2018 Christmas Letter

And just like that we meet the end of another year!

We had a great year with lots of firsts and new experiences.

Isaiah turned 3 in February (so he will be 4 here shortly!!) and got to start preschool this Fall. He goes half days, 2 times a week, and absolutely loves it! He is all about trucks, robots, and the outdoors. Any chance he got this year, regardless of the season, he would ask to be outside. He has also started shooting bow and arrow with Brenton and seems to love it.

Norah turned 2 in November. She loves her baby dolls and her princesses. Norah also absolutely loves to read. She will go sit down by herself with a book and pretend to read it to herself. She sings and dances all the time, and when we get in the car she always requests her favorite songs.

We got to do a lot of traveling this year again. In January, Brenton and I attended a wedding in Mexico. In April, the 2 of us also went to London & Scotland for the very first time. This was a bucket list trip for both of us, so we were very excited about that opportunity. The whole family went to Branson this summer for a family reunion. That week was filled with swimming and laughter.

We attempted a garden on our property this year with some friends. We went all out and put an obnoxious amount of vegetables in the ground. We ended up having way more than we knew what to do with, but it was a fun experience to do with friends!

Brenton spent time this year farthing his education in land & wildlife management. He also harvest 2 nice bucks this hunting season. He still works at Farm Bureau and enjoys it.

I have taken on a new leadership role in women's ministry at our church. This has challenged me, but I have grown a lot from it. I have also joined the worship team, which I have loved!

We hope this letter finds you well and that you have a merry and blessed Christmas!

The Feuchtenbergers


New Tattoo | Da'at Elohim

I am so excited about this! I finally got my 3rd tattoo. I got my first tattoo (a Jesus fish with a flower in the middle) when I turned 18. I got my second tattoo a few months after that on my rib (a dove). So it has been a hot minute since I have gotten some new ink considering I am now 27.

It is interesting that I was not really a believer when I got both of those tattoos. Yet, for some reason, those are the ones I chose. I like to think it was God saying, "you don't know this yet, but someday you will be mine." As I have grown, they have come to carry so much meaning.

In contrast to my other 2 tattoos, a lot of thought went into this tattoo... so I thought I would share more about it. (I got this done at Out of Town Tattoo. They were amazing and I highly recommend them!)

The tattoo says "da'at Elohim" which means "knowledge of God" in Hebrew.

This is only found once in scripture and it is in Hosea 6:6: "For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings."

There are 3 different layers of meaning for me and the words "da'at Elohim."

The book of Hosea. The scripture where this phrase is found is in the book of Hosea. Hosea is a story of redemption. God asks Hosea to marry a prostitute (Gomer) to represent his love for Israel (God's people). I love the story of Hosea and Gomer because I can relate to it. Struggling through identity and worth when I was younger but now being able to recognize that God was pursuing my heart, even in the mess. (The video below is a really cool overview of this book if you care to learn more!)

The word da'at. This word can be translated as devotion. Another Hebrew word for the english word "to know" is yadah or yada. Yaddah does not mean knowledge as in "to have information", but rather "to know someone in relationship". It looks like walking closely with God and being emotionally in-tune with Him.

The name Elohim. This is one of God's many names. When God first introduces himself in the book of Genesis, this is the name he uses for himself. It means He is the Strong Creator God. I recently started reading a book about God's names by Tony Evens. The first chapter is about this particular name. Amongst learning other really cool stuff about this name, the most fascinating was that Elohim is actually the plural version of El. Not only does this name represent the Father, but also the Son and the Holy Spirit.
"The literal translation of the name Elohim is 'strong one.' It has to do with God's sovereignty and His authority, reflecting the greatness of His power." (pg 32,  The Power of God's Names)
I thought I was a little clever when I thought of the fact that this name for God means "creator" and I have it stamped on my arm. It made me think of the tags that say "made in (fill in the blank)." It's like I have HIS stamp on me!
"But watches have watchmakers, paintings have painters, designs have designers, and creation has a creator." (pg 33, The Power of God's Names)


Chalkboard Project

I recently did a project for my friend Tanisha and her husband Will. They own a golf course and wanted to re-do their menu behind the bar. It took many hours but was really fun! This was by far the biggest chalkboard project I have ever done, but it was a good challenge.


What I Learned | Summer 2018

Man oh man, I can't believe it is time for this again! We had a blast this summer traveling, swimming, and spending lots of time with family. I love the summer but I welcome the fall with open arms. Here are some things I learned this summer:

We planted a garden this summer with our friends the Stofferans! This was our first time planting a full garden, but that didn't stop us from going big. We had a pretty good time planning this thing out and getting it all planted. When it all started coming up we had tomatoes, green beans, beets, cucumbers, 5 kinds of squash, peas, and lots and lots of weeds! We managed to get some produce out of it, but I'm not sure we will want to do it again next year.

Eve.  I just finished reading the book Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge. It is all about the heart and mystery of women. I love word studies (which seemed to be a little bit of a theme this summer), so I found chapter 2 of this book very interesting! "When God creates Eve, he calls her ezer kenegdo. ... Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is 'notoriously difficult to translate.' The various attempts we have in English are 'helper' or 'companion' or the notorious 'help meet'. ... The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately. ...  A better translation therefore for ezer would be 'lifesaver'. Kenegdo means alongside, or opposite to, or counterpart." Yes, yes, and yes! Thank you God for creating women to be powerful, lifesaving forces.

"But God,". I did a study on Ephesians with our Empower women's group this summer and in it I learned how the words "but God" are some of the greatest words in the Bible. God shows up and decides to act on our behalf. No one else could have done it, no one else would have done it... but God.

Isaiah loves music. He attempts to sing along when we are in the car to pretty much any song that comes on. It's the cutest thing. He is always a little bit behind, but he gives his best effort!

Everybody, Always. I just adore Bob Goff. If you have read his books, you probably do too. I seriously want to be him when I grow up. I am working towards the end of his newest book Everybody, Always that is all about loving difficult people. He has a chapter about skydiving that is phenomenal. He talks about when our parachute (or our life) gets tangled and we need to cut loose (so we can be a new creation). It might look good for a while, but we won't land well. "It's usually not the initial failure that takes any of us out; it's the bounce. ... The second hit is what follows when things go massively wrong or we fail big, and the people we thought would rush to us create distance instead. They express disapproval or treat us with polite indifference. If we want to be like Jesus, here's our simple and courageous job: Catch people on the bounce. when they mess up, reach out to them with love and acceptance the way Jesus did. When they hit hard, run to them with your arms wide open to hug them even harder."

Gratitude. I have started a gratitude journal after being inspired by a sermon at Church. When I have an attitude of gratitude and live into the love God pours out on me, I can love others better. I write 5 things every night that I am thankful for before I go to bed to help align my heart with this attitude. "When we accept God's overwhelming love for us, then it overflows out of me to others."- Chris Ver Steeg

Norah has a big personality. She tries to cross her eyes but it looks more like an eye roll. Her tantrums look like her laying on the floor in protest. She will point a finger at you when she is bossing you or giving a piece of her mind. Her hair sometimes sticks straight up out of her pony accompanied by her blonde curls in the back. And she has the best, and most contagious, belly laugh in the whole world.
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