Dear Friends,

I would talk about every year feeling shorter than the year before, but that would just make me sound old. But if I talk about the Christmas presents I’m anticipating that makes me sound immature. So I’ll skip the awkward introductory remarks and get to updating you on our family.

This has been a year when less was “new” and, instead, we have as a family and in ministry built on things that began in 2012.

Marshall is in first grade and, although he won’t admit it, really likes school. You can tell he feels “big” to get to do homework like his brother, although he still verbalizes a few complaints, also to be “like his big brother.” This winter he will play his first year of basketball and Lawson is excited that I’ve enlisted him to be my assistant coach (so long as he’s not a distraction).

Lawson is in third grade and the crown of his head now comes to Sallie’s chin. He’s filling out as a strong young man. The transition to his first year of kid pitch was quite an adventure for he and I. After taking a blistering fastball in the keister early in the season he remained brave and improved throughout the season. We took our annual “special trip;” this time sliding down a water fall and riding roller coasters (story and pictures here).

Sallie has continued to develop her home decorating business; between that and subbing at the boy’s school (which at this sweet age they still think is “cool,” even when she’s in their class), she is as busy as she wants to be. In just over two years she has just about gotten our distressed-seller-brink-of-foreclosure home to where she wants it to be. It has been amazing to see her vision and hard work come to life as she’s transformed the “haunted house” (how our neighbors referred to this place before we moved in) to a warm and inviting home.

Brad has officially resumed his Th.D. studies, which he put on hold for 8 years. This will allow for greater impact at Summit  by creating more synergy with his role at Southeastern. He published his third booklet (this one on burnout), completed the 5 part “Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage” seminar series, and recorded for the new GriefShare curriculum that will release in 2014.

Over the next year we would appreciate your prayers that we will (1) fully enjoy this sweet season when our boys are young and lay a good foundation for their future, (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 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 have opportunity to multiply the experience of that hope by sharing it with others.

Merry Christmas!

The Hambrick Family