A Thrill Of Hope: Our Family’s Christmas Update

It’s been almost a year since we posted on the blog but here’s the cute little reason behind our busy year:AAP_3501

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The best part of 2017 was getting to have Noah in our family.  He’s almost one and has been an easy, smiley addition to our crew.  Luke and Theo adore their little brother and due to all their “affection” Noah is quite tough and loves people. Luke is 4 and Theo is 3 and they are now at the age where they spend most of their days pretending- usually something to do with superheroes of course. Their favorite part of each week is swim lessons, where they need to be split up because they have too much fun together. Josh and I love being their parents (though we’re totally exhausted) and are looking forward to adding a fourth baby to Team Olson this spring. Four kids four and under. What a crazy, awesome gift from the Lord.  What’s even crazier is that this time it’s a girl! 

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We remain committed to our home being a safe gathering place here in Detroit. Our friend Danae (Aunt Nae Nae) is still living with us and we’ve enjoyed hosting other guests as well- including some of our best friends with 3 boys that needed a place to crash for a few weeks. We began the year by hosting a weekly “family group” where families from our church gathered to share a meal and connection.  We’ve also had teenagers hanging around as the kids we met when we first moved to Detroit are now growing up! It’s been more challenging this year to figure out how to build community and serve others while taking care of our small children, so we’d appreciate your prayers for us in this. Our goal is summed up well by something I heard Sally Clarkson say in a podcast:

“When you come into my home:

I will take care of you

I will listen to your heart

I will watch to observe what you need

I will prepare a place before you as Christ prepares a place for us”

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Our Little Free Library is still a well-visited spot for kids in the neighborhood—even our mail carrier picks out books for her kids daily.  We’re really thankful that so many of you have gifted books to kids in Detroit and we love being a small part of spreading the gift of literacy.  We figured we might run out of books by now but our shelves are overflowing.

Josh is still loving his job as a CRNA at Henry Ford Hospital and continues to bike the streets of Detroit to work every day.  I recently cut back on most of my volunteering due to our quickly growing family, but we’ll continue pursuing the opportunity for Detroit kids to go to SpringHill Camps for a week each summer.  We’ve seen such amazing spiritual and emotional growth in these kids/teens and many of them have become an important part of our lives.  We would love it if your family would partner with our family in giving the gift of camp this Christmas.  Just click here to join us!

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We’ve now been in Detroit for 5.5 years.  The city is so different than it was 5 years ago- we have more neighbors (it’s so great to have less vacant houses) and many of them have young kids.  There are more bike lanes, playgrounds, school options and restaurants.  And yet, our city remains broken and lives around us continue to be hard.  We had our first break-in this year (thankfully just our garage) and it’s a real reminder that the needs and addictions here are so great that someone felt the need to steal the things we would have freely given them. 

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We remain ever grateful for Christ as the hope for our family and our city.  We love that we don’t do this life alone.  Thanks for being our people.  We wish you and your family a peaceful, joyful season celebrating the gift of Jesus.

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A special thanks to Amanda Armitage for all the campfire pictures. 

One thought on “A Thrill Of Hope: Our Family’s Christmas Update

  1. Love this tons and tons!! My Dad had a law office in a storefront in downtown Toledo and several different homeless guys became overnight guests there and held a special place in our family as they often came over to share a meal or do some laundry. I never realized what a tricky balance this was for my parents until I became a parent myself, and we occasionally did have things stolen, but I am so thankful for the example of Christ they were. I will pray for you all and hope to see you in music class sometime!

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