Merry Christmas! I wanted to share our family Christmas letter as a way to update you all on our pregnancy and our lives. I hope to write a true post to the blog soon. Thank you–truly from the bottom of our hearts–for the prayers you have prayed for our family. We are so thankful for this new life literally leaping within me! -Misty
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17
Dear Friends and Family,
Merry Christmas! As always, I have waited until the last possible moment to sit down and write this letter. I’m just as busy as all of you–well, most of you–so I find my days filled with tasks that seem so necessary and pressing at the time. I rarely take the time to go on a date with my husband, have lunch with a friend, call someone and have a really good heart-to-heart, or sit down to write a letter. Yet I think these will be the things I wish I had made time for one day. These are the things God uses to feed my soul.
What I do find time for are two kiddos who keep me busy and frazzled, yet madly in love and generally contented. Our house is one of those houses. The kids run inside. They yell across the house. They slam doors. They are messy. They are creative. They are loud. There are days I think I have done it all wrong; there are others when I know everything is as it should be. There are days when I feel defeated because Josiah just jumped on the couch. There are other days when I feel like the queen of moms because my kids just linked arms and ran across the backyard together. I do some of it right; I do a lot of it wrong. It’s life. His grace is sufficient for me.
After two years of petitioning God for another child to add to this deliciously crazy household, we decided that God must have closed that door. Maybe we were confusing missing Anna with wanting another child. I looked for the positives of a life with two children–affordability, ease of going to an amusement park where no one had to ride alone, affordability, one-to-one ratio for reading stories at bedtime, affordability. We let it go, deciding that although we were disappointed, this would be our life and it really is a pretty good one. I even sold many of our baby things in a garage sale.
Of course, the day after we sold off our wares, we found out we were expecting! Crazy giggling and squeals of delight ensued, especially when Abby walked in right after I told Joey and figured it out. We have had a whirlwind of emotions–from jubilation to anxiety–but we are so excited to say our baby boy seems perfectly healthy. Jackson Glen McMath is due April 3rd. We are so delighted that God has entrusted another child to our care. We can’t promise he won’t jump on couches, but we can promise He will be treasured and taught all about the God who brings beauty from ashes.
Big sister Abby and big brother Josiah are over-the-moon thrilled. True to Abby’s nature, she already dotes on her little brother, talking baby talk to my belly, asking if he can sleep with her when he gets a little older, giggling with excitement when she sees a new baby outfit. And true to his nature, Josiah is very protective. He wants me to lie down and rest, doesn’t want me to carry heavy things, and asks if I am okay regularly. He also talks to the baby and likes to put his hand on my belly. Both kids have felt a few kicks. Jack is a very active baby, doing somersaults, karate kicks, and maybe even jumping over candlesticks in there. I think he is my most active in utero baby. This is a little scary.
New, wiggly little ones abound on the McMath side of our family. We gained a nephew in July, Judah Cary, firstborn child of Joey’s youngest brother Jonathan and his wife Lacey. In November, Lauren Olivia was born to Joey’s younger brother Jeremy and his wife Jennifer. Fun fact: Lacey, Jennifer, and I were all pregnant “together” for about a week, although we didn’t know it at the time. MeMe and Pop Pop are in absolute love with these two precious babies. I see many mule rides and romps in the woods ahead!
Also added to our family this year were five goats. We took our Santa-Rosa-County-Fair-award-winning chickens (had to get that in the letter) and our baby goats out to Berrydale, where they would have a much better life. Paw Paw graciously joined us (aka Joey) in this venture. I may be dreaming, but I think Daddy enjoys taking care of them. (If I am dreaming, do not wake me.) Paw Paw also added a dog to the mix, so basically, Berrydale is even a little more like heaven than it used to be for my kids.
This year has been a big year for our funny, social, active, sometimes explosive Josiah. He asked Jesus into his heart in April (I know that’s an out-of-fashion phrase in churches, but it actually made more sense to our kids than “accepting Jesus as your savior.”) His experience was simple but heartfelt, a starting point for a lifelong relationship. It is so humbling and amazing to see God at work in your child. Josiah also started kindergarten this year at SS Dixon Primary School here in Pace. He is doing well; he doesn’t adore school the way Abby does, but, alas, he is a wild-at-heart boy. I have no intention of trying to train that sense of adventure out of him. Josiah loves having play dates with neighbors, learning, reading books with us, building things out of Legos, cardboard, dirt, etc., and using his imagination. Rounding out his time, he took gymnastics earlier in the year, played Upward soccer this fall, and is getting ready for basketball season.
Our sweet, bright, cheerful Abby transitioned from the primary to the intermediate school this year and is in the third grade. She has learned her multiplication facts and is working on cursive handwriting. She started taking piano lessons, which she really enjoys. (Yay!) She enjoyed ballet and gymnastics earlier in the year, loves singing, playing soccer, reading, playing with her dolls, and spending time with little ones. She has a heart for children and orphans. To give you a sense of her personality, her desire right now is to become a pediatric heart surgeon who runs an orphanage on the side. She would also like to have six or more children. Should make for an interesting life. I have not decided whether or not I want to live in the same town.
Life here keeps moving forward, propelling us into circumstances we never dreamed we would face. This has been a difficult year for many. Our sister-in-law Lana lost her father and a dear, dear uncle this year. We have watched many close friends mourn the loss of their loved ones. It’s sickeningly painful. This was never the way God meant for it to be, and one day, things will be made right. We will spend eternity with our Maker and with the loved ones we so desperately miss.
We can only have such hope because of Christmas. You may not have all your loved ones with you this year–I know I don’t–but I am praying that each one of you will feel the embrace of the ones God has given you for this time, the ones who are holding on with you, maybe even looking to you to carry the light your loved one always carried for you all. Rest in His promises and in His love. He will be that Light. I pray He will shine even brighter in your darkest of nights.
Misty, Joey, Abby & Josiah McMath