And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (ESV)
As the sun shines its final rays in 2013, it is helpful to look back upon the many ways God has blessed us. Easily the greatest blessing was the addition of a baby girl, Susie, to the family. Our beloved family Bible study disbanded this year due to some key people leaving, but it allowed us to get more involved in our church – I currently lead one of the worship teams at our church and Jisu is a key volunteer in the nursery. In November, after almost three years living in the same apartment, we moved to an apartment complex across the street due to our former landlord having to sell the place. We had to give our piano to Jisu’s sister and rearrange furniture accommodations, but on the whole I am happier with our new, cozier home than our last.
I turned 32a this year to little fanfare (just the way I like things). I still work for CACI as a defense contractor at Camp Humphreys supporting an Army aviation/intelligence unit in the maintenance and logistics arena (four years now). The turnover rate among soldiers is horrendously high, but at the moment there are good leaders in the shop, and my boss is a Christian.
Jisu is 33b and a stay-at-home mom. She meets weekly with a friend for Bible study, and goes to the gym each evening after the kids are in bed. She likes watching Person of Interest with me and enjoys a good beer every now and then.
Zoe is just shy of three years oldc. She is fluent in Korean and pretty good at English – her pronunciation isn’t bad, but occasionally we find ourselves wondering which language she is speaking in. She is defiantly independent, but still sweetly says “coming, Daddy” when I call her. In the mornings, she sits in a big chair and eats cereal with me; in the evenings, she sits on the toilet and reads me Dr. Seuss. Recently, she has taken up ballet, attending two classes per week in the afternoons. Her favorite thing is crawling into bed next to me about fifteen minutes before the alarm goes off. (How do they know?!?)
Susie turns the big ONEd on January 10th. Hard to believe, almost a year ago she arrived, plenty big (9+ lbs), but thankfully short on labor. She is very quick to learn and pick up new abilities. She says “mama” (baby Korean for food), “appa” (Daddy), “umma” (Mommy), and sometimes “unni” (big sister, i.e. Zoe). Baby sign language for more and all done round out her communicative abilities. She can stand on her own and bob up and down without losing her balance but doesn’t walk quite yet. She enjoys putting things inside other things, knocking over block towers, and being carried by Jisu. She unknowingly plays coy to strangers, and her dimpled smile greeting me after work is like hot buttered rolls.
Amid all the turmoil going on in the world and in our lives, we may remind ourselves to love one another, both in times of accord (which is easy) and in times of disagreement (which is not). This Christmas, we celebrate the birth of the one who came to bring true peace – not to broker the trivial arguments of man, but to bridge the infinite chasm of sin that separates us from God. But his example of humility sets an example for human relationships, too. This Christmas, resolve to heed Christ’s command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Were we truly to love one another, peace we would have. May the Lord bless you and your family this Christmas.
Erich, Jisu, Zoe, and Susie Oelschlegel
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:3-7 (ESV)
a This required some mental calculation, as my thirties have taught me that one’s age is easily forgettable – among other things.
b American age.
c 35 months and 4 days, to be more exact.
d This is the last footnote.