Wow! Its hard to believe another year has flown by! Another year filled with the rhythm of work, family and worship. A year in which we have been amazed at God’s generosity in pouring out His grace, mercy and love.
Grandchildren continue to be a wonderful delight. Lois has the privilege of taking care of Joy and Tony’s three boys most days. Kari, who lives close, often brings Sarah over so the cousins can all play together.
One of the best gifts we’ve ever received is that our family likes to be together. Joy and Tony and their boys, Brady, Broc and Brandt live just five miles north of us. Kari and Jeremy and Sarah live almost five miles west, and its just another five miles from their house to where Jim’s Mom, Clarice, is still in her apartment in Fremont. Peter drives down from Des Moines as often as he can and we all sit around a big table and eat and laugh and enjoy life.
Lois helped Kari and Jeremy move to another rental house in August. It’s a much better house and they already see lower utility costs for a larger home. Jeremy is enjoying his work as an electrical engineer at John Deere in Ottumwa and Kari gets to be a stay-at-home mom.
Joy and Tony are expecting their fourth child on March 3. They have chosen not to know the gender so it will be a surprise for everyone! Tony continues as CEO at State Bank of Bussey and Joy really enjoys helping at the bank as much as is reasonable.
Peter changed jobs in June and is now working for Berkley Technology in Des Moines. He is still living in Ankeny and remains very involved at Point of Grace church in Waukee. Yes, he is still single – patiently waiting for God’s direction in that area of life!
Clarice, Jim’s Mom, had a bad fall the end of July. No broken bones but it really irritated her already flaring arthritis – especially in her knees. She is still able to live on her own but now uses a walker. We see her often and bring her to family activities as much as possible.
In June the Christian Churches voted to continue Jim’s position which can best be described as a pastor to the pastors and leaders. This means that Jim travels an average of 12 days a month and spends countless hours on the phone, answering email and writing a weekly e-newsletter. He really enjoys the challenge even though much of what he does is helping pastors and church leaders through tough times. Three times in the past year he has done leadership retreats and those are definitely highlights because they are so positive.
Lois has been able to travel with Jim to the Kansas City area several times, to Colorado Springs and to visit a few of the churches here in Iowa. We took some vacation earlier this month and visited friends in Bloomington which was a real treat and one of the most restful times in recent memory.
Its always good to hear from you – we enjoy your letters, calls and emails! May the blessing of God’s presence invade every facet of your lives.
Jim & Lois Eschenbrenner