Maralyn's Updates

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our Christmas Letter

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means God with us. Matt. 1:23


What an unusual but blessed year we’ve had! As most of you know, June 21, 2007, brought the news that Maralyn has ALS, a degenerative neuromuscular disease. So last August we moved back to the States to facilitate her medical care. It sounds difficult, and in a way it has been, but we have been keenly aware that our Lord is Immanuel—God with us. We have been looking back over our lives and celebrating God’s presence among us all along the path. We can see…

• How blessed we were to both be raised in loving families who pointed us toward God.

• How fortunate that we were both at Evangel College at the same moment and found each other there.

• How God gave us many lifetime friends during our years at Evangel.

• How it was God’s good plan that we chose Wisconsin as our first public school teaching location—a place where we would live 17 years before our missions work—and a perfect place to land afterwards.

• How God arranged a work trip to Brussels in 1984 which became the launching pad for our missionary teaching career.

• How God gave us the privilege of preparing hundreds of young people for ministry.

• How God gave us the gift of pastoring the international church in Helsinki for one year.

• How God protected our boys and helped them thrive through our missions experience.

• How God brought two beautiful daughters-in-law into our life, both from godly families.

• How God gave us five grandchildren to love…and there’s a sixth one on the way! David & Rhonda are expecting their fourth and it is due on Maralyn’s 60th birthday. (And we now know that it's another boy! How cute is that?!)

• How rich we are with friends…like YOU!

It’s clear that Immanuel has been with us all along the way, and His presence still graces every day!

This photo was taken when our family was together over Thanksgiving.

Merry Christmas from both of us!
Jim & Maralyn

P.S. If you've been following my story from the beginning, you may remember that the doctor said that I probably had 12-18 months to live. If you look at your calendar you'll see that today is 18 months. My life is in God's hands! What better place could it be? mm


Blogger S&s said...

Love you Maralyn and Jim!!
Big Hugs,
Saara and Sami

6:57 PM  
Blogger Dr. James O. Lowell said...

Bless you Maralyn and Jim and Merry Christmas! Yes, your life is in God's hands Maralyn. The best place to be and He is in control.
Love you both, J& J

8:00 PM  
Blogger Bryan said...

Just reminding you how much I appreciate your influence on my life, and how much we love you guys... Tina

9:40 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

how inspiring... wishing you all a very happy christmas:)

3:13 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

You two have blessed us over and over and now you're continuing to bless us! Merry Christmas!
Jill & Terence

8:02 AM  
Blogger Chuck said...


Wishing you, Jim and all your loved ones a wonderful Christmas season and new year ahead!

Chuck Cox

8:40 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

Merry, merry Christmas to you 2!!
We are hoping to see both of our kids sometime during the next two weeks. Your family photo was adorable! Those lives are priceless and you have influenced their futures forever! Thanks for your bravery through this difficult time--God is truly glorified through both of you.
Much Love,
Sherry and Rich

10:10 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Jim & Maralyn,
Thank you for sharing your life through your writing - rich and full of the goodness of our Lord. May you have a blessed Christmas.
Love & hugs,
Nancy Keefe

8:25 AM  
Blogger p&t said...

In looking back like you have done in your Christmas letter or in reading of “the good news of great joy that will be for all the people” the focus is in Immanuel. As you put it so nicely “His presence still graces every day”. With life in God’s hands, and His presence overshadowing the life that He has given, there the promises of His Word become alive as a steady bridge to the future. No matter what the future holds He embraces you in every breath you take and in every move you make. Thank you Maralyn and Jim for letting us see His steadfast love shining through and in your life! Merry Christmas! P&T

11:09 AM  
Blogger Teddybear said...

Maralyn I just started following your blog 2 months ago and I want to tell you - you have encouraged, me everytime. I am glad that God has choosen you to help spread the word, you do it so beautifully.

May the Lord Bless you and yours continually everyday. May He keep you in the palm of His hands helping you along the way.

May you have a Blessed Christmas.
Love Deb.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Brandi said...

Merry Christmas!!

9:22 PM  
Blogger thehsmomof3 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Cookie Kaluka said...

Jim and Maralyn,
Thinking of you tonight.
We love you.
Glenn and Cookie

8:33 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home