Christmas 2016 - Family and Legacy


What is your legacy?

In our ministry, Great Commission Families, we have always dreamed of leaving a legacy through our family and beyond it, of redemption and hope to people around the world - helping to build the church and sharing the gospel message of Jesus Christ with all who will listen.  Since our family is a big part of our legacy that the Lord seems to be using just as we had hoped, a family Christmas update seems appropriate.  I think I have been especially impressed this year with my adult children and spouses - by their walks of faith and desire to serve the Lord in their families and local church bodies. 

A small update on each:

Josh now serves as deacon in his church and helps there in many ways.  He and Kerin lead a small group in their home.  Josh received a promotion last year when his company restructured - I think his hard work and intelligence coupled with a humble heart made him stand out as someone to help the company into a new era. He got his company's "Co-Worker of the Year" award for 2016, an award where employees nominate people and from their nominations, the CEOs pick their choice, so the award reflects the respect he has from those under, beside as well as over him - such an honor! Well deserved! He also has enjoyed venturing into real estate and I am in awe of all he juggles, also serving his wife and children and working hard at home - Kerin said he gives 200% where ever he is, at work and at home. They have plans in place to add a needed addition on their home in the Spring!

Kerin has an incredibly full life - managing her family with six children, and her home, homeschooling and running a hair salon business in her home. She serves as a tutor in Classical Conversations, leads a Thrive Moms group, keeps up with many friends and family and supports them in so many ways.  And she repainted some of the main rooms in her house in the Spring.  How does she do it? She is strong on organization and helps me at times to get down to the most streamlined plan for something. The whole family is part of a Classical Conversations co-op with Abbi moving into the Essentials level which requires more time - they all are there once a week in the morning for their core classes, and then the younger children have Spanish and Music classes while Abbi works on Essentials in the afternoon. Abbi and Rachel also continue in the church orchestra, Abbi now being in the advanced group. Bethy started official violin lessons with a real teacher this fall.:)

Aaron also had a promotion this last year and is someone his company counts on for vision and leadership in decisions to move the company forward.  He is very hard working leaving no detail unturned and mopping up after others at times to keep the quality of their tech product high. In his church he and Christina co-lead a small group. Interestingly Josh and Kerin sold their cow and got rid of their chickens this past year, and Aaron and Christina started a new chicken adventure!  They now have a lovely chicken coup built by Aaron, in their back yard and are getting fresh eggs. :) They are taking the family on mini trips to state parks and had their first family camping trip this year, which from the pictures I saw looked lovely and fun. They are exploring taking some counseling courses together in the new year to better equip them to understand and serve and love those around them - something in my opinion they already do incredibly well!

Christina helps coordinate a new homeschooling meetup to inspire young moms, and the interest shown and attendance at the two meetings so far has been amazing!  Incredibly social and supportive, I don't know how she does it all! She is a wonderful Mom to her two children and keeps them busy and mentally stimulated with lots of books and adventures.  She is always sweet and encouraging and fun to be around! She had a lovely garden this past summer and I enjoyed some of the produce she shared with me. :)  She is always busy with adventures and activities and friends! She is positive and seems to find beauty in everything and is often an encouragement to me. She is a deep well of helpful creative ideas and solutions for anything I bring up with her! I have her to thank for the light strings in these pictures as well as the idea for the trees to frame the picture. :) This fall Ezra has started Awana with Daddy and children's choir with Mommy! He is growing up so fast - all the grandchildren are!

Sarah has had more opportunities at church this year to play at services and accompany the high school choir, and has also been hired as interim pianist for the evening services.  She is taking composition and orchestration and arranging classes online through Berklee and is enjoying every minute. Her various piano studios continue to grow and she really is managing so much its incredible.  Time with friends, parties, dinners out and swing dancing get squeezed in when she can take a break from the intensity of her work and study schedule!  Really she has no days completely off right now.  She loves getting into interesting philosophical conversations with people when she can - hard actually to find that as much as she would like!

Daniel saw a cardiologist this past year and we are needing to keep on eye on some things with his heart. Nothing dramatic but some things to watch.  Also, he is helping us around here by managing a online book store we started at Amazon to try to sell some of our used books.  He is so disciplined, pays attention to details and works very hard!  We haven't had a lot of sales yet but are just exploring things and figuring out how to price the books, so hopefully it will grow.  He continues to serve at Bernie's side during retreats and conferences, always ready to share a scripture from memory in an inspiring way.  He always gets much applause and it is a good fit for him.  He continues to love and create beautiful origami and I am hoping something can work for him eventually to sell his own designs - Kerin found that some people sell original origami cast in metal made into jewelry on Etsy; I am thinking this might be something to explore with Dan eventually that he would be quite good at.

Me The four adult women continue to try to meet once a month, we studied 1 Cor. 13 together, and now have started working through Ephesians.  What each woman offers is always inspiring to me!  The granddaughters are still coming here once a week to practice violin with me, and I meet them at their violin lesson on another day, so I know what to work on with them when they are here. A treat for me was accompanying them in their October recital! We try to watch Ezra overnight twice a month so Aaron and Christina can have a date, and Christina tries to weekly bring Ezra here for a mini violin practice with Sarah. Bernie and I have started up biking again in the hopes of improving some health related things. We really love it, and a few days a week we are working our way up the C & O canal in roughly 10 mile sections towards Washington DC. It is a fun fall adventure for these '50 somethings.' :) A lot of the rest of my time is used managing our home and supporting the people in it and working with Bernie in our ministry in many ways, including writing. Some things I might try to add as I simplify my life, would be traveling more with Bernie in ministry, possibly starting a piano studio, and I would also love to join our church's choir.

Bernie keeps busy with American History Outings and ministry and is an awesome husband.  There is certainly a sweetness with growing old together, we have weathered a lot together, had lots of jostles in turns in raising our family, and I think nothing can compare to the sweetness that brings to a relationship. He is a good and faithful and hardworking man and I am grateful for another year to share our life journey together. He has seemingly boundless energy and extroversion, I am awed that after talking all day for a tour, he comes home and keeps talking to me!  I find I have much more energy and momentum in my work if I don't go out as much, and am almost completely opposite in terms of my introversion. :)

In closing, we wish you and yours your best Christmas ever! We are grateful for so many of you who send us updates on your own families this time of year! God is good and He is with us all as we journey ever onward into His great grace!

Linda for the Bealls

Photo Credit: Brianna Estrada