Surrender, that’s the word I’m claiming for 2022. I’ve had a lot of time in the past year to reflect on how I want to move forward with the coming year and new ministry teams arriving in the DR. I’ve always been a planner with an eye for detail. I like to know what’s ahead and have a backup incase Plan A doesn’t come to fruition. There have been circumstances that have happened in the past couple of years that God has used as a reminder to me that I cannot lean on my own understanding, but that I need Him daily. I need to daily surrender my plans and give my day up to Him. This is easier said than done.
I shared with you a couple months ago about our spontaneous trip to Florida after I had recovered from Covid. Typically trips like this would’ve been very hard for me. My anxiety gets the best of me and it’s hard to enjoy the present moments because I’m caught up in the “what ifs”. I feel like I have come a long way. So much of my daily responsibilities with Solid Rock International revolve around communicating logistics that when it comes to my personal life I don’t want to have every minute of my day planned out….I just can’t.
So here’s to what’s ahead in 2022, it has already been off to a different start than I had planned, but that just goes to show who is in charge, and that His plans are much greater than mine!
Now back to what all has been going on in the last month for our family. I wrapped up the student sponsorship updates and got all of the letters organized to be sent out with the 2021 tax statements.
The kids wrapped up school on Monday, December 13 and we left for Santo Domingo to fly to the midwest for the holidays.
Jeff’s parents greeted us in Chicago and drove us to Peoria to spend a week together. It felt surreal to be able to spend the first half of December in the Dominican enjoying all of the holiday traditions and then to fly to the states and still have half the month left to enjoy American holiday traditions! We watched Christmas movies, played games, and laughed together!
My parents drove to Peoria, Illinois on Saturday, December 18 and we attended the Northwoods Christmas Production. It was fun to see familiar faces and catch up with friends that we had not seen in a while!
The next week we drove to Fort Wayne, Indiana to spend time with my family. My brother, his wife, and baby were also there. This was the first time we officially got to meet our new nephew who was born in August 2021! Braegan and Brantley loved all of their time with Baby Clay!
We attended the Christmas Eve Service at Pine Hills Church, and then took a stroll through my parent’s neighborhood after dinner to enjoy the Christmas lights. The temperatures for December were so nice, especially after traveling from the DR.
On Christmas Day we opened gifts and ate a big lunch followed by football in the afternoon. My brother and Braegan are big Packers fans! The kids spent the day in the Christmas jammies and playing together!
My sister and her fiancé had spent the last week in Texas with his family and arrived back to Fort Wayne on Christmas night. We had brunch the next day to celebrate with them.
The rest of our time was spent hanging out. We didn’t have many plans and it felt good to just chill. The kids were excited to see snow, and Braegan was able to have a snowball fight with Trent and Katie. I was content inside next to the fire.
Following our time in Fort Wayne we spent a day in Indianapolis before flying out. Our initial plan was to leave Indianapolis at 6:30 pm on Friday, December 31 and land in Santo Domingo at 3:00 am on Saturday, January 1.
Tyler had met up with us in Indianapolis to make the trip back with us. When we landed in Fort Lauderdale for what was supposed to be a 2 hour layover we were informed that our flight was cancelled…just what you want to hear on New Years Eve at 9:00 pm. Jeff spent time in line waiting to figure out our options for getting into the DR. We were able to get booked on the same flight for the next day. We found the cheapest place we could stay which was only about 5 minutes from the airport.
We arrived to our room at 11:45 pm, just in time to unload our things, turn the tv on to see the ball drop in Times Square, and look out the window to watch fireworks. Braegan was so excited to say that she was up until midnight on New Years Eve. We were all exhausted, but so thankful to know that we had a place to sleep as there were many people sleeping at the airport due to their flight interruptions.
On New Years Day we were thankful to spend the day with Roger and Judy Zimmerman as they are currently vacationing on the beach for a couple months. To summarize what I said at the beginning of this post, it’s best to accept that we have no control of our situation only how we choose to respond to the situations. The picture below is our view for a majority of New Years Day. The kids got out all of their energy in the pool and running in the sand.
We arrived back in San Juan on Sunday, January 2 at 6:00 am. Thankfully we were all able to fall asleep. Our team that was scheduled to arrive on the same day also had a flight delay and they didn’t arrive in San Juan until Monday which gave us some time to get our bearings and unpack.
We have a busy month ahead and are expecting our next team to arrive in the DR tomorrow. Braegan and I have been busy with homeschooling during the mornings. The weather has been beautiful too. I’ll leave you with this picture of our two happy kids who are glad to be home after a crazy start to our week and year!
Ways you can be praying for us:
- our 2022 ministry schedule
- the remainder of the school year
- our health
- renewing of our Dominican residency
Happy New Year! Here’s to hoping you can embrace the unexpected and enjoy the present moment!