Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Neislers!

Merry Christmas everyone!

As I looked through the year's photos, trying to find a good one for our "Christmas Card", I was reminded of what a great year Josh and I have had together in 2008. Starting in January when my little sister Emily came to Louisville to go to college, attending T4G in the spring, summer travels with Josh's family for the weddings, my big 3-0 at the end of the summer and SURPRISING news when we found out we were going to be parents this fall! Those are just the events, but the day-to-day and weekly blessings of fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ we've found through our church, the uplifting times of encouragement in our small group, and excellent teaching we receive both in school and through Clifton Baptist are highlights that aren't often photographed.

So the picture I chose is from the summer, but I liked it because the happiness you see on our faces reflects the joy in our hearts when we think about how richly we have been blessed during this year. Christ has become more dear and the gospel more precious. Our relationships with brothers and sisters have become more intimate. Our times with our families have been thoroughly enjoyable. God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ, and continues to pour out His favor on us. I am so humbled when I pause and reflect on blessed we are to be anticipating a baby on the way, and many, many of the other good gifts God continues to send our way.

Just a few weeks ago we had some troubling news about my heart from a cardiologist. To make a long story short, I was born with a congenitive heart defect, and the doctor was concerned that I was in trouble because of my pregnancy. God's grace and kindness have never been so close to me during those f
earful, unknowing days. I would wake up each morning thinking "thank you for today", and the Lord would pour out His grace, and make me REALLY APPRECIATE each day. His Word was like honey dripping to my tongue, and many of the Psalms I read each morning would come to mind throughout the day and even when I would wake up at night. He has been my Song in the Night, singing over me with Salvation. We were really baby-stepping along, until last Thursday when I had another consultation with a pediatric cardiologist who gave me the opposite diagnosis as the first one. We were in AWE of God's mercy to us, and overjoyed to hear the news, of course! We know He is the Giver of Life, and were so thankful that He had us walk the road of dependence on HIM for every beat of my heart (and the baby's!). PRAISE HIM for His goodness to us!

Please rejoice with us as the year wraps up by reflecting on the GIVER of all good gifts -- our sovereign, merciful God.


Sizzledowski said...

I think you chose that picture because of the awesome photographer. Wait, did I take that? Hee hee. I love you both so much! You are two of my heroes because you are both a great reflection of our Savior.

Happy New Year!

Chrissy said...

Miss Gretchen,
Merry Christmas! The LORD is so good to his children.
When do you guys have the ultra-sound?


P.S. Do we have bible study on Jan. 7th or 14th?

jillybean said...

So thankful for the year that you guys have had! Think of you often and hope that you are feeling well!

Dad N. said...

Your mother and father in law share the awe of God's blessing with you. I can't tell you how much we love watching you and Josh grow in the Lord and your love for each other. You are the perfect mate for our son. For me the blessing and anticipation of a Neisler grand child is truly joy unspeakable.I feel in my heart what is on your faces in the picture.

Fran R. said...

I am so happy that you could feel God's awesome presence while waiting about your heart. Isn't He amazing to WANT us to depend upon Him. We wish you the best of God's blessings in '09. Fran

Rebecca said...

Gretchen, You are a blessing and an encouragement to all of us who know you. I wish we lived closer and were more a part of eachother's lives. I am thankful, however, that I can follow yours in a small way through your blog and facebook!!
Love ya,

Joyfulprayz said...

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!!