jackson, MS.  First Baptist Jackson is an historic pulpit and Micah has loved preaching in their beautiful auditorium. Even more so, though, he has loved the people of First Baptist. The travel can be a bit much as he flies in on Saturday night and back out on Sunday afternoon, but he has really enjoyed preaching weekly to the same group of people once again.

So, this has been a busy year, but a great year. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2016! We hope you have a very Merry Christmas, a happy New Year and that God provides rich blessings to you and your family as you seek him through the next year!