With our kids’ return to school this past week we now feel that we are solidly into 2017. We are certainly hoping and believing for a better year than last year but we can see a golden thread through all the events of 2016. Although we really can’t write about or expand on each one of them, we thought we would at least share the top 10 highlights of the year. Each of the highlighted moments are moments of grace and blessing where we were able to see God at work in our lives.
Hair Family TOP 10 of 2016
10. The beginning of Love Ministries. For a number of years now we have been sensing the call of God on our lives as a couple to get more deeply involved in marriage and family ministry. By March 2016, it was abundantly clear to us that we were to put the dream into drive. We established Love Ministries as an LLC and began the work of building both a new business and ministry which included our own Love Marriage Seminar, as well as Pastoral Counseling and Relationship Coaching services set by appointment through our family website and a new website www.LoveMarriage.Us Our uniqueness and niche in this type of ministry is coaching married couples with both of us present in the sessions.
9. The Todd Tami & Family Show. A subsidiary ministry of Love Ministries also developed this year called – The Todd Tami & Family Variety Show! We have always dreamed of performing a musical variety show with our kids that would both highlight and develop their gifts, talents and abilities. This year we made that a reality as we landed performances with area retirement villages, nursing homes and church events and even a street festival.
8. 4 Major Moves. We saw a lot of firsts this year in the realm of educational advancement; Prestin transitioned into kindergarten, Trezdin into middle school, Evalin began High school and Ashlin transitioned into college! Back to school shopping included everything from new shoes to a new laptop as we outfitted our kids for school and Ashlin for college life.
7. A Car & A Van. Two different families independently decided to give our family their used vehicles this year. One of the vehicles was specifically gifted to our 2nd oldest daughter Jaylin who closed out the year by getting her driver’s license the weekend most of us stayed off the roads due to an ice-storm!
6. A BIG Family Vacation! With the stress of transitioning from ministry to ministry and the uncertainly of what would lie ahead our great friends, the Switt’s, threw us a crazy curve ball by inviting us on a vacation experience to a fun resort in Arkansas. We swam, hiked, road boats and even went spelunking (caving). We put our 21-passenger family bus, our parental skills, and our friendship to the test and got away for a whole week together! P.S. We are still great friends! Chris and Jessica are amazing friends and we love spending time with their family!
5. We Survived A Season of Uncertain Employment. In 2016 we were amazed how God worked through more than a few (often anonymous) people who shared generously of their resources. During the Easter season, a family held an Easter Egg hunt for our kids. Another family brought us fresh farm eggs all summer long. In August, we were given a gift card anonymously to help get the kids’ school supplies. In December, we were given two wonderful surprise donations which supplied funds enough for us to afford Christmas gifts for the children. We are grateful for the many special ways God used people to bless, encourage and support our family as we navigated so many uncharted paths this past year. We may not have listed or acknowledged all of the gifts here but please know that we treasured each one and your expressions of love and grace will never be forgotten by our family. Each of those gifts arrived in our lives not only as help financially, but as encouragement spiritually at times when we needed to know God was with us!
4. Moves in Ministry. God was gracious to us and almost literally dropped two ministry positions in our laps. The first was a part time music director position for Otterbein United Methodist Church. By divine design, God sent an OUMC church member to our door who, through the course of conversation, shared that OUMC was looking for a part-time worship pastor. He asked Todd if he could lead worship and in a short time, Todd was graciously invited to serve the church as worship leader! We were excitedly confused when God tapped our family friend on the shoulder and compelled her to reach out to us and share about an opportunity for full-time ministry at a local church here in Lafayette. We were thrilled to find that Crestview Community Church was seeking someone to come and serve the church as Associate Pastor and “major” in ministries development. Todd’s newest position would draw upon everything he has learned throughout the course of our 20 years of ministry.
3. Treasure in heaven and a Rainbow of hope. The hope of heaven was all we had to hold onto at the loss of our unborn baby in the early part of January 2016. The grief was deep but we faced it together. It was a glad surprise when we found out that we were pregnant yet again with a “rainbow baby” in August (Due in late May 2017). Although we do not know the gender of the baby we lost in January, we do know that our next bundle of joy will be dressed in pink!
2. Hard Work Rewarded. Jaylin and Evalin had an amazing year both on the field and in the classroom. Jay was awarded the position of co-captain of the McCutcheon Varsity Cheer Squad, while Evi made her mark as a freshmen floater – playing for both varsity and Jr. varsity girls soccer teams. Her hard work over the past 5 years paid off when she earned her varsity letter her freshmen year! We were proud to gift her with a High School letter jacket for her birthday on Jan 1 2017.
1. Accepted onto the Marriage Restored Ministry Team. We were so excited to be invited onto the amazing team of weekend retreat presenters who’s lives and stories have been transformed by God’s grace. We were able to attend our first team training weekend in May and served as presenters on two fall retreat weekends. We love serving together on this team. What a privilege to have a front row seat to Jesus’ miraculous grace and power in so many couple’s lives.
We don’t know if 2016 was one of your worst or one of your best years yet. Either way, we encourage you to “find the golden thread” of God’s work in your life this past year. We truly believe it is there to be seen if you look for it! Know this as well… He will never leave, nor forsake you and he is working all things together for the good of those who love Him.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
~Philippians 4:19 ~