I'm sure your family can relate to the busyness of Christmas. It is no different for our family. In fact, it might be a little more busy since Timothy was preaching for all the mid-week Advent services at church. With his work requiring more attention and Levi becoming more rambunctious, I felt like there was never enough time to rest leading up to Christmas. We also hosted 10 of Timothy's family members the weekend before Christmas. It was lovely to have family in town to celebrate with us.
Christmas Eve was wonderful, even though I didn't get to light my candle (thanks, Levi, for being extra wiggly that night). I played "Greensleeves" with Scott and Linda during the pre-service music. Greensleeves happens to be one of my favorite Christmas tunes. Then I played "O Come, O Come Immanuel" while Timothy read the opening litany and some choir members sang. It was really powerful. I love when music is worked into a service beyond singing hymns. I am looking forward to playing in church more. After the Christmas concert with the Wichita Falls Community Orchestra, I decided to end my involvement with the group. I thoroughly enjoyed playing the Nutcracker with them, but the rehearsal schedule was becoming too much for me to keep up with.
Timothy preached again on Christmas Day. It was only the second Christmas Day service that I have attended.... ever. Christmas Day service was not a tradition in my family growing up. I did enjoy celebrating Jesus' arrival with many of our church members that morning.
Boxing Day, a.k.a. the day after Christmas, we drove to Dallas to go to Medieval Times. Medieval Times is a dinner theater. We all enjoyed the show and the meal. Levi was enthralled by the horses and the competition. He also loved the chicken! It was the first time he has eaten a large quantity of meat. Our champion was the Blue Knight of Castle Valiente. Our knight did not win the tournament, but one of his companions did! So it was like winning. Levi has a souvenir sword now and likes to tournament Mommy and Daddy by chasing them around the house. Ever been chased by a squealing toddler with a sword? It's frightening!
New Years came and went without a hitch. We relaxed and went to bed on time. Timothy and I didn't even stay up until midnight. We're enjoying the days when we don't have to chaperone a child who wants to stay up until the new year.
Shortly after New Years, both Levi and I came down with the flu. We lost a week of our lives, no joke. We were both down for the count Sunday-to-Sunday. I'm now contemplating getting the flu shot next year...
This past week two major changes have occurred in the Roth household: I started a business as an Usborne Books and More consultant and Timothy decided to pursue chaplaincy with the Air Force. Both decisions have been coming a long time. My wonderful friend and now team leader had been nudging me to consider joining Usborne for several months. And now I've finally taken the plunge. Usborne Books is an award winning publisher. If you aren't familiar with them, take a look at their website: www.f4798.myubam.com. I'd be happy to chat with you as well.
Timothy had been toying with joining the military since high school, but tabled the thought when we started getting serious. He considered joining the chaplaincy candidate program during his first year at the seminary, but tabled the thought again when he couldn't get a recruiter to talk with him because he was not within the required weight range. On vicarage, we are within 15 minutes of an Air Force base. The second in command of the base just happens to be a member of the congregation. And in December, a new wing chaplain joined the base; he just happens to be an LCMS pastor. Conversations sprung up and Timothy's desire resurfaced. He has now talked to the Air Force recruiter in the area for the chaplaincy candidate program. Since we would be joining the program late in his seminary career, Timothy may need to extend his education by pursuing a STM degree. An STM is a separate master's program to gain a Master's of Sacred Theology. This is a more academic leaning degree than the Master of Divinity (which Timothy will obtain in May 2016). Timothy might also pursue a different counseling degree to delay his ordination in order to be part of the chaplaincy candidate program.
We also have another option. Timothy can graduate as scheduled in May 2016 with the Master of Divinity and join the Air Force reserves as a chaplain while gaining experience in the parish. After two years in the parish, he can choose to be called up to active duty and join the chaplain corps full time then. As our family weighs our options, please keep us in your prayers.