Greetings and Merry Christmas!
We in the Johnson Pierson family are doing things a little differently this year. Rather than mailing paper holiday cards, we are using the information superhighway to send out our Christmas wishes and family update. In doing so, we hope to save both time and fuel while still reaching out to dear friends like you and connecting over this joyous season.
2010 has been a very full year in the Johnson Pierson household. We have had more hills and valleys than many other years, more highs as well as lows, but as we draw closer to the final days of the year we can say with certainty that God is good and we are a family richly blessed.
This year, we went on our first ever camping trip. Immediately following Easter Sunday, we spent one night in a tent at the F.D. Roosevelt State Park and we visited Calloway Gardens just as it was beginning to bloom. The trip was filled with humorous gaffes – we brought plastic utensils for meals, but no plates – and we were reminded often of our level of inexperience. Even so, we had a great time and hope this will be the first of many camping trips for our family. Soon I’m sure we will be experts.
Another family highlight was attending The Singing. The Singing is a sacred harp singing event that happens each year in June at a small Free Will Baptist church just south of Carolina, Alabama. This event also serves as something of a reunion for the Bass family, Nancy’s paternal grandmother’s kin. We had not been to The Singing in several years, since the kids were much smaller, so it was a real treat to be there this year.
A low point in the year came when we had to close The River Church. Our family had been working on this new church start for several years and it was with much sadness that we said goodbye. But we know that God can bring good out of any situation, and we approach the future and new possibilities with faith in God’s goodness. We are currently working with another new start congregation, the North Forsyth United Methodist Church. Nancy has also done a great deal of preaching and has been called to fill pulpits all over the conference. We are waiting eagerly to see what the new year will bring.
Other new ventures for Nancy include writing and cooking. Nancy decided to take all of the cookbooks and the index card box of recipes that live on the kitchen shelf, and . . . well . . . use them. With no timeline in mind, she is going to work her way through each book and each recipe. These meals and treats are turned into stories and devotions in her new blog “A Feast for the Soul: Reflections of a Clergy Cook.” Check it out at www.Soul-Feast.blogspot.com.
Todd continues his work as a full-time dad and husband. He is there for the kids, rain or shine, keeping the home running and the children clothed and fed. This is unenviable work sometimes and we are grateful he is available for our wonderful children with their special challenges. Lately, he is spending much of time building Thomas train sets and playing World of Warcraft. Todd and Nancy both continue to be involved in Leadership Forsyth and have volunteered to help build the float for the Cumming Christmas Parade.
Vivian and Roland are making great strides in school. Vivian is attending Cumming Elementary School, where we recently attended her class Halloween party. We got to help her decorate her very own pumpkin. We visited with Roland at Mashburn Elementary as his class celebrated Thanksgiving. Wearing a traditional (construction paper) headdress and bearing the new name “Rolling River,” he performed with his class the classic Thanksgiving tune, “Hello, Mr. Turkey.” Both children are doing very well and their speech and social interaction continue to improve. Watching Vivian and Roland grow has been one of our greatest joys this year.
The one other low spot of 2010 was the loss of one of our oldest and most beloved family members, Pepper. We adopted Pepper from the Atlanta Humane Society a year before we were married. She has been with us through many changes as a dearly loved member of our family and she will be deeply missed.
One of the greatest blessings we had this year was our trip to Walt Disney World. How can I begin to describe a trip to Disney? The kids loved the excitement, the color, the rides, the shows. We adults loved all the same things, but add the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. The vacation was definitely a bright spot in our year.
Now that we come to the holiday season and we prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ, we remain grateful for all that we have experienced this year. 2010 has been both wonderful and challenging, but we know that God uses all things to strengthen and shape us. We are especially thankful for friends like you. May your Christmas be filled with the joy of new birth and may your new year bring wonderful adventure!
The Johnson Pierson Family
Todd, Nancy, Vivian and Roland
I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people; to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.