Life has been busy since our last update and we would like to catch up on things. Shepherd turned FIVE, the kids are back in school, we celebrated Mother's Day UK, and Redeemer is preparing for Easter. So much! Here's a few photos for proof of life and a summary of where we've been...
F I V E
First, Shepherd is FIVE!! We celebrated his birthday as big as we could within our lockdown rules. The birthday boy had a few requests: pancakes for breakfast, lots of playing with hot wheels, and a yummy cake. Shepherd’s birthday fell on the last day of school before half term break. His sweet class sang happy birthday to him over Zoom and he beamed the whole time. Several friends dropped by with well wishes and birthday surprises.
We even did a pinata in our back garden (Thomas was a very brave soul and held the pinata)! Our school had a Zoom Disco before dinner, and the kids loved dancing around the kitchen with our party lights on. We ended the night with hamburgers and a birthday cake. We CANNOT believe that our baby boy is five. He has grown up so much this year and we are so proud to be his parents. To know Shepherd West is to love him big!
BACK IN SCHOOL
Perry and Shepherd had a week break from school (half term break). We were still in full lockdown, so we weren’t able to do too many things. We did enjoy slower mornings in our pjs, long walks, and movie nights! We even did a scavenger hunt walk, which we all loved!
We powered through 2 more weeks of home learning and an end in sight. The government announced that all pupils would be back in school on March 8th! Home learning has not been easy by any stretch, but I am so grateful to have had this bonus time with Perry and Shepherd at home. It has felt like a blessing to be able to see them grow in their learning and continue to gain confidence. They are so resilient and brave!
That brings us to now. Perry and Shepherd are in their second week of in person school. They have both transitioned back to school really well! They both have amazing teachers who have worked hard to make the transition as easy as possible for the students. The kids were VERY tired last week, but are getting back into the routine now. It feels so good to have familiar rhythms and routines coming back. The UK is on a slow road of easing lockdown and we are very hopeful.
Alright, a few updates from Thomas here as we'll...
We celebrated Elizabeth last Sunday for Mother's Day UK! We could not do what we do without the enabling grace of two very important people: The Holy Spirit - and - Elizabeth. The kids and I made her cards on Saturday morning before The Redeemer Sessions and did our best to love on her and treat her right on Sunday! We went on a walk, made a Sunday roast, had cake, and a good time together! God shows us his grace through Elizabeth. She is a model of grace, strength, and wisdom.
Redeemer continues to inch along. We've had in-person gatherings for our Core Team over the last three weekends. It has been so good to meet again in person! The masks, no singing, and physical distance are certainly strange things to gather around but we are thankful to be in the room together again. We are going to meet again publicly from Easter weekend and continue to meet at Salusbury School.
We are encouraged by how the team has held together through this brutal year. We are hopeful about many possibilities that are before us. We are praying for a place for Redeemer to call home. Our aim is a two year starter home of sorts. We're in a few conversations about it right now and will let you know if anything develops. Would you say a pray for us to find a place for Redeemer to call home? We're in a collection of talks right now called ALL ARE WELCOME and having a look at the different sorts of people that Jesus welcomed and that his church continues to welcome today. Thank you for keeping up with us and praying for Redeemer.
We sense God's nearness in this season. It's been one year since lockdowns began and the world began to endure this difficult year. We've had some really low lows and some encouraging highs. God has let us through it all. We sense his presence now more clearly than at any other point in this last year.
You can see the things that need prayer as we share an update like this. As a family, we are in a really good place right now. Elizabeth continues to chisel away at her work with Biblical Counseling UK and Thomas is developing some courses and considering some writing as well. As settled as we feel it only takes a tough interaction to reveal just how fragile a lot of this actually is. We don't take your prayers for granted and greatly appreciate your continued partnership and support.
Thank you for keeping up with our family and for being patient with updates! We love you and are so grateful for your support.
How about we make this regular and provide another update next week? Cool, we'll do that.