“And then, in the midst of near despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of love again — till next time. I've learned that there will always be a next time, and that I will submerge in darkness and misery, but that I won't stay submerged. And each time something has been learned under the waters; something has been gained; and a new kind of love has grown. The best I can ask for is that this love, which has been built on countless failures, will continue to grow. I can say no more than that this is mystery, and gift, and that somehow or other, through grace, our failures can be redeemed and blessed.” ― Madeleine L'Engle
So much change this year! It’s definitely been a year of submerging under the water and then seeing those little flickers of hope. Unexpectedly, we find ourselves in South Carolina, in a beautiful new home, starting over again with schools, church, relationships...transitions are always difficult. I have a wonderful new job, Assistant Professor of Theatre at North Greenville University, and I really love teaching. This year I’m teaching Acting, Movement, Voice, Playwriting, Theatre Appreciation and directing a production of The Rivals. We dearly miss our friends and family in other parts of the country, but took this step in the faith that God has brought us here and has a purpose in it all.
David is a freshman in High School now, and is part of the Drama club and a weekly Bible study at the school. He succeeded in achieving his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do this summer, and we hope to find him a school here as soon as possible. Timmy had found a Boy Scout troop here in SC and is hard at work earning his merit badges. He’s also joined the Academic Competition team and the Lego Robotics Club at his middle school. Emily is excelling in 5th grade and is part of the Math superstar club. We’re still looking for a ballet studio for her in the area...it takes awhile to get settled in!! Don has been a lifesaver in doing all that’s involved with moving into a new house, taking care of the kids, and searching hard for work of his own. It was hard for him to leave the security of his position at the Naval Base, but again, that’s where trust comes in.
Earlier in the year, I choreographed and Timmy and Emily performed in Fiddler on the Roof at Regent. I had the opportunity to perform as Queen Elizabeth in Richard III in Williamsburg, VA. Over the summer, the kids got to attend St. Philip’s Kidz Kamp and Christ Church VBS in Pittsburgh, Theatre camp with Virginia Shakespeare Festival, and visit family at Uncle Steve’s lakehouse in PA for the 4th of July. Timmy also attended Scout Camp and David a Student Ministry camp. We met our new little cousin, Finn, while visiting up in Massachusetts, and squeezed in as many last visits to the beach as we could, before moving to the mountain foothills. Maybe we’ll be able to slow down a little in 2014? No, probably not.
Here’s wishing you many glimpses of the silvery fish of hope in the new year, and that you will see many examples of grace and redemption this Christmas season.
Much love, from The Dunlaps