Friday, December 16, 2016

Two Graduations

Today marks a very significant event in our family. It's the celebration of two graduates!

First on our list today is Claire, who just completed her studies at Moody Bible Institute.

Thanks to Moody accepting credits from Claire's 13th year of school in Czech (we have 13 grades instead of 12), she was able to finish her college degree in 3 1/2 years.

However, Moody doesn't have a mid-year graduation ceremony, so this morning we celebrated her as a family instead! We headed off to a fun breakfast place to start off our day, enjoying extra yummy food (thanks for the recommendation of this place Tyler!) and time to honor Claire.

We so enjoyed each other and giving gifts to Claire to mark this very special occasion!

After breakfast, we headed back to the place we were staying (a lovely home offered to us by friends of Tyler and Lara, a place where just our family could be for these days) and spent time giving Claire the gift of "words" as we shared what we've seen God do in her life these past years while at Moody.

She has matured and grown in all the ways you would hope for, and then some! We are delighted by who Claire is today, and know that she's ready for the next phase of life just around the corner. She'll be telling about that soon!

Once we had finished honoring Claire, we headed out again, this time to celebrate Tyler's graduation!

Two and a half years ago, Tyler began his study for a Master's degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, in Deerfield, Illinois. He worked a full time job, went to school full time, AND he and Lara had a baby!

But Tyler being Tyler, quietly, with diligence and perseverance, pressed on through his studies, completing his classwork and the writing of his thesis, which he successfully "defended" in November. That was a huge accomplishment!

And now this evening, it was time for a commencement ceremony to honor that accomplishment.

Of course wouldn't you know, there was a good ol' Chicago blizzard that roared in that afternoon! I'm glad we were staying close to campus so didn't have a long drive to get there.

What a thrill to sit down for a beautiful commencement service as a culmination to all of Tyler's hard work.

As he walked across the stage to receive his Master's in Old Testament and Semitic Languages, my heart just soared with joy at who Tyler has become.

He loves the Lord, is a student of the Word, loves his wife and son so very well, has precious relationships with his siblings, and is so enjoyable to his parents. What more could I hope for?!

Did I mention Tyler works quietly? He's also quietly humble. Never once did he tell us what his grades were as he studied these past years (and I know this about him...grades never were the motivating factor for his studies).

Yet, with all that he had going, he received the highest honors at graduation: Summa Cum Laude.

A proud mom and dad with their graduate!

His degree is as much Lara's as it is his, given the hours, days, months, and years she supported him by her love, encouragement and input...not to mention working full time and having a new baby during the last year of his studies! This little family has walked a demanding road to make it through this program.

Tonight was all about the joy of sharing with them in this life accomplishment!

Judah held up well for the evening, even though he was fighting a cold and cough. But he's such an engaged little fellow and definitely wants to be "part of the action". I love this picture of he and Aunt Claire checking out the pictures she'd taken!

And finally...a picture I've been waiting to post for many years!

Dave received his Master's Degree from Wheaton College 24 years ago. At the time, we only had Tyler, who was 21 months in that picture.

Now, here Tyler is with HIS family, and HIS one son who is 13 months old. Kind of fun how history repeats itself, in the very best way.

Today was a very significant day for our family, celebrating our two graduates. As I stop and reflect on it I only have praise to the Lord for all He has done in our kids' lives. It is fully thanks to Him that they are all walking with Him and have a desire to serve Him. What joy that brings us!

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