By: Ronda Nissley
I grew up in the small town of Kalona, Iowa as the seventh of nine children. My mother never worked outside the home and Dad was employed by a variety of small Christian schools and church agencies – earning a modest income even by standards of that day. Looking back, I’m sure our family would have been classified as “poor” by pretty much any economic measure. To my parent’s credit, I never figured that out until I was an adult. Thanks to my mother’s large garden and skills as a seamstress-we were always well fed and clothed.
Cindee's husband Dave
By: Cindee Johnson
Encompass Relationship Facilitator
I love Christmas. I mean, I really LOVE Christmas. The decorating. The lights. The celebrations. The shopping. The traditions. The cooking. The gifts. The tree. It all has its place. Or so I learned. The hard way.
Because I had no peace. Only perfection.
When Dave and I married 34 years ago, I had this vision of a perfectly packaged Christmas, everything done up just right. And it all began with the Christmas tree. Which had to be fresh cut. As in Dave lying on the cold, snowy or icy or often muddy Ohio ground, cutting down the tree while our children and I held it in place.
Our blog posts theme for December surrounds "special Christmas memories/stories." Certainly, the holiday season has plenty of opportunities to describe as "thriving" or "strifing" in relationships. What memories or stories are uplifting and help family trees to be forever changed?
By Lavern Nissley
Encompass Executive Director
I was scrolling through my iPhone photos looking for Christmas memory ideas. Wow! So many flooded my heart and mind. But when I condensed them down to several common themes that were fulfilling and significant, it became very clear what we value as a family. My heart is warmed as I reflect on them!
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.