Dear Friends,

Christmas card bonus gift! Since Brad finished his doctorate this Spring, reading this letter may count towards the continuing education units (CEU’s) you need for your job. It’s not likely. But maybe. And, hey, it’s a gratuitous way to say that Sallie finally got the gift Brad had been promising in the last three Christmas letters. ?

Lawson is a freshman at Leesville Road High School. He worked hard to make the JV football team and started earning consistent snaps this season. We wish we had a picture of practice when JV worked against Varsity and 6’1” 170 lbs DT Lawson was going up against 6’7” 320 lbs OT committed to Clemson. “It’s like ice skating backwards in the dirt,” he says. Lawson also got his driver’s permit this year. Yes, that scares us a little, but he is as responsible as any 15-year-old driver we could imagine. It’s sad to think we only have 3.5 more years before Lawson is gone to college, but we don’t want to talk about that, so…

Marshall is in 7th grade and now officially taller than Sallie and has braces. He’s a gym rat who walks to the gym every day after school. It’s obvious he’s getting stronger because he obliterated Brad’s face, no exaggeration, this year with a line drive to the nose (pictorial evidence available at Marshall’s Rawlings baseball team is now playing at the D1 level. Marshall is excited to have made the Leesville Middle School baseball Varsity team as a 7th grader. Both Lawson and Marshall are doing a great job of keeping their grades up as they work hard on their other interests.

Sallie is now officially being recruited by three areas high schools to serve as the team mom for their football programs. Bribes are coming in the form of Krispy Kreme donuts. Sallie’s calmness in teaching Lawson to drive far exceeded the other parent, who wishes to remain nameless. This is also the year we fulfilled Sallie’s dream of having all the pine trees removed from the yard. She promises said-nameless-spouse the hideous muddy red clay dirt left after the pines will burst forth with beautiful luscious green grass come Spring like a scene from Narnia.

Brad did finish his Ed.D. Did we mention that? Brad’s biggest ministry project this year was leading the team that produced the Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused curriculum. In all seriousness, please make sure your church leadership goes through this material ( Sadly, Lawson outgrew Brad’s coaching prowess, but he still gets to coach Marshall’s Rawlings and school (assistant coach) baseball teams for a couple more years. When that is over, Sallie may have to let him get a puppy (subtlety using the Christmas letter to plant ideas #CounselorMindGames).

As you can tell, it has been another full year for the Hambrick family. Over the next year we would appreciate your prayers that we will (1) fully enjoy the now too few years that both boys will be at home, (2) prioritize marriage and family during a very busy season of life and ministry, and (3) grow in our trust in God’s character and effectiveness at sharing His hope with others.

We want to thank you for your friendship and the unique role you have played in the life of our family. Our prayer is that this Christmas you will experience the power, peace, and joy of Immanuel – God with us (Matthew 1:23) – and multiply that hope by sharing it with others.

Merry Christmas!
The Hambrick Family