Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013 Christmas Card

2013 Christmas Card

In case I don't have your address, or your card didn't arrive today, here is the card and letter I sent out. What a difference a year makes!  :)

How the Wilkinson Family Spent 2013

Most years we include a poem or quiz with our cards,
To give a yearly update and send our regards.

We thought about doing so this year too,
By including a Wilkinson year in review.

We could share details such as…

At Boeing, Alan accepted a different position,
And bought a new car without Julie’s permission.

Julie turned 40, spent the night in a Chocolate Store,
Tutored, led Cub Scouts, directed VBS, and more!

Ryan got glasses, was interviewed on TV,
Started percussion lessons and won the Pinewood Derby!

But instead…

We would like to share with you a few of the lessons that God has taught us lately.  We now know that all of His plans were leading up to the most important event of all that our family experienced in 2013:
The adoption of Rachel Anne Wilkinson!

  1. God’s plans cannot be thwarted: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”  ~ Job 42:2.  It scares us to think that if plans had gone our way, Rachel would never be part of our family.  The rounds of IVF…the hoping and praying we would be matched with other birthparents…we tried so hard to add a baby to our family during the course of seven years.  Thankfully, God had a better plan all along.  Before the world was created, He knew that Rachel was going to be part of our family!  We can tell already that she is a perfect fit for our family!  She loves to snuggle, loves music, and even shares some physical traits with us. 

2.     God’s timing is perfect: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1.  We never imagined we would have a 10 year old and a 10 month old at the same time!  However, God knew the perfect age difference for our children.  Ryan wouldn’t be the same person he is today if he had a sister sooner.  God waited until Alan was done traveling to Florida and Julie had stepped away from some responsibilities at church before granting us another child.  Ultimately, we know He was waiting for Rachel to be born!

3.     God gives us strength in whatever difficulty we face: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10.  There have been many disappointments along the journey we took to expand our family.  Mercifully, God was with us every step of the way!  While we can’t really say we are glad for experiencing the frustrations and challenges, we can say we are grateful for the opportunities to rely upon and trust in Him.  We have certainly grown closer to Him along the way!

4.     God answers prayers: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” ~ 1 John 5:14-15. We are so thankful for the prayers and encouragement from many family members and friends that helped us make it through the difficult times.  It was, and still is, a delight to share our exciting news with everyone!

5.     God grants us the desires of our hearts: “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” ~ Psalm 37:4.  In addition to 16 years of marriage, a smart, handsome son, and a cute, fluffy puppy, we now have a healthy, beautiful, baby girl.  What more could we want? We give thanks and praise to God for granting us our hearts’ desires!

We really could go on and on.  God is so good!  “For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” ~ Psalm 100:5.

Thank you for sharing in our JOY this year!

Alan, Julie, Ryan, & Rachel Wilkinson

And just so Rachel won’t feel left out…

Rachel got 4 teeth, grew 10 inches, and gained 16 pounds,
Found her voice, learned how to crawl, and is cruising around.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to our family and friends!
We wish you peace and God’s Blessings as 2013 ends!