Wow! What a year! At the risk of sounding cliché, I must say, ‘My, how this year has flown!’ And it really does seem that way! I’m really not sure if it is my age, or if it is the ‘Times’. I can’t believe that it’s only an age thing. The world seems to be rushing toward a destination and sweeping all of us along with it. I know what that destination…. Or destiny…. Is. And I’m ready for it. More than ever before. Ever. *Sigh* *Pause* Oh. I didn’t see you there. Hello. My name is Leslie Tritsch. And this is my Christmas Letter. I forgot, for a moment, that I’ve got a lot of new readers this year who are not aware of what this is. I’ve been doing this since 1996: the year I moved to Mississippi. I’ve got a lot of friends and family who live all over the country that I don’t get to see very often and who want to know what’s been going on in my life. I take a little time each year to sit down and ‘visit’ with them and sort of ‘catch up.’ I’m going to try and keep my new readers in mind, however, and not bore them with too much useless information. My letters are more than just newsy, though. They seem to always take on a theme….. or, more like a feeling…. An emotion that is what my year has been. And I’m trying not to assume too much. I do hope you will read it.
I have a box that I put things in all year that I call my “Memory Box.” As I sit down to write, I pull out this box and take a walk down ‘memory lane’ and re-live my year with you. I’ve got a new box this year. My other one finally wore out! 17 years! My bff, Barbara, gave me a box last Christmas filled with Christmas goodies that she made and I immediately thought, “what a wonderful new box for my memories!” It’s an elegant Victorian/vintage looking box with a flap-type lid and a Velcro closure (the only modern part of it). It’s beautiful! And it’s bigger. I was always over-loading the other box as my years got fuller and fuller. Don’t worry, I, very reverently, laid Memory Box 1 to rest: thankful for it’s years of service. It went on to it’s reward in the Pontotoc County Solid Waste Landfill….. *smile* Anyway, when I sit down and start to try and remember my year, thinking that it has passed in such a flash that not much could have happened, my box of memories reminds me that, indeed, my year has been full. Full of love, full of family, full of you, full of Life! And, as you know, full of my grandbabies! So…. Let’s turn this ‘pile’ of memories over so we can start at the beginning of the year……
We always begin with Christmas. Last Christmas. It was our first Christmas in our new Church home. We were just beginning to become acquainted with people who have become very dear to us over this year’s passing. We experienced our first Cedar Grove Children’s Musical and it was awesome. We just witnessed this year’s musical and, I must say, they get better and better. I’m thrilled to see children, growing up in the House of God, excited to worship! And I see it in other Church settings as well, through FaceBook. That gives me hope for the future. I will say more about Cedar Grove later. I am thankful for the new relationships that were begun and have grown this year. And others that are beginning….. Christmas with family was…. Well… eventful! We always spend Christmas with all of our family that live around us. That includes our grandbabies’ Nana and Papa: trading off where we get together. Their place…. Our place…. Last year we were set to celebrate at Nana and Papa’s but calamity hit! Their home was flooded right before Christmas! It was very stressful for them and took several months for things to get back to normal. (I’m not sure, even now, if everything is taken care of.) It was a reminder, at least to me, and I’m sure to them as well, that ‘things’ are just that: things. I know that we have precious things to us that are irreplaceable, but furniture, walls, floors… they can be repaired. Family is what is important. God is what is important. We just moved the celebration to our place and tried to be a comfort and support. That’s what families do.
Then January hit! Full to the brim! The Wedding of the Year was first on the agenda! I got to try and repay just a little of my debt to my bff for her help with my son’s wedding as her one and only son, J.J. Winter was wed to his lovely bride Janae. It was absolutely breathtaking and a lot of fun ….but a lot of work! I even got the privilege of playing a little keyboard at the Reception. Right after the wedding, Terry and I started our Daniel’s Fast that we do at least once a year. We were put on the platform rotation at Cedar Grove, playing keyboard and singing in the Praise Team. New little piano students began with me. And the month ended with a weekend in Greenville with our children as our precious middle granddaughter, Jordan, was baptized in the precious name of Jesus Christ!
The second quarter was no less full but I don’t want to bore you. I do definitely want to mention a few things, though. I attended a Ladies Day in Greenville at our son’s church, which was very special. I love all of those ladies at Greater Faith Tabernacle and count them as dear friends! Then we had our Ladies Tea at Cedar Grove. Be sure and check out my pictures on facebook of all the decorations: hats and all!
May was graduations: my brother graduated at ICC with his GED and my Jordan graduated kindergarten!
August was life changing. Terry and I attended the Mississippi Dental Lab Association weekend conference in Biloxi, Mississippi where he began the process of reinstating his certification. He received a lot of valuable training and information. We went deep sea fishing and I caught a big one! It was so much fun! (See my picture…..!)
The next week I went to the Pumpkin Patch with my babies and the school….. busy making memories! (See pictures!) I attended a Mark Condon Power Worship Conference with our Music Director and really enjoyed myself. We celebrated Rachel and Jordan’s birthdays in Oxford at the school with all the usual fanfare plus! Even had a bouncy house! Then Terry and I flew off to Sarasota, Florida for almost an entire week. No. We weren’t vacationing. Well, I guess I was, kind of. Terry was taking some training on a new system that we are adding to the Lab. We’re very excited about the growth potential that it will bring. And, speaking of the Lab, we have experienced some major growth in our business for which we are very thankful. God has truly blessed us and we are trying to be a blessing to the Kingdom and to others through it.
I purposely left out something in October because I wanted to give it a little more attention. As most of you know, our son has been pastoring Greater Faith Tabernacle in Greenville, Mississippi for the last two years. They have worked hard and loved the people and really thought that they would be there for many years to come. God had other plans. God began dealing with their hearts months ago about leading them in a different direction. In the beginning, I’m sure they were not even aware of exactly what they were feeling. Finally in late September they made the decision to resign their Pastorate in Greenville and move to Oxford. God had already prepared a door without their knowledge. He was working on both ends of the situation. It was very hard for them to leave the people. They loved them. They still do. Their lives are forever meshed together. And, just as God had another plan for my children, He has another plan for those precious people! Delbert and Jennifer have taken the position of Youth Pastor and Assistant to the Pastor at Christ The Rock Apostolic Church in Oxford. That’s a whole lot closer to Mamoo! And the icing on the cake is that Jennifer has come to work for us in the Lab and she seems to be really enjoying herself! The girls are in school at OCA and Ellie comes to Mamoo’s house every day and runs around with me!
And that brings us to the present. I am overwhelmed at the blessings that God has poured out on us. I am thankful for His pull in our lives for greater service for Him. This Christmas I am more keenly aware that this Season is all about Him. We have made the decision to scale back somewhat this Christmas on the gift buying because we want our focus to be on Him. Now don’t worry, my babies will be taken of, trust me! But I want to teach them what it really is all about. We have determined to make a sizeable contribution to a program called Christmas For Christ
With all our love,
The Tritsch Family
Leslie, Terry, & Sarah