Karen and David Burrier
2015 Annual Christmas Letter and Update
~ written by David ~
Greetings Friends and Family! 2015 has been an up and down year but one of many blessings including even the life challenges. Below are highlights.
We have been living in our townhouse now for 12 years and enjoy our Copper Creek Lake with the walking path and the array of wildlife.
Our year began with our life coming to a grinding halt when I had a heart attack on January 22nd and open heart surgery on the 27th followed by an 8 week period of recovery at home. Never have I been off work that long!
I will say that while it was a traumatic event, it was nevertheless a blessing in disguise in so many ways. Events like this can be wake up calls and provide opportunities for reflection and re-prioritizing.
In February I was just starting my 8 weeks recovery period. My family converged on our home to celebrate my 61st birthday.
In March, the family had a surprise 60th birthday party for Karen with a Mexican theme.
We also surprised her with a hard-bound picture book of all the quilts she has ever made and who she made them for. A keepsake!
Karen’s favorite place on earth is her sewing room on the second floor of our townhouse overlooking Copper Creek Lake.
In May, we chose to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and had a special program, reception and renewing of our vows at our church. We decided to do it now instead of waiting until our 50th. One never knows what the next ten years will bring with health and all. The heart attack scare had a lot to do with that decision. It was a great day as we were blessed with hundreds of our friends and family coming from near and far to share the day with us!
In June, after a lot of prayer and discernment I took a leap of faith by fulfilling my dream of starting a non-profit organization by launching I’VE BEEN THERE Ministries. At this point it is something I am doing outside of my paid employment.
I have a weekly live video streaming webcast and radio talk show where I interview people who have survived life tragedies and bring a message of hope to those who are hurting and encouragement to live another day. I will have a library of 27 programs by the end of 2015.
With the help of my son-in-law Derek, I also now have a website which I use to bring a message of hope in a variety of ways. Here’s a link: www.ivebeenthereministries.com
In August Karen and I did our annual Iowa State Fair thing.
Karen won a blue ribbon on one of her baby quilts at the Iowa State Fair.
In August, I started my 12th year at Hope Ministries – now serving as director of estate & legacy planning.
Karen continues her hospice social work for the past 12 ½ years. She works part-time. In May she began her 38th year in social work. She has such a sensitive and caring heart and is so good with people in their hour of need.
Karen is also enjoying watching grandkids weekly on her days off. We’re blessed to have all our children and their families nearby.
Being Papa and Nana to six grandchildren is one of the greatest gifts in our lives! We enjoy attending their soccer, volleyball and basketball games as well as chorus and band concerts and dance recitals.
Daughter Joni and Derek just bought a new (bigger) house and will be moving in January/February of 2016.
Joni works part-time at her church and has built a successful CAbi (in-home fashion show) business and Derek is a successful web designer at Flynn Wright. Children – Miya 12 and Isaiah 7.
Son Brian is a web manager at Stelter Co. and Sara is a stay-at-home mom with two year old Norah while maintaining her art business from home. Sara’s art can be seen and purchased at: www.sarabillustration.com
Son Marcus is a designer at Performance Display, part-time at Fed Ex and part-time building decks. Kelli was able to quit her work at Drake to fulfill her dream of being a stay-at-home mom with their three little girls – June and Laney age 2 ½ and Maebry age 4 ½ .
In October I bought a new car after many years! Picture taken in front of our daughter’s house.
I fulfilled another one of my bucket list by starting a Gospel men’s quartet called Voices of Hope. We’re enjoying singing God’s praises in churches and nursing homes and other venues. Hope to sing in the Iowa State Fair some day.
Karen’s new Christmas tree to match her remodeled white, black, silver & grey living room.
We love staying in touch with family and friends through Facebook throughout the year.
A centering piece of our life is our church family at Berean Assembly of God in Pleasant Hill and our Wednesday night small group.
A few years ago we commissioned our daughter-in-law artist Sara Burrier to create this unique and profound limited addition drawing for our family’s Christmas gift.
From the birth of Christ to His sacrificial death and resurrection our lives are enriched with everlasting hope and peace.
We wish the same to all our friends and family.
Merry CHRISTmas everyone!!
David and Karen Burrier