"Be that as it may, my Father knows best, and I'm confident that He has placed me here; my task is to labor quietly until the pillar cloud removes and leads farther, working out God's purposes in God's time." -Jim Elliot


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Swains!!! We have been beyond blessed this year. As we take time to reflect on the incredible ways God has shown us His love and grace, we just want to share some of the highlights from this past year!

We have been reminded of how gracious Jesus has been to us this year.  God has used the highs and lows in our family for His glory to share the Gospel, and in the midst of it all, He has continued to be so kind and loving to us.  We know that He intends all for our good.  We have rested in the midst of many unknowns that He is our Source. 

We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary this month, and we continue to be reminded daily of the precious gift He gave us in one another. God continues to use marriage in this beautiful refining way to show us that our deepest need is for Christ.  We are cherishing the days He has given us together!

Ben has been enjoying his job as a Senior Engineer II in the water engineering planning bureau in the Department of Water for the City of Dayton.  He has been leading the implementation of asset management for the Department, and has taken a lead role in preparing a proposal to take over the water and sanitary systems for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  He is learning a lot of new things, and working with a lot of great people.  His job has continued to be an incredible blessing to our family.

I enjoy staying home with our boys. I have loved seeing little windows of learning unlock in their minds, and how quickly they are growing has reminded me daily to cherish these little years that will truly be gone so fast! One of my favorite ways to spend our time is with other mothers and their little ones at play dates. I have an incredible group of friends who share life with me, and their children have become Bryson and Lincoln's best friends! I am really looking forward to gathering with several of these moms this coming year for Bible study together. Close friends who want to study the Bible and discuss real life??? My heartbeat!

Bryson turned three years old this summer, and he began preschool this year which he loves so much! He is thriving there. He also played on his first indoor soccer team, fell in love with the log ride at Kings Island, and enjoys anything that calls for creativity and innovation. We think he may be our little engineer! Puzzles and crafts are some of his favorite things to do, but of course, trains, planes, and trucks are always a hit! It is an understatement to say that he has brought incredible joy into our lives!

Lincoln turned one year old this summer, and he is our little bubba brute! He is everywhere, into everything, and fears nothing! He keeps us on our toes, and we truly adore his laughter, expressions, and adventurous spirit so much! He has really taken off with talking too, we love his little baby chatter! He has really enjoyed 1:1 time with Mommy while Bryson is in preschool, but he loves playtime with his brother too! He runs to the door when Daddy comes home with arms wide open! He has developed a love for books, balls, and anything "techie" like remote controls, cell phones, and anything else that is off limits for a baby. Did we mention he keeps us on our toes??? ;)

Probably the biggest change in our lives this year has been our receiving of God's call to adopt a little girl from China. We have completed our home study and all of our paperwork, and we are now waiting for the file of a special little sweetpea who we will be matched with! We will definitely keep you posted as we progress through this process. Our blog is a good way to stay updated! We have been so blessed to have received the support and love from so many family and friends through our adoption journey.  Below is a song that Ben downloaded for me this year for Christmas.  There were many tears in listening to it, for it is like the fingerprint of our hearts for our daughter in China this Christmas.  (Here is the link for mobile devices: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy8RW6aHXWQ )

One incredible experience we had a few months ago was hosting the first annual "Orphan Love Run" at our church to advocate for orphans worldwide, as well as to help raise funds to bring our daughter home. It was a 5K benefit, and we truly were blown away by the family and friends who came out to support us in these efforts! God truly does take care of the orphan, and this was a sweet reminder of that truth! We still have a financial need for the travel to pick up our daughter, as well as a small portion of the donation given to her orphanage to help care for the orphans remaining there. If anyone else would like to give towards our adoption need, a tax deductible donation can be made at: https://www.adopttogether.org/sacredscribbles. We appreciate all of you so much, and prayer for us and our daughter is the greatest gift of all!

Please keep us updated on your lives too! We hope you all enjoy this Christmas, and may it stir our hearts with wonder and beholding of Jesus Christ who came to seek and save the lost!  Much love to all of you from the Swains!

"And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11)

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