Saturday, December 24, 2011
Hamilton Christmas Letter
Hello and Merry Christmas to all of our loved ones! Jon and I can’t decide if 2011 can exactly be classified as a “good year,” but one thing we do know is there has never been another year quite like this one! Perhaps miraculous is the best word to describe the past twelve months for our family. It was certainly filled with a variety of contrasts and much drama. Thankfully, there was this unreal sort of joy in the background of it all which somehow made even the hardest of days seem good to us.
Jon and I are rapidly approaching our 1st anniversary on December 31st. During the first few months of our marriage, Jon tested out my promise to love him “in sickness.” Most of you know how Jon nearly died twice. But, after a major open heart surgery and 4 lengthy hospital stays, he is healthy once again ... and I’m able to say that though my love for him did not waver in the midst of sickness, I certainly enjoy being his wife during times of health much better! We are immensely grateful to everyone who prayed for Jon’s healing, sent cards and emails of encouragement, brought food or made hospital visits. Jon is truly a walking miracle and his renewed health is a constant reminder to us of God’s amazing powers, amazing love and amazing grace.
Many people ask us how blending our family of five children has gone, and wonder if the chaos ever gets to us at all. Actually, we have discovered that we rather like the chaos! Our small home is crowded and noisy and often cluttered with shoes and toys, but it is a happy home and we wouldn’t trade it for all the calm and quiet in the world. Best of all, recently we’ve had several people tell us that they cannot figure out which of our children belong to Jon and which ones belong to me ... which thrills us because we both think of all five as “ours.” Another testimony of God’s mercy to our family!
As hard as this past spring was for our family, we had some amazingly joyful times as well. Julia and Maddie both asked Christ to be their Savior within a 2 week period, and then Jon was able to baptize all 3 of our daughters in November. It was a day that we will cherish as parents, knowing that all 5 of our children have now put their faith and trust in Christ Jesus. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about anyway?
For truly, shouldn’t Christmas be more about the cross than the manger? Since Christmas is only the beginning of the story of salvation, shouldn’t we then acknowledge that the manger in Bethlehem wouldn’t be worth remembering if it weren’t for the cross of Calvary? For our family, Christmas is simply pausing to celebrate how the very God who spoke the oceans and mountains into existence humbled Himself to walk among us, fully man and fully God, and then allowed mankind to kill Him for sins that were not His so that we (who deserve it least) can be made holy and perfect in His sight.
The very thought makes our hearts want to sing with the angels ... “Gloria in excelsis Deo!” We pray that your heart is singing this Christmas, too!
With love and joy,
Paige & Jon Hamilton (along with Maddie, Joel, Megan, Nathan and Julia, too!)