Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve thoughts

This Christmas will be one we will never forget.  Not only is it the first Christmas we've spent away from home, it is the first Christmas with our two girls.  Oh the plans I had for this Christmas....I wanted to make it so meaningful for our family....  I'm not a decorator, for the past 5 years we haven't had a Christmas tree because we were afraid Sam would pull it down on his head!  But this year I was going to get out all our ornaments and put them on the tree. I was going to put it up in our church where it would be safe from the three little ones and the three little ones would be safe from it!   We have some special ornaments, I buy them but never put them up LOL.  I'm one of those people, even when we put up the tree was so glad for it to come down and our house "get back to normal"  I don't like clutter or extra things out.  don't I sound like Scrooge?  But I do love Christmas, a simple Christmas. 

We don't try to out do ourselves each year but we do look forward to finding a few meaningful things ( things the kids really want and would use for more than 5 minutes)  for each child.  It's fun to that do that for them.  We work on trying to keep our kids from getting too materialistic..  This year a group from Bell Shoals Baptist that volunteer at the prison where my husband is chaplain blessed our family.  Back in November I got an email asking what the kids wanted for Christmas....we were just floored !!!  It was really hard for me to even think about what they wanted.  We took Shad through Toys R Us and wrote down some things he liked (he was by far the easiest!  By that I mean he can do a wish list hahahaha!)  Steve honestly was at a loss and the little ones are really hard to find things that they will actually play with/use.  But we managed to come up with a list. They came by Saturday night and dropped off the presents to us, wrapped Thank God!!!!.  I am so thankful for them.  Not only are our fiances tight but my mind is almost gone and the thought of doing real Christmas shopping makes me feel like having a panic attack.  We did find "something" at the Christian bookstore for Steve and Shad.  And I did do a Build A Bear for Sam (with voice activation) but that was the extent of it for us, that did me in!  If I had a million dollars to spend right now, I couldn't do it.  So I am so thankful for the sweet folks at Bell Shoals Baptist who blessed our family and who bless the inmates throughout the year with their presence and love.  Jon is thankful for the great group of volunteers who work tirelessly at ZCI to bring God's love to "his" inmates:)  There is no doubt in my mind that Jon has the best job for him in the world!  He loves being a chaplain and loves the men he serves!!!  And he is helped by all the 100 plus volunteers that come in and give additional service to the inmates. 

We were also blessed by a sweet young family here in this area with a gift card for the kids.  They have just suffered a loss in their family this past year and have tender hearts.  Thank you all too. 

So this is a different kind of Christmas for us....we have seen God's provision throughout this past year on a scale that we have never seen before.  Of course we have never needed it like we have this past year!  We've seen God's gift of His faithfulness on a scale we have never seen before....remembering our simple Christmas last year...waiting on our new children, hearts filled with anticipation....  Last year we had a Christmas Dinner and had our family and some of our closest friends over and we just had a good time together hanging out all day and laughing....  in my heart I was worried about our little ones in Ukraine and they were never far from my mind but we almost had all our paperwork done to bring them home by that point.  We got our USCIS (clearance form the US government- our last document) between Christmas and New Years (thanks to Mario Rubio's office!)

So tonight we are going to Mandarin United Methodist Church to their candle light Christmas Eve service.  Another church that has just blessed our family and wrapped their arms around us!  Then we'll come back to our "home away from home" and let the kids unwrap a present ( our tradition).  It may be different but when our kids are older, they will be reminded of God' love, faithfulness and provision to us during this time.  That is a real "life" lesson! 

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas this year and that you realize what Christmas is all about....  the Prince of Peace came into this world that night....He is still the Prince of Peace no matter what is going on in this world or in our own lives.....

5 comments:

  1. Depending where at In Jacksonville y'll are at your about an hour to an hour forty five minutes from where I live. Just thought that was interesting. Merry Christmas. Still praying and hoping God works things out with your house.

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  2. I LOVE Bell Shoals Baptist. Until the military moved us away, Bell Shoals is where we held our church membership. That church really rocks! I really miss it there and hearing the good things they are doing for your family makes me miss my home church even more.
    I hope and pray that you all have a blessed, safe Christmas. My daughter and I continue to pray for Selah. My daughter asks about Selah on a regular basis and she loves to look at Selah's picture. Perhaps one day, my daughter can meet Selah in person. My daughter has a very tender heart and I know she would to meet Selah.

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  3. I LOVE Bell Shoals Baptist. Until the military moved us away, Bell Shoals is where we held our church membership. That church really rocks