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A Christmas Letter From the Thiessens for 2022

If life is a highway, the section I traveled this year was a construction zone, with adverse road conditions, exciting landmarks, a detour and reduced speed segments. Hope you enjoy this family update, and I'd love to get to know you better as well, so feel free to email me yours!

Road Conditions (Literally)

The journey of 2022 began with an unusually harsh winter; some schools didn't have a full week of classes until after spring break due to the frequency of snowstorms and poor road conditions. Canadian winters are long to begin with, but loads of snow and difficulties driving were something else. I think it had an impact on our community, particularly as these months saw a significant increase in our mental health consults through our emergency department.

Record snowfalls led to large amounts of water to move through creek beds, rivers and into the lakes in spring. Sandbags came out in full force. Farm equipment was urgently relocated to pump out water that threatened dikes around residential areas. We were so grateful for friends who shared their time and muscle to help us at the cabin as our deck became a dock.

Passing Exciting Landmarks

What's a road trip without enjoying the scenery around you?? Well, the prairies are kinda like Texas, a lot of flat driving without much to see. But our family shared some joyful moments.

  • We went to our first brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) competition for the kids. It was a lot of fun in a new sport and a joy to get to know the families from our gym over the weekend.

  • I finished my counselling practicum for my master's and I'm working on a few more classes with plans to graduate next year!

  • We celebrated my youngest daughter's 5 YEAR transplant anniversary!!! Glory to God alone.

  • I was invited to interview for the Africa Inland Mission Home Council. Being on the board has been a real privilege and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve our missionaries and learn from some great leaders.

  • The VBS program at our church saw bunches of kids making commitments to Christ!

A Detour

When the road isn't passable because of the construction work, they set up directions for a detour. It's a change in direction, but still get you where you're going. After 6 years on staff as associate pastor, my husband resigned in the spring. Discerning God's direction to move out of ministry for this time, he took a job at a local business doing logistics in the office. We are still attending and serving our church. They have since hired two pastors to the leadership team so ministry can expand and serve our community well. Our family has enjoyed being a part of the AWANA program and we're looking forward to starting life groups.

Reduced Speed

After travelling over speed limit during my fall & winter semester last year, there was some much needed time to recuperate and I was encouraged take the summer months for rest: Busyness, conflict and grief were taking a toll. Time at the lake over summer provided some space from normal routine and the opportunity to do fun things with family, develop new friendships and draw near to the Lord in His Word and His creation.

Construction Zone Ends

Coming out of the construction zone and back to normal highway driving is where I find myself as this year draws to the end. Our kiddos are 11, 8 and 6 (grades 5,3,1). They're growing in all the ways and they keep teaching me new perspectives, I'm grateful to be their mom. My husband and I got bit by the BJJ bug and took the intro classes, which has been a get-to-know-new-people-up-close-and-personal, with-a-bit-of-hurting, kind of fun. I continue my work as a nurse, consulting on mental health crises in our local ER. As I look over the year, there's so much gratitude for our health, our friends & family, the grace of God.

Planning for the Next Trip

My 'verse of the year' has been the same for the last couple of years: "To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thess 1:11-12). These words I pray for my family, ministry, and over my own comings-and-goings; for the Lord to continue to gives us grace to grow more like Him and for His glory to be made known in everything we do.

I pray these words today for you as well.

As we leave 2022 there is so much to reflect on, how God has been at work in and through us, via circumstances of our lives. I'd invite you to take some time to journal or write your own year-in-review. (There's a blog post here I really enjoy to guide you through it).

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