|My sweet family on Christmas Day, 2011|
The following is our Christmas letter for 2011.
Why (you may be asking)....why are you posting it now?
Because it just got done. Yep. It got finished and sent in February. Sigh.
I have many dreams. One of them is that I will someday get my Christmas letters out BEFORE Christmas.
Until then....my friends and family can read my Christmas letter in February!
Thus I will strengthen them by my power,
and they will walk about in my name,”
says the Lord. Zechariah 10:12
Ornaments are boxed up. The tree is taken down. Lights are stored away. New family friends’ pictures are on the fridge. Valentine’s products are in the stores. But even with all those signs that Christmas is definitely over there are still a few Christmas letters straggling in from the people who couldn’t quite make it all happen before the holidays. Don’t you wonder what is wrong with those people? I mean, it is called a Christmas letter after all? Don’t they know that?
Well, since we are one of the “theys”, I can answer for all of us in the “Late Letter Club”. We are all very aware that our letter is late, it just that we are also long standing members in the “Better Late Than Never Club”. So yes, once again, the Macias missive is arriving in your mailbox later than it should. Such is the way we travel down this road that the Lord has placed us upon. We limp, we sprint, we lag, we catch up, and we sometimes show up late. But we do keep trying to show up! Our walk down this road of life can be bumpy and occasionally treacherous, but it is also a walk made more beautiful by our companionship with the Lord and our friendship with each other.
But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength;
they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary,
they walk without getting tired. Isaiah 40:31
The Papa has faithfully walked the road set before him this year. Nathan has continued working on his company EduNation with the other two partners and while it has not been easy, God has faithfully led and taught in that. One new path Nathan has laid is a path over to Lackland AFB where once a month he gets to minister to Basic Trainees in a Sunday School setting. This has been a perfect ministry for him where he can teach, edify, equip, and encourage. There are also recently some new, exciting roads opening up, both with business and with ministry. For the business opportunities you will have to read next year’s letter to see what develops. As for ministry, he is looking forward to teaching in our church several times in the upcoming months, and will be helping with a new ministry to business men in our local area.
The Mama took an amazing road this year…one that landed her at the Mediterranean Sea! Some dear friends took Susan, Grace, and Leah along on a 21 day cruise that hit amazing spots all over the Sea. She was pretty bruised at the end as she had been continually pinching herself to see if she was dreaming! Besides that amazing highlight, she has also been busy this year with the “normal” road of real life- teaching the girls, organizing the home, juggling the schedule, and doing the next thing. In the “spare” time she taught at some women’s events this year, helped with several weddings, and wrote regularly on her blog, “Whatevermylord”. This fall God brought a new path for her to travel. She has begun working with a small Christian school, Summit Christian Academy, where she is assisting with the administration and development of the school. Walking with the Lord is never short of surprises!
I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4
The Fireman has forged his own path with a mix of adventure, work, hobbies, and friends. Caleb continues to enjoy firefighting and the occasional moments of extreme adrenaline it can bring. Besides Luke, there are 3 other friends who share his house with him…think of a fraternity house, but without the fraternity. One of Caleb’s adventures this year was driving his motorcycle up to Colorado by himself in May. Besides increasing his family’s prayer life, this also gave him great opportunities for photographs. Photography is one of his hobbies and he has been Grace’s assistant at a couple of weddings. He has been playing soccer in a league with a group of old high school friends as well as coaching varsity soccer for a homeschool team. His personal situation has not been resolved but he is surrounded by friends and family who love and support him, and he is constantly accompanied by his two loyal, playful dogs, Toby and Tess.
The Politico has laid a new road for himself by starting his own company this year, a political consulting company called Macias Strategies. Luke has clients all over the state and is working hard on their campaigns. This involves lots of time on the road, lots of time on the computer, and lots of time talking…so, yes, it fits him perfectly! Luke, who has been full of opinions since he could speak, maintains several blogs and websites: lukemacias.com; effectualchange.com; theyouthchallenge.com. Besides all the hard work he also fits in playing soccer, traveling, being in friends’ weddings, and talking on the phone more than seems humanly possible.
