A new year promises a new beginning! However, when we aren’t intentional, a new year can just become another version of last year.
For us, 2013 was filled with loss, fun reunions, and new adventures with our family, friends, and neighbors.
“Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.” – Psalm 116:15
We miss my grandmothers who both lived wonderful and long lives. Our extended family has had to adjust to life and holidays without the one(s) who brought us all together. We lost my mom’s mother who we called Dema (Dorothy Snarr) in August 2012. We lost my dad’s mom who we called Grandma or Momo or G.G. (Marjorie Bryant) in April 2013.
My great uncle L.B. Parks, a WWII hero, also passed away in 2013.
Tragically, we had two families in our church who lost little ones: little Camilla and Baby Asher. The faith and love shown by these two families and to these families through the darkest of days helped us all through this time.
We had the opportunity to connect with friends from the past who came to Austin, and we traveled to California. Here are some of the highlights:
I spoke at Mosaic Whittier and attended Mosaic Leadership Advance in Jan. 2013
I spent a weekend in Florida with Craig Canton and his family. Craig and I were best friends from 7th grade through college.
Deborah and I hosted the Creativity Tour in Austin with David Arcos.
Our church in Austin had our friends from California come and speak (Dan Kimball in March and Erwin McManus in July) and perform (Mariah McManus in July).
In August, we stayed with our former neighbors the Vasquez Family in Los Angeles, reconnected with our Mosaic church family and Alhambra neighbors, stayed with our friends from Seattle and L.A. (the Messers) in Templeton, and enjoyed going to some of our favorite spots in San Francisco.
Our friends Shaula and Robb Overholt moved to Austin. We have known the Overholts for the past 10 years from our Mosaic Alliance days. Shaula joined the Gateway staff, and Robb spoke at the McNeil campus this past Sunday.
The most delicious miracle of the year took place when two of our favorite places in SoCal moved to Austin in 2013: Trader Joe’s and In-N-Out!
We continue to the adventure of life in Austin, and the kids are enjoying O.Henry Middle School (perhaps the only school in the U.S. named after a writer who also spent time in jail for embezzling money)!
Living near downtown has allowed us to catch some great concerts (SxSW, Blues on the Green, Trail of Lights), have fun at Zilker Park, walk around our neighborhood in Barton Hills and in the Green Belt, and enjoy some great restaurants (Torchy’s Tacos, TacoDeli, Kerbey Lane Cafe, Gourdough’s, Irie Bean Cafe, Roll On Sushi Diner, and Zocalo’s to name a few).
We enjoy spending time with extended family in Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, Lake L.B.J., and in Austin where we welcomed 3 new cousins (baby Kate Murphy born in Nov. and the Kohler twin girls born 12/23)
The four of us along with my parents enjoyed a week on South Padre Island on our first trip there.
We continue to enjoy serving with the fantastic team at Gateway Church in Austin! I continue to serve as part of the teaching team as well as leading the Central Austin networks and South Campus (and officiating a lot of weddings!). We really enjoy hosting a life group and living life with others in our Gateway network, a community on mission to connect, grow, and serve others.
The new year includes the first cohort I am leading through a Doctorate of Ministry in Missional Effectiveness with Bethel Seminary along with speaking opportunities in Toronto, Kansas City, and East Texas Baptist University plus Gateway in Austin is hosting the Generate Summit on February 28th with John Burke and Erwin McManus.
For resources to help you love, serve, and influence others, check out articles, interviews, and messages on video at www.ericbryant.org. Examples include:
- The Dirty Truth: Becoming Who You Were Created to Be
- Need More Leaders? – Invest, Recruit, and Entrust
- Trajectory: 7 Ways to Make the New Year Better Than Last Year
For more pictures and updates than you could ever want of our family, you can stay connected with us at the following:
- Instagram – @ericbryant and @dreamerdebbie
- Facebook – EricMichaelBryant
- Twitter – @ericbryant
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and enjoy a wonderful new year!
Eric, Deborah, Caleb, and Trevi Bryant
2308 Westoak Drive
Austin, TX 78704