December 22, 2008

2008 Family Christmas Letter

Yes - it is true... this is sort of like cheating - but with Christmas only a couple of days away, I wanted to post some sort of update, and yet am (like everyone else) a little short on time!

So - below is our family Christmas letter for 2008...
Until next time (which, in all honesty, will probably be 2009!)

I don’t know about you, but we are still waiting for snow
– still waiting for it to begin to ‘look a lot like Christmas!’
The decorations are on display, the lights are on,
the tree is decked out, & (some of) the presents are wrapped
& yet it still seems impossible to be sitting here,
writing another Christmas Letter already!
This year has gone by SO incredibly fast,
& it was a busy 2008, full of family, friends, & fun times!
As I reflect back over the year,
I can honestly say that I am in AWE of how God
blesses & takes care of us; of how He leads & loves us!
Speaking of LOVE, our little family all three decided
to read “The Shack” this summer.
If you haven’t heard of this little book, you are about to!
Even though inevitably there will be something in there
that you probably won’t agree with,
or that doesn’t quite line up with your thinking,
I highly recommend this book.
I would love to send a copy along with each letter
because the allegory so tenderly yet powerfully
expresses the Father’s Love!

It’s hard to not find ourselves focusing on LOVE this time of year!
Between family & friends, nostalgia & tradition,
shopping & wish lists, parties & pageants… at the root of all we do,
it is (or should be) Love that compels us!
After all – we are called to follow after our newborn King
who was so compelled by His Love for us,
that He willingly gave up His life, so that we may live!
As if that wasn’t enough,
it’s His Love that continues to draw & guide us!

At the end of last year, I had come to a point where (finally!)
I was ready for change! As much as I did not want to make a
New Years’ Resolution, I knew it was time & by the end of January
I had made some changes & stumbled upon
So far this year, I have lost nearly 60 pounds (& counting).
I knew that this year would bring breakthrough in many areas
& would open up new opportunities for me, - for all of us!
Kayelyn had a new opportunity of her own in January
when she attended her first ever church camp!
Winter Camp was amazing for her & it really impacted her!
In February, we took Kayelyn & Holly to the Portable Sounds Tour
with Matt West, Jeremy Camp, & TobyMac. What a show!
We also got to see our favorite comedian live in town at the
Capitol Theater! We had a great time laughing at new & old material with Brian Regan. He makes us laugh every time! In March, thanks to Facebook, I met up with one of my dearest friends from high school days! It was so great to catch up & pick right up where we left off (many) years ago! In the Spring, Kayelyn began private tennis lessons again, & the month of May was VERY eventful for us! We now have an official Teenager in the house!
Dave went to a men’s retreat, Kayelyn got contacts for her birthday, & she & I went to see Carrie Underwood in concert. Dave hooked up with an old buddy of his own & they went to see RUSH at the Gorge! Summer brought a family reunion, a trip to Boise, a summer youth Intern program for Kayelyn through our church, Summer Camp, a family retreat at a cabin near Walla Walla, a Christian conference in town, a trip to Whidbey Island, a weekend with my high school BFF’s Annette & MaryAnn, along with Kayelyn (& the Super Mall), a visit from the Beelers & the Balls, & the beginning of Junior High! (Insert deep breath here!) In September, Dave took a Flight lesson & loved it, I became the “Scrapbook Queen” of Yakima, & Dave & Robert went on a fishing trip on Roberts’ new boat! Fall brought our 16th Anniversary, a trip to Walla Walla,
meeting up with more old friends (thanks to Facebook, again!), our annual Leavenworth weekend, a wonderful Thanksgiving, & even a little Black Friday shopping for Dave & I! I just got back from a powerful women’s retreat & we are looking forward to doing some outreaches as a family this holiday season!

Once again, this time of year stirs up so much reflection…
& while life is full of changes, of ups & downs, twists & turns,
I find more & more that I am at peace & the most happiest
when I am able to sit back & know that it is Love that compels me.
When Love is my motive, things tend to fall in place much easier.
When Love compels me, He shines all the more!
Our hearts’ desire is to be vessels that He freely flows through this season, & all year long! We so want everyone to know that God is so FOR you…! He loves you so… &, as William P. Young says in The Shack,
“Papa is especially fond of you!”

We pray you know that - that it settles in you deep & brings you peace!

Merry Christmas!
Love to you –- Ours & His,

~The Aggetts~

December 11, 2008

"Comfort Zone? What Comfort Zone?" - Flying without a Net!

Wow... what a powerful weekend!
I was challenged & honored to even be considered to minister
at a Women's Retreat last weekend!
It was rather last minute, & I was hesitant to go...
I was asked to accompany two dear friends whom I love & respect,
to help pray for & minister to a small group of ladies whom I had never met!
Normally - I would jump at the chance, but because of the timing & short notice,
I found myself struggling with God!
You see, my 'comfort zone' is one to be completely prepared & prayed up...
outline made & message ready...
not to mention that this is now December, & I am just busy!?
However, as I prayed, I felt the Lord asking me to step out...
take a risk... (quit living this quiet radical life & live out loud with Him!)

Once I finally agreed to go, the dynamics of the Team shifted
& I realized that God had once again tricked me into going?!
My safety net was gone & I realized that we were completely
relying on the Lord & had no real schedule
or plan set in place for the weekend.
Our fearless leader operates this way on a consistent basis
& she had the assurance that God always shows up for her
- she was not, in fact, stressed out or worried one tiny bit!
What a lesson for me to learn...
an opportunity to see firsthand that
I (hopefully!) AM ready in season & out of season,
as Scriptures says!
We didn't know from session to session
whom would share or what would be taught on...
it truly WAS Spirit-led!
I had no safety net - at least not a fleshly one!
Of course, I had just written about living out loud
& not being a silent Radical...
so here was my chance...
How could I say no?

What an amazing weekend we had...
God ordained each woman to be there
& every single one of us there came home blessed & changed!
It was powerful & intimate, freeing & healing,
full of emotions & joy...
God really went before each of us & prepared the way.
He led the conversations in the cars traveling there,
& on the couch, by the fire, in the kitchen,
& as we (finally) prepared for sleep!
It is not often that you gather together with a group of women
whom you have never met & immediately feel a connection & at ease.
Our God is so for us - He is so personal & intimate
- of course He created an atmosphere that would invite Him in to show up
in the casual conversations, as well as the anointed times of prayer.
I continue to pray for each woman present at the Retreat
& trust that God is still stirring & speaking...

I did get a chance to share a bit,
& we were able to all three pray for & over each woman present!
God showed up - as He loves to do
- & had a Word or message or theme for each one individually!
I love ministering like this - & to have a team of three who are in agreement
& are believing for God's best for each person is an amazing honor!
At the end of the weekend, we had the ladies pray for us
& that was incredible as well!
Also, I was able to soak in God's presence for a time myself
& He spoke many things to my heart!
Mostly, He reminded me that I am ready... & it is time!

Wherever your "Comfort Zone" boundaries are...
well, I hope you've enjoyed them because,
as He said to one or two people this weekend,
your Invisible season is over!
He is calling us forth to live out loud...
to be radical for Him...
Our time of hiding is coming to an end
& our Comfort Zone nets are being taken away!
In stepping out, we are finding that we really don't need them anyway
- He is & always has been enough
- & even if we DO in fact stumble & fall,
He always catches us & puts on back on the right path!

So - to you radical women of God in the Methow Valley...
I thank you for allowing us to share His heart with you,
for welcoming us, for praying with & for us
...& I pray you continue to
Press In, & Rise Up!

In His Lap, & On His Heart,
(See? I AM Gooey?)


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