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Our Joy

Have you ever noticed that life is continually in the change mode?  Just when you think you have this happy little rhythm going on you find yourself running into a wall, out of sync and making major adjustments.  This whole change thing is especially noticeable at Christmas.  The most wonderful time of the year.  Suddenly our “Hallmark” Christmas of the past can become just a shadow. 

Over these past two years Ronnie’s mother passed away and her home was sold.  Debbie’s mom’s health has continued to decline and her home was also sold.  Our daughter and son-in-law moved to another state far away.  For years our standing place to be on Christmas Eve was at Ronnie’s parents with his family.   On Christmas morning we had an intimate celebration at home with our children and later that day we celebrated again with family at Debbie’s parent’s house.   The traditions are hard to let go of.

In times of drastic changes, it’s important to grieve our losses.  To allow ourselves moments of reflection and even sadness.  A part of our life is gone forever.  No matter how much we want to hold on to it, we can’t. 

But, thankfully, our joy is not dependent on our  circumstances.  Joy is not just a giddy feel-good emotion.  Abiding joy, one that continually rests inside our souls, is a deep inner contentment that rests completely in Jesus, our constant companion and comfort.  It is only in a relationship with Him that we roll with difficult changes, always being aware that He will never leave us or forsake us no matter what.   He is our stability...our Rock.

For this reason, it’s necessary for us to regularly pause and be quiet before Him.   We seek His strength and joy for each day.  When we let His peace wash over us, we gain courage to continue walking the journey He has set before us.  We ask Him to direct our steps and make our paths clear.  He prepares our hearts and minds for new things. 

For both of us and our family it’s a different kind of Christmas this year,  but our hearts are truly full for all we have today and the many sweet memories as well.  Our relationships with family and special friends are strong and abiding.  Even when we don’t get to see them, they are always a part of us. 

Although every Christmas holds it’s own special memories, life is always changing.  Nothing stays the same. Children grow up and move away.  Loved ones die.  Homes are sold.   Our ultimate joy is only found in a Person.  Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord is our constant in our ever-changing world.

Friends, we are so thankful for your kindness and support this past year. We are  also grateful Ronnie is gradually recovering from his knee replacement from a few months ago.  Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers! 

Hoping we’re not announcing this prematurely, but we’d like to end this blog with some EXCITING NEWS!  We are making plans to complete (Lord willing)  a lavender shop on our small farm!  We hope to have open hours in the Spring!  We will keep you posted on our progress in the coming days!  We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!!

Fondly remembering the old and embracing the new!

Ronnie and Debbie



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  • Debbie Brown on

    Thank you Stacey!! You are always a blessing! We wish you and Walt and your family a Merry Christmas and a very blessed 2020 ❤

  • Stacey Atkins on

    Thank you so much Debbie, for such a sweet reminder of where true Joy comes from. Everything, at least all of the “normal” Christmasy things we have known and loved all these years, have changed for us too. It’s challenging to make so many adjustments but I thank you for your encouraging perspective. Sending you and Pastor Ronnie prayers and blessings this Christmas💜

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