Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Letter 2008

Dear friends,

It’s Christmas afternoon and my family has just finished unwrapping gifts accompanied by warm coffee and holiday cookies. Turkey dinner is to follow in about an hour. It’s raining outside, and I’ve heard more than one person comment that they like the rain because it makes Christmas feel cozy. Normally, I’m in favor of sunny and 70 for Christmas, but my current state of reflection on the blessings in my life doesn’t allow any room for discontent with the weather.

This has been a year of changes for me, and I feel so blessed by the opportunities I’ve been given. At the beginning of the year, I was working at a job I really didn’t like much, but I was laid off in March, more of a relief than anything else. I was immediately freed up to focus on what I had already decided to do next: go back to school.

In May, I was accepted to San Diego State’s MSBA program in Finance and Tax Planning, and was also blessed with a part-time job opportunity that would be flexible with my school schedule. Through that opportunity, I made some connections that together have provided me with enough work to meet expenses while I’m in school, mostly working from home, which is great.

In September, life got busy as I nervously began classes, not really sure what to expect. This is the part where can’t help but be grateful for a very good undergraduate education, because after years out of school, I found my skills were up to the demands of grad school. As the semester continued, I found my studies rewarding and interesting, which was further confirmation for me that I am in the right place at the right time.

The end goal of this degree is to become a financial planner. If all goes well, I will finish the degree next December, and then take a certification test and look for work in the financial planning field. I’m very, very excited about working in this field, and I can’t help but feel that I finally have figured out what it is that I want to do when I grow up… and having wondered that for most of my life up until now, this feels nothing short of amazing.

Another gift this year has been the opportunity to renew old friendships and the blessing of new ones. I was able to visit friends in Iowa and Minnesota and also attend my cousin’s graduation from Dordt College in May. I also was able to spend a few days on the remote Northern California coast thanks to the generosity of friends, and also visit several friends and family on the way north. A few days of retreat on the coast, soaking up the beauty of God’s creation and relaxing was a wonderful gift.

I have learned the most this year in the process of making new friends. If left up to me, I may not have been smart enough to choose wisely, but God placed some wonderful people in my life this year that have challenged me and become good friends. I am thankful so much for friends who not only make life’s journey more fun, but teach me new things and always cheer me on when I struggle along the way.

I went to church this morning to worship the newborn king, to rejoice in the gift of God’s son. His gift is for everyone, and I hope this Christmas finds you blessed with the joy of this amazing gift.


P.S. For more on what I did this year, check out my post on the Highlights of 2008.

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  1. What a nice letter! I hope you had a Merry Christmas. This year Christmas was at our house, which went very well, but I have a feeling I'll be doing a little clean up today.

    PS you have such nice reflections!

  2. Rebecca, Very much enjoyed your Christmas letter! I'm very glad that you life is blessed. God has plans for you. Don't miss them! Michael C