I have not written a Christmas letter for many years, but if I wrote one, this is what I would say:
Dear friends and relatives,
Merry Christmas to you from snowy Minnesota! It is only December 22, and I am already worried about where I am going to put more snowfall. There are snow mountains in this prairie land, and it's going to be white for a long time. I suppose when I think back on 2010, that is one thing I will think of: it was "the Year it Snowed Too Much." I don't know about last January through March (can't remember back that far), but this last snowy month of the year has qualified this as one of the year's headlines. What would be the other headlines for me, of the year 2010? It was also:
The Year We Went to Mexico
I had never vacationed in Mexico before. This was just five days in January, but it was different than anything I had done before. (Well, it was little like our one-and-only cruise back in 2001). We left on New Years Day and came back on Epiphany. It was nothing I ever expected to do, but a suggestion from someone else. And sometimes an idea that I didn't think of but someone else's suggestion turns out to be the very best thing. (See: Paris.)
The Year I Learned to Knit Socks
Yes, I finally made a pair of wool socks with size one needles. I have wanted to learn to knit socks for about 30 years. There was some barrier to learning in me, and now I am making other knitting projects too. I have also knitting two lacey scarves, 3 pairs of mittens, two baby blankets, three pairs of cabled footies, and one hat. I am wondering how to apply the lessons of knitting to other areas of my life. Because there are other barriers too, that I would like to break down.
The Year of the Lonely Summer
My colleague retired on June 6, after 42 years of ministry. Throughout June, July and August, I served as the solo pastor of the congregation. An interim senior pastor arrived right after Rally Sunday. I learned a lot during those three months as solo pastor. I learned some gifts that I didn't know I had. I took some risks in preaching, and I learned how important pastoral care can be, done right. I am still learning lessons, and wondering how the lonely summer will make me a different, and a better pastor.
The Year I Got Published
I got a two-page article published in Word and World magazine, a quarterly journal from my seminary. I also got two blog posts recognized by the Christian Century blog. cool. How can I do more of that?
The Year of Vacations
Each time away was short, but besides Mexico, we visited Arizona, San Francisco and the North Shore of Lake Superior. oh yes, and three days in Atlanta.
A year of light in darkness:
In a time of transition in my congregation, I was amazed at the great attendance at three midweek advent services.
I rejoice in new babies born this fall.
I recognize new challenges and people who will help me rise to the occasions.
I connect with young adults who have not given up on the church.
I give thanks for the talents and gifts of my husband and two stepsons: musicians and deep and thoughtful thinkers. The world is a better place because they are in it.