Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Letter 2014

** The Doughans in 2014 **

2014 started with a surprise BABY due in October 2014!  Corinne and I wrestled with this news.  Before the baby surprise, we were content moving on to a new season of life without babies.  The Lord had already blessed us with three wonderful children.  We thought the Lord was transitioning us to a new season of service, a season of greater engagement with people outside our home that needed to experience God’s love.  But, God changed our hearts and we began looking forward to snuggling a newborn again.  We started making baby plans.  We would need a minivan…did we still have those baby toys in the basement?  However, our baby saw Jesus' face first instead of ours when Corinne miscarried in February.  "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."  (Job 1:21)  Corinne named her, Faith.  We planted a tree in the backyard in Faith’s honor and remembrance.  The kids speak of our baby often when they tell friends, neighbors, or people in line behind us at the store – that they have a sister that got to go to heaven early and how they can’t wait to get to heaven to see what she looks like…we still got the minivan.

Oh, what lessons our Savior teaches.  He works on our hearts.  2014 did become a year of wonderful service opportunities – but not until He ruled more completely on the thrown of our hearts.  He is King.  But we pretend we are in charge.  His plans are better than our plans and He is helping us be okay with that.  Odd that this experience would help Corinne and I trust Jesus more, but it did.  We are grateful for his pruning – we have never been disappointed at his gardening of our life. 

So much HAPPY happened this year, too! 
v  Colin: free from MBA studies, engaged with wife, kids, church, and work in impactful ways that the MBA previously prevented…and the grass got mowed more consistently.
v  Corinne: got braces, volunteered in the classroom(s), sang at church, helped coordinate church’s children’s ministry, and enjoyed her mochas (so she could stay awake to do all of these things!)
v  Jackson (8): is in second grade, finished all seven Harry Potter books, lost his first tooth, is learning piano and computer programming, and played baseball this summer.
v  Micah (6): is in Kindergarten, loves to read (his current topic of interest is pyramids and ancient Egypt - until he chooses a new topic tomorrow), is learning to ride his bike, and teaches us Mandarin at the supper table, ni hao.
v  Anora (3): attends “Mommy Preschool,” where she began reading lessons, and enjoys Curious George, Legos, her doll house, and mowing the grass with Dad.

What a joy we shared this year to see the growth of our kids in their relationships with each other (yay for sibling friendships) and in their knowledge of God and The Gospel (already questioning their parents’ faith in thoughtful ways) – love it!  LOVE it!

Our prayer for you, Dear Friends, is to experience the sovereignty of God in your lives.  No locked doors.  No secret rooms of the heart.  He loves you too much not to demand his kingship in your life.  The connection between sovereignty and submission is difficult to understand yet sweet to enjoy.  Psalm 136 reminds us of this love, “Give Thanks to the Lord for He is good, his Love endures forever.”  At Christmas, we see this sovereign love personified.  

Merry Christmas from the Doughans! 

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