The Bible Student enjoyed a year in the Rocky Mountains at Ravencrest Bible and graduated from his first year course. And then after a summer of working lawn maintenance in a record hot, dry drought in Texas, Aaron hit the road and high-tailed it back to Colorado for a second year of leadership training at Ravencrest. We aren’t sure what he sees in this life in the mountains with its low humidity, beautiful views, and opportunities to climb and ski, but apparently he enjoys it! We were glad to have him home over Christmas when he brought his jokes, puns, help, and hugs back to our house (as well as his laundry of course!). What does the road ahead hold for Aaron? As of now, he is not sure where God would have him go next, but he is sure God knows!
The Photographer has officially started her business and has shot two weddings as well as several other paying jobs. Grace is in her senior year of High School and is working hard to finish up her course work. Besides working her business and working on school, she is again participating in Speech and Debate and is the President of our local club. Our first tournament is right around the corner so she is feverously working on her new speeches for this year. This past December Grace turned 18 and is looking forward to voting in the upcoming elections. The Mediterranean turned out to be a perfect place to take lots of pictures! (Imagine that!) You can see them on her blog: gracefulview.blogspot.com. Her road is as busy as a city street at rush hour, but she seems to enjoy it!
The Almost Driver is just about to get her learner’s permit, and she can hardly wait. One reason is that Leah already has a car! God led her on a path, years ago, to the door of an elderly gentleman, a German immigrant named Mr. Scheffrahn, with whom she developed an incredibly close bond. The whole story is way too long for this letter, but amazingly, in October when he stopped driving, he gave her his car. Sadly, he died this year, but Leah is writing a speech about his amazing life and will use it in Speech and Debate. She will also be debating, which will hopefully be a good channel for her many opinions! Leah studied hard this summer and passed her second CLEP test. Her trip to the Mediterranean not only scratched her traveling itch, but it may have ultimately made it worse! So it will be interesting to see what other roads she embarks on in the future.
The ‘Tween is at the fascinating crossroads of girlhood and womanhood. Hannah is growing up every day, if not as much in height, at least in maturity. But she also has retained the joys of childhood and we hope she won’t rush out of them too soon. She loves to organize and is the first child of our family who has ever been told, “Please stop cleaning and go do school!” She has made some great strides academically this year, and while she has to work extra hard learn things, she is willing to push through and do so. Hannah is also anticipating her big 13th birthday celebration this coming spring. She will be taking to the highway with us this year as she starts her first year of Speech and Debate competition which should be a perfect match for her well-developed dramatic abilities.
The Dancer has officially gone from being a living room dancer to an official studio dancer. Abigail began tap and ballet this fall and absolutely loves it. She has caught on quickly and can hardly get enough of it. She also loves her piano and continues to take lessons from Grammy. She likes school, most of the time, and usually finds it easy. She is a voracious reader and right now is devouring the old “Happy Hollister” series, a series Susan loved as a child. Abby still loves elephants the most, she still doesn’t like to sleep by herself, she still daydreams and keeps herself entertained for hours….…so we all keep hoping she might just stay a little girl. But alas, the signs are on the horizon that she will also travel the road to adulthood…just like all the rest.
He has told you, O man, what is good and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
Well, there is a quick overview of our roads, paths, highways, and by-ways. God has been so faithful to our family on the many avenues He has allowed us to travel. Our goal has been to walk them, whether they have been easy or difficult, in faithfulness and in obedience to Him. And while we have sometimes succeeded and have sometimes failed, He has never failed. He has never failed to light the way, to come along side, and to carry us when necessary.
We pray His blessing, favor, and care will cover you on whatever road you find yourself on this year.
We can proclaim from experience: He Is Faithful!
~Nathan, Susan, Caleb, Luke, Aaron, Grace, Leah, Hannah, and Abigail