Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas On 34th Street 2014

Instead of printing out a letter to family and friends, I decided to post my summary of 2014 and allow those who want to know what's up to read it.  The others can give a big sigh of relief that they don't have to worry about not caring about us here.

2014 started out shaky.  I had to have foot surgery at the beginning of February, which meant I was limping until then.  Surgery went well, but recover was ... bothersome.  Six weeks on crutches and in a wheel chair with no weight on that foot was exasperating, to say the least.

Yet in the healing, the waiting, God came down and "tabernacled" with me.  He was my constant companion during that time, more so than He usually is.  For just as the Baby Jesus came as Emmanuel, God with Us, God's Spirit will come and dwell in you if you believe.  So for me it was a time of closeness with God.

About a week after surgery, Wayne's father died.  We were kind of expecting it, but it is still difficult to realize we are both parent-less.  Orphans.  God claims that He will be a Father to the father-less, and I take Him at His word.

Memorial weekend brought the graduation of our 3rd grandchild up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Caleb Smith.  We had a wonderful "vacation" sharing a townhouse with 2 daughters and 2 granddaughters.  We walked, a lot, and road bicycles and scooters (age appropriate there).  Wayne grilled our meals and Tasha did laundry each day.  We celebrated Caleb's pass into adulthood with camp fires and food and fun.  And FAMILY.

On the church-front, we both found some new ways to serve our Lord and Savior through Faith Bible Church.  Wayne became a greeter at the front door before the EARLY service.  A perfect place for one who loves to chat and joke, and can't sleep past 6.

I was able to wheel myself to rehearsals for a Good Friday skit.  The Youth Drama did an awesome job!  Then we were right into Vacation Bible School drama practices as the kids were Secret Agents to the Kingdom of God.  Presently I'm directing a bunch of animals, I mean children, as they get ready for Dec. 14th worship with a drama called The Manger Mystery.  It should be hilarious. (Note:  I missed the performance due to a stomach bug, but I heard they did great.)

Through all of this our grandkids grew one year older.  We enjoy watching Drew (7) & London (2) a few days a week.  I love having Liza come over with Evelyn(3) and Isaac(18 mos) once a week.  We are looking forward to another grand-girl graduating next May, Madelyn Ausenbaugh.  Sydney Smith transferred to a college in Riverside Christian College (not sure why she wanted to leave cold and snowy Michigan for sunny Cali), while her brothers Corbin and Caleb started classes at schools in Grand Rapids.  Elijah Ausenbaugh is an entepenuer in high-end atheletic shoes while he enjoys High School.

Jenn & Patrick purchased a new home and Jenn moved from Grand Rapids to Missoula, MT.  The rest of my girls continue on in good health:  Jeff & Tammy remain in Omaha, while Tasha & Jeremy and Liza & Nick live here in Lincoln.

Christmas on 34th Street is rather quiet.  Wayne and I will head to the Christmas Eve service to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.  And Christmas Day will be spent at his sister Sharon's, a long-standing family tradition.

God has been a close Friend this year, even through the trials and pain.  I find great comfort in going into my prayer room and sharing my heart's burdens.  Does He always give me my requests?  No.  But in the praying I am acknowledging that He is God and I am not.  I humble myself to Him and accept all His answers, good and bad, slow or quick.

My prayer for each one of you is that You will humble yourself before our God Almighty and realize that you can't save yourself out of sin.

That's why Jesus came.  That's why Emmanuel (God with Us) was born that Christmas day.  We needed a Savior, so God gave us His Son.  When Jesus died He took away our sins and the guilt from them.  God did everything that HE required from us.  We need do nothing to earn His salvation.  But, just like in prayer, we must become humble and acknowledge that we can't do it alone, by ourselves.  We need God's help.

So may the true Spirit of Christmas come to "tabernacle" in each of your hearts, now and into the New Year.

Blessings,  Wayne and Peggy Schafer

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