Not many Christmas letters begin with words from Lamentations, but Team Leland’s does…
“I remember my affliction and my wandering; the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them and my soul is downcast within in me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:19-23)
2011 for Team Leland has been a time of change and in the midst of it, we have remembered how great God’s faithfulness to us has always been, even when it is sometimes easy to reflect upon the negative “we call this to mind…”
Some things change a lot…
Stephen headed off to college and life around the house in Colorado Springs changed. As the picture shows, we celebrated his graduation in style, And lifting him up, his brothers will tell you, was made all the more difficult because of the number of “honor cords” he wore. We were very proud of his accomplishments including being named Titan Exemplar of the Year for his balanced excellence in academics, athletics and service to the community. He has just completed his first semester at Baylor University (Sic’em Bears!) making the Dean’s list as well as becoming very active in his Army ROTC unit, including competing in the Ranger Challenge for Baylor.
Change hit in May when Chris left Focus on the Family and the Focus Leadership Institute after ten years and joined the faculty of Colorado Christian University (in Denver). Even with a longer commute the Lord’s blessing has been all over it . It has meant returning to the Communication classroom, starting a new speech/debate program for the University, and doing some special projects for the President of the University. It is an exciting time to be involved with CCU!
Change came as Nicolas hit his 16th year with a new drivers license in hand and a cool new (used) Subaru Outback for taking his brothers to school and himself to baseball practice, and to lead worship at The Way (an interdenominational youth gathering each week). He also drives himself to school so he can crank out his great work on his grades as he heads into the second semester of his Junior year at The Classical Academy toward the top of his class.
Some things change a little…
Becca continues to enter her “crazy” season this time of year as her work at Glazier Football Clinics ramps up and adds to her busy-ness of running our household and the lives of Team Leland. Baseball Mom, Domestic Engineer, Taxi Driver, and Accounting Professor are all things that could be listed on her business card. She did find time this year to make a couple of trips to spend time with friends (a cruise with Colorado Springs girlfriends; and a trip to Indiana to spend time with Huntington girlfriends).
Other than the major change of shooting up just under six inches this year, Christopher continues his athletic ways. All-Star Little League baseball, club/traveling team baseball, League Champion Jr. High football, Lineman of the Year (played both center and nose-guard); and now at 13 he has decided to take up basketball. His first year of Junior High at TCA is a success both academically and socially.
Matthew is quite good at being 10 (in everyway possible). His change came when he transferred elementary schools within the TCA community. The change of venue has changed very little in terms of his striving for excellence in the classroom. His life continues to be full of baseball (spring, summer, and fall), and basketball (fall, winter, and spring). He makes us laugh even on our worst days!
Some things NEVER change…
God’s provision and faithfulness for Team Leland has been extraordinary. As Lamentations suggests we could all be tempted to reflect upon the past year and dwell on the things that challenged us, but we are to be reminded of His great faithfulness. That part of God never changes. Neither does the fact that in that faithfulness He sent His son to become a part of humanity to save us; an infinite God becoming finite by being tied to a lowly Jewish girl. Could anything be more puzzling or profound?
May you and yours reflect upon the past year and this season with His faithfulness in mind!
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
(Chris, Becca, Stephen, Nicolas, Christopher Jr. and Matthew)
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Leland; Nicolas Leland; Christopher Leland – (we’d love to keep in touch)