Dear Friends and Family,
It looks like it’s almost Christmas time again. I’m not sure why I’m surprised every single year!
How about some stats since we last wrote:
Phil and Lisa celebrated 20 years of marriage in August. Phil continues to work for USPS, which means we haven’t seen him in weeks, since everyone… everywhere… orders all of their Christmas presents online! L accepted a new position as Director of Family Ministries at Asbury UMC in Portland, IN, in July. So we moved to a house located in the middle of a pig and chicken farm. Life is funny. She has also enjoyed being a part of the editing team for the book, Uncontrolling Love, which was released this summer. As part of the book launch tour, she traveled coast to coast and her feet touched both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in the same week. That was a highlight! We are looking forward to “sacred days” between Christmas and New Year’s, when the whole family will go “missing” for awhile from everyone except each other…
Seth turned 17 in September. He remains involved in teen Bible quizzing and continues to enjoy Lego, art, reading, and baking, which is a very good thing, because someone has to feed us in the midst of our busy schedules! Seth is a Junior in high school, this year. He is very helpful with generally keeping everyone on track from day to day, and he is looking forward to finishing up his school curriculum as quickly as possible!
Grace, also a Junior, turned 16 in October. She fills our house with piano music and teaches piano lessons, as well. We have come to realize that it is a great asset that she learned to play guitar, because that means we have mobile live music and can throw her into all kinds of random and spontaneous predicaments. She also continues to quiz and writes even more than her mom.
Caleb is in 8th grade and launched us into the “families with three teenagers” category when he turned 13 in May. Following in his siblings footsteps, he made two all star quiz teams this year. He has recently developed an interest in drafting and architecture, which means Grandpa is bringing him all of his equipment, like drafting tables and such. He is helpful with tech related stuff for children’s Sunday School, and he remains the “go to” guy when his younger siblings need anything (even in the middle of the night).
At age 10 (almost 11), Ian continues to be the spice of life at our house! He is in 5th grade and has begun to tell people that he plans to be a theological paleontologist when he grows up, which apparently means he intends to discover the back-story of the history of the world. If anyone can do it, it’s Ian. He is thrilled to have his own room for the first time ever, and we have discovered that he has definitely always been the source of the mess.
Miah turned 7 in March and is technically in 2nd grade, although she likes to tell everyone about her third and fourth grade schoolwork. She is so full of life and love and keeps us all on our toes! We are continually amazed at just how much we needed this bringer of all things rainbows, glitter, and unicorns into our lives! She loves Lego, wants to be an OBGYN when she grows up, and moonlights as “Pastor M Squared,” preparing sermons and worship services for which only my (L’s) mini-me #2 could be responsible.
We’ve had an incredible year of travel, heartache, blessing, tears (happy and sad), and decisions. It’s the stuff real life is made of. Somewhere along the line, I heard a quote about how, in this age of social media, we are all comparing our practice tapes to everyone else’s highlight reels. Christmas letters are highlight reels, too, friends, but rest assured. This year has been just as real for us as it has been for all of you. Because of this, we ask that you continue to pray for us as we navigate life, day after day.
May love overwhelm you in the coming year.
Phil, Lisa, Seth, Grace, Caleb, Ian, and Miah Michaels
“I know that there is nothing better
than to be happy and to do good while they live” (NIV).