Dear H, O and B,

We decided early on this year that we were going to focus on serving others. I was noticing a pattern of concern for self above all else, and it bothered me because that’s not really what I want our family to be about. We can talk about what we are about, or we can be about what we are about. This year, we chose the latter.

We volunteered with Feed My Starving Children. We took dinner to the Vincents once a week this spring. We prayed for different people every night at dinner. We made care packages for the Peoria police department. We sewed blankets for the NICU. We sorted stuff around our house that we didn’t need and donated it to refugees settling in Phoenix. We walked six kilometers and donated money for personal water filters in support of those in the third world who must travel to find dirty water. We delivered meals to people who were sick and grieving. We sent cookies to active duty military members. We dropped off nativity pieces to bless those who we feared would have a sad holiday season because of loss and illness. We participated in the Fallen Officers Wreath Program of Arizona.

Here’s what I noticed:

Hayden, your general nervousness disappeared when you were serving others. You talked about running an art-related non-profit when you grow up to combine what you love with serving others.

Owen, you have learned to pray expectantly. Every Saturday at church, you light and candle and pray for Mrs. Vincent. You’ve expressed numerous times how hopeful you are that God will heal her here on earth. You’re teaching us all how to hope. You also decided while we were walking the 6K for Clean Water that you might want to be an epidemiologist when you grow up to help eradicate some of the diseases caused by lack of clean water. Now, I know kids change their minds a lot about what they want to be, but I am thrilled to think that this may even plant the seed of the option to choose life work that serves others.

Bennett, You are usually so silly and fun. It brings so much joy to us. It was very interesting to see how seriously you took your responsibilities when we were serving others. It brought out a new side of you.

One other thing: Even our closest friends and family had no idea that this was our focus this year. We wanted to be other-centered not for the accolades or recognition, but because we believe it’s how we’re supposed to live. None of the pictures you’ll find below were ever posted to social media. They are just for you. I want you to remember the impact that you had this year. I want you to be motivated by it to keep doing good work in the world.

We had FUN serving alongside one another. We make a great team and it fills my heart to see you putting others before yourselves. You are growing up in a Selfie-centered world, my loves. Be different. Look for ways to serve others and do it. You’ll be blessed.

Love you,



















Police Station









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