Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Franklin Family Christmas Letter 2013

Merry Christmas from the mountains of East Tennessee! We hope this letter finds you rejoicing in the wondrous birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! As always, it has been another eventful year, full of blessings. After a family trip to the beach in July, all 4 of us got to be a part of Erin's sister Sarah's wedding to Brendan Keener, where the boys made the cutest little ring bearers!

Aaron is still loving his job at First Baptist Church, leading both the Worship Ministry and the Senior Adults. One of the highlights of his year was the opportunity to lead worship at the Tennessee Baptist Convention in November, along with the FBC Worship Band and Adult Choir. He is now looking forward to the opportunity he has been given to do mission work in Italy next fall, alongside other worship leaders from the state. Because we have to raise $4,000 to cover the cost of his trip, we are currently praying for people to partner with us. If you are interested in becoming either a prayer partner or a financial partner for his trip, please contact Aaron at

In June, Erin accepted a job with both of the hospitals in town, serving as the Creation Health Coordinator for Greene County. Creation Health is a faith-based health and wellness program, which she coordinates not only within the hospitals, but out in the community as well. It is a tremendous blessing that she gets to work from home, setting her own schedule, which allows her to remain actively involved in both Aaron and the boys' activities, including singing in the FBC Adult Choir and coaching Anderson's basketball team. Erin and her sisters continue to run high school volleyball team camps every summer through her ministry Worthy Of The Prize, and they were thrilled that one of their teams accomplished a 45-0 record this fall, winning both the State and National Championships! And finally, after over a year of hard work, Erin published her first eBook, which you can check out at Find Joy in the Journey, if you are interested.

As for Anderson (7), he is still a sports fanatic. When he is not playing on his traveling baseball team or his Upward basketball team, he is outside playing in his pretend baseball, basketball, and football games. Sometimes he can even get EJ to play soccer with him! He is in first grade this year and seems to be thriving in all areas, as he did last year. He is loving his first year in RA's and being a member of the FBC Children's Choir, getting to play Joseph in this year's Christmas musical. EJ (5) continues to remain interested in all things art and music. He is now taking painting classes, gymnastic classes, soon to start piano lessons and possibly karate, so that he can learn how to be a "ninja." Those are his words, ha! He loves to take artistic photos on his iPod, dance and fill our lives with drama. He was born for the stage and seems to be doing well in his final year of preschool. 

Although 2013 was filled with tremendous blessing, it was not without its share of heartache. One of the most difficult was saying goodbye to our precious Me-Ma (Erin's grandmother), who went to be with Jesus in November. She was a truly amazing woman, who allowed the light of Jesus to shine from within her, despite her circumstances. We will never forget that, and will strive to carry her sunshine within us, all the days of our lives.

Looking back on another year, we thank God for all of His blessings, and for you. We hope you and yours have a magical Christmas and a wonderful New Year! May God bless you as you seek Him in 2014!

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)

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