“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Luke 1:32-33 (ESV)
Merry Christmas and a happy new year! As the year draws to a close, we are reminded to remember and reflect upon the goodness and mercy God has shown to us. He has blessed us with health, financial stability, and a wonderful church family. Most importantly, he has given us his Spirit, who is transforming us into a dwelling place for God. This aspect easily summarizes the year for us.
For both Jisu (age 34) and me (age 33), not much has changed on the job front; I still work in aviation maintenance management and logistics at Camp Humphreys, and Jisu takes care of our home. In contrast, however, this year has seen immense spiritual growth. Jisu got baptized in March. For me in November, and Jisu in December, we each attended a Tres Dias weekend, a three-day retreat and spiritual journey, with an emphasis on studying scripture, living a life of piety, and being men and women of action. Each morning we wake up to Scripture, and a time of family devotions with Q&A precedes bedtime for the kids. God has shown us that teaching our children about him is the single most important thing we can do for them as parents. At our church, I continue to lead worship a couple weeks each month, and Jisu has been active in the nursery.
Zoe is almost four years old. She takes ballet lessons twice a week with most of her day care classmates, and loves showing off her arabesque. She enjoys reading the back of the cereal box and helping make pancakes. She is outgoing and friendly and greets everyone she sees, oftentimes making their day. She learned the Lord’s prayer after listening to me pray with her before bed. She has since followed that up with memorizing Bible verses, reciting them to me each day as I leave for work. She prides herself on being a good big sister, quick to console a crying Susie with a heartfelt embrace.
Susie’s second year has been full of firsts. She began walking the night before her first birthday party, and like her older sister, rides the swings like a boss. At just shy of two years old, she is an adept communicator. She fearlessly tries out new words and is patient and persistent when we do not immediately understand; as a result, her vocabulary is easily in the hundreds of words, occasionally speaking entire sentences, and in multiple languages (though thankfully not usually at the same time). The other day she was flipping through one of the myriad hardback children’s books we have in the house. I asked her what she was reading, half-expecting a structured response detailing the cardboard pictorial’s deeply profound subject matter. True to my smart-aleck genetics, she replied, “a book.” She loves everything about her big sister, mimicking her at every opportunity. When Zoe started praying for Mom to go to the gym, a few nights later she followed suit with a simple prayer of her own: “Mommy… gym.”
Though our girls provide many smiles and laughs, they are a gentle reminder that our work is not finished. And we can be sure that the job is not ours alone, nor are we alone during any of the other trials we experience in our daily lives, as God will never leave us nor forsake us.
May God richly bless you and your family in the coming year.
Erich, Jisu, Zoe, and Susie Oelschlegel
“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.” – C. S. Lewis
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12 (ESV)