“ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.....And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-4,14
As this year draws to a close, it is remarkable to reflect on God's mercies and to see the perfect beauty He can make out of depravity, the thanksgiving He draws out of the midst of trial, and the sweetness that flows from potentially bitter circumstances.
Jesus, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” is sufficient for us to rise above our circumstances, call them all joy and lead a life of true liberty. We are so very thankful for this upward call from the Liberator of our souls.
“ But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4-5
Some highlights of the Hellwig year included a camping trip to the Great Smokey Mountains, swimming and picnics at a nearby lake, a visit from Oliver's mother, the joy of having another Hellwig added to the family of God, our first North Carolina garden, attending a Passover Seder, and many visits with friends and church family. When Christianna spent nine days in the hospital recovering from a ruptured appendix, God met us there and so graciously took care of all our needs. As it always is with God, it was a year of growth, change, and greater satisfaction with Him.
Oliver continues to freelance with Solar Pathfinder, along with developing other business ventures. It is a blessing for him to be able to work from home allowing him to better integrate our family's work and vision.
Lisa is ever learning, and very thankful for the home education movement, where she is acquiring a good education. Lessons on God's sovereignty, the sufficiency of Scripture, and the shortness of days are the mainstay here. Because Scripture speaks to every aspect of life, all of life opens up to a display of God's majesty, justice and goodness.
Gabrielle, nearly 18, is wrapping up her last official year of “formal” education. Studying Latin, Greek and Hebrew, sewing (she made the girls' dresses in the photo), writing, and continuing with her business ventures make up her days, along with photography, and, of course, reading.
She is our chief organizer, helping to keep the home and those in it running smoothly.
Timothy, 16, is considering career choices, keeping up with his lessons and his businesses. He has discovered he likes public speaking, and has enjoyed opportunities to attend conferences, helping out where he can, the latest being the Sufficiency of Scripture conference in Cincinnati,OH in December organized by the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC). Reading, gardening, learning some programming, and studying Scripture fill his days, along with engaging in theological debates with his sisters, and in Tinker-toy battles with three little brothers in the garage!
Arianne, 15, is chief baker, breakfast-maker, and general director of good cheer. She is in the middle of 10th grade, reading, learning to enjoy math, and running with Oliver and some of her siblings. She is always on the lookout for a baby to hold and care for, missing the fact that Benaiah is no longer a baby!
Christianna, 13, is wrapping up 8th grade and doing well in math, science, music and whatever else she sets her mind to do. Before her bout with appendicitis, she had progressed enough in piano to start learning violin. She and Elliot grew basil in their gardens this year, and have provided the family with plenty of pesto. Still always singing, she adds a whirl of activity and liveliness to the home no one else can provide.
Elliot, 10, has had a year of unusual growth. The Lord was working in him earlier in the year with the result that Elliot received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in May, and was baptized in October. He's progressed in maturity and mental prowess since then, along with a new tenderness and attentive attitude toward life. Still somewhat allergic to pencils, he's progressed well in math. He enjoys writing letters to people, wood working, gardening, reading and challenging Timothy to a good wrestle! He also whacks up a pretty good “mess of biscuits.”
Jedidiah, 7, is a very good scholar. Math, reading, spelling, writing, geography are all interesting and well done. Because academics come easily to him, learning to labor over things is his challenge. Paper airplanes, home-made bows and arrows, constructing tepees and forts, and cultivating and saving seeds for his future garden have filled his spare time. He's considering farming as a career, in light of his ventures in growing Swiss Chard, zucchini and garlic this year.
Tobias, 5, grew carrots in a large pot this summer, and gave one of them to his favorite deacon at our church, with whom he has kept up a correspondence this year. He nearly has all his addition facts mastered, and does quite well with spelling and reading, especially enjoying geography. He often helps Arianne as assistant baker, always ready to taste-test, mix and fetch ingredients. Giving wagon rides to the brave, playing frisbee and going for walks are some of his pleasures, along with fabricating bows, arrows, cannons, forts and woolly bear caterpillar habitats with his brother. Whenever he's hard at work concentrating on his latest task, he hums at the top of his lungs, serenading the whole house. 2010 will be a year of volume control!
Benaiah, 2, loves trucks, especially digger-trucks and bulldozers. He's decided that he will drive a bulldozer and wear a red hat and “grobs” (gloves) because, as he says, “I'm a man!” Some of his favorite experiences this year included “fwimming in a water with a jacket” (swimming with a life-jacket), “talk to Mommy in the ear” (using the phone to call Mommy when she stayed at the hospital with Christianna) and , while reciting his catechism, creating his own version of some answers: “God reveals Himself in His Word, and in nature...and in a keeper-truck (pick-up truck)!” He's a darling boy, beloved by all.
We are looking forward to the opportunities God will open up for us this new year. He always meets us where we are and brings us higher, closer to Himself, so that the creature would better reflect its Creator. He is not like us. His ways are beyond us. And He has given us His perfect, all-sufficient, comprehensive, sanctifying, light-giving, eternal Word, come in human flesh to remove from us the curse of sin by dying in our place, coming again to claim His Kingdom and His own children from the corruption of this world. The Word is Jesus Christ, the only One Who can save us from spiritual death in this world and the next. Will we stop listening to ourselves, and “let all mortal flesh keep silence” while He speaks to our souls through the Scripture, His Word to us today?
May your New Year be packed with His blessings. We love hearing from you. Please drop us a note, an email, or a comment on our family blog. And if you're ever in the area, please stop by. Our friendships with you are dear to us.
Oliver and Lisa,
Gabrielle, Timothy, Arianne, Christianna, Elliot, Jedidiah, Tobias and Benaiah
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firstname.lastname@example.org So they came in a hurry....” Luke 2:15-16