2019 Christmas Letter

December 25, 2019

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. - Isaiah 9:2, 6a

Dear Friends and Family,

Most scholars agree that Jesus Christ wasn’t really born on December 25, but that the date was chosen as the celebratory day. So why that day? Reading Isaiah 9, a possible explanation comes to mind. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, late December is the darkest time of year. The sun hangs low in the sky and slips away before evening (especially in Minnesota). The nights are long and sunshine is precious and scarce. We find ourselves often in literal darkness, wishing for more light in our lives. In the same way, humanity walked in spiritual darkness and longing before God revealed the marvelous light of His Son Jesus and his plan to bring his people to a land where there is no night at all - a new earth. What a wonderful picture God has painted in His world. As we move past Christmas and into a new year (and decade), may the light of this good news, this gospel, bring you great joy!

In January, we started the year off by adding to our family. When a friend offered us kittens from a recent litter, we decided we were ready to adopt. So Comet and Luna moved in and have brought much joy to our home. They are playful, affectionate and always hungry.

Elliott turned the big 1-0 this fall. We can’t believe how quickly he’s grown! Now in 4th grade, he is a fast and excited learner excelling at math in particular. Elliott played soccer again this year as well as player-pitch baseball where he got hit by a pitch in his first at bat and didn’t miss a beat. He also got the chance to visit Target Field with his team and walk around the field before the game. In the fall, Elliott’s class from school took a 3-day camping trip to Ely, MN and he returned with tales of no sleep and goofy inside jokes. Elliott is a fun-loving kid whom other kids gravitate towards in friendship and we are so proud of his empathy and inclusiveness.

Zachary is now 8 years old and in 3rd grade. Zachary was excited to see our backyard clubhouse finally get completed this year and he’s spent plenty of time adding features to it. He also played soccer this year and excelled at his preferred position on defense. The boys took up fantasy football this year for the first time and Zachary’s team, at the time of this writing, had advanced all the way to the Super Bowl! Not bad for a rookie! For Halloween, Zachary, always a perfectionist, designed an intricate cardboard box robot costume and received many compliments on his craftsmanship as he carefully made his way around the neighborhood. He’s a passionate, eager boy who often laments there aren’t more hours in the day to accomplish all his goals.

Becky continues to deftly navigate a busy and diverse schedule each week. From managing our church’s office to volunteering at school to helping friends and neighbors to playing rec league soccer, she’s always amazing and ever gracious and humble. As for me, I made a change in my job this year, leaving my quality microbiology laboratory after 12 years and taking a supply chain data integrity management role in March. It’s been a challenging shift that has kept me on my toes in a good way. Along with that, I’m still serving as worship leader at Hiawatha Church and love seeing how God is working in our community there.

Becky and I are both feeling our ages a bit these days with aches, pains and sleepless nights intruding on our bodies. Yet we are blessed by how our children keep us young and active and smiling and how Christ promises to never leave us nor forsake us. How wonderful to know that that is true. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

With Love, Peter, Becky, Elliott and Zachary Carlson