Christmas Greetings Family! As we celebrate the blessing of Jesus this Christmas we can't help but be thankful for God's outpouring in our lives this year. He has truly blessed us with numerous opportunities and relationships this year.

Each year around New Year's our family sits down in the living room with a giant white board and we write down and draw pictures of as many goals as we can think of for the coming year. For 2009 we had over 30 goals pictured on our board and have met just over half of them, but we still have a few weeks to go. Some of the goals we met were Anders (11) playing tackle football, Sedric (9) playing basketball, a family fast, Sedric playing baseball, going to Vikings Training camp, Isaiah (5) going to friend Sammy's house, swimming lessons in Luverne, praying for specific people, dinner guests, Anders participation in Lego League, Wild Water West, Carson (7) playing flag football, seeing Wicked on Broadway, Twins game at the Metrodome, Fairhills Resort and a trip to the Dominican Republic to visit Jaminton Sabala, a child we sponsor, and his family.

One of the highlights of '09 was our trip to the DR with my mom and dad, Jerry and Renae, and the opportunity to see a Biblical application of how Christians are to care for others in caring for the needs of the whole person. Unfortunately in America we have established systems independent of God for people to get assistance. Although the systems help in the short term, without a foundation from the founder of our existence, there is no eternal hope. The boys especially enjoyed playing baseball with Jaminton at his community playing field and swimming in the ocean. I, Amanda, enjoyed the opportunity to serve and relate together as a family without the day-to-day activities at home. We truly believe experiences like these help shape our worldview and life perspectives.

2009 has been a year of extreme experiences for us and as much as we enjoyed them, we also trust God to use them for His greater purposes in our lives. One phrase that we've reminded ourselves time and again this year amidst a myriad of circumstances is from Proverbs 16:9 "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

We praise God for this season of calm He has blessed us with and look forward with anticipation to 2010 and all that God will accomplish in and through us. We'll set our family goals and make our plans again this New Year and encourage you to try it too, but as in all things, we will trust God's providential will to guide our steps.

Thank you for your prayers for our family as we pray each of you find strength and peace in God this Christmas and New Year.


The Bartons

For a trip down memory lane...
2008 Barton Christmas Letter | 2007 Barton Christmas Letter | 2006 Barton Christmas Letter | 2005 Barton Christmas Letter