Friday, December 21, 2012
Christmas Letter from Me to You
Kris A. Newman Freelance Writer
December 21, 2012
If you know me at all, you know I’ve never done a Christmas letter. I live a quiet life splashed with moments of laughter and love. Before now, I have always shared my life with those close to me because they were, literally, close to me. Since moving around these last couple of years, however, I see that my network of friends has spread many miles and it’s impossible for everyone to know what’s going on in my corner of the universe.
So, here it is. My first attempt to catch everyone up with more depth than a Facebook post, but not as intricate as a blog post. I apologize if it’s redundant and please don’t mistake it for bragging. As I sat to consider what in the world I would write, I found myself looking at a couple of huge events that I’ve waited – WE have waited – a long time to see. I feel compelled to stretch back a bit as there were some major lifetime milestones crossed and maybe we haven’t had coffee in a bit so you might not know.
November 2010 – A Book of Pages About Crossing Bridges published
The first time a collection of my rambly words found its way to print in a real book with a cover and ISBN and Amazon.com listing. I’d had a blog for awhile and my readers kept asking when I was going to write a book. The stories and poems that fill its pages simply fit together.
May 2011 – Graduation from St. Catherine UniversityBachelor of Arts, Written Communication is what the diploma with my name on it says. I wore a cap and gown with an honors chord - the whole kit-and-kaboodle. I cried from the moment I stood on the steps waiting for my name to be called until I crossed the stage, shook all the hands and walked down the stairs on the other side. Thanks to all of you who fed me, encouraged me, believed in me and helped me along while I found myself.
November 2011 – A Friend Named Jesus published
A second collection of rambly words. Some of the pieces of this book had been in circulation many, many years ago. A little polished, a little spiffed, and a couple of additions made. Again the pieces fit together as though they had been waiting for someone to come along and get them in a book.
Having two books in print has also afforded me many travel opportunities to Women’s Conferences and District Camps to sign and sell. That has been a great way for me to meet new friends and reconnect with others. Blessings come from so many paths.
February 2012 – Bapka’s House bought
It doesn’t seem reasonable to the logical side of my mind that now that I’m alone, I would buy a house bigger than any house I had ever lived in. Why now when there is no one to share the lawn work, I can’t help but wonder. But the right opportunity at the right time in the right space opened before me and so I made an investment which I now call home. About two minutes away from my grandbabies in a quiet little town, I am.
July 2012 – 5ive for Women magazine http://5iveforwomen.com/
A casual meeting with a magazine editor has turned into a steady flow of magazine article writing. The magazine is smart, trendy and witty. On their behalf I have interviewed a Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice, a television anchor, foster parents and pierogi makers. I count myself honored to be a part of its writing staff.
See what I mean? I look at those milestones and realize I have lived a chunk of life all of a sudden! I have always wanted to be a writer, some of you have reminded me of that. You told me you remember me saying when we were kids or teens or raising our kids together, “Someday I’ll be a writer.”
I have had long, deep conversations with some of you sharing my self-disdain for my lack of education. I longed for a time when I could say I had gone to college, exchanged ideas and argued my thoughts. Life has a way of making us feel as though dreams are for someone else, those luckier people who walk a step ahead of us while we are busy working.
Now at the grand old age of 46 I have something new to tell you, my friend. If God has given you a dream, keep working toward the dream and it will eventually come to fruition. The talents you possess are meant to enrich the world. Give them time to grow, use them where you find opportunity. Don’t stop dreaming. Don’t let life steal your calling.
We know my life hasn’t always been easy. Even in the middle of these milestones are heartache, sadness, challenges. Long stretches of loneliness when I wondered if God had forgotten me all together. These things didn’t come easy to me. In many ways, the books are shouted in the face of my distracters and ride on the heels of the hardest time of my life. Life is like that.
Many, many good things are strung between those milestones, too. Times with you chatting, drinking tea and strolling, laughing at everything and nothing, watching you pray past hurdles and smile victoriously in the face of your hardships. Angelbaby kisses and professional accomplishments hang on that string of time, too. I see blessings overcoming the hardships when I look behind.
I could easily have filled these pages with stories of my grandbabies which would make you smile. But that, surely, would have been bragging. I could have told you how fantastically well my sons are doing in their relationships, ministries and professions. But they are grown so I leave that now to them.
I wanted, instead, to use this opportunity to encourage you and share with you how good God has been to me. I am convinced God directs my path and has made it so I can see these dreams come to life. If He would do this for me, He will do ever much more for you. Yes, I am sure.
I pray you are enjoying the gift of life today. Blessings and grace to you and yours this Christmas season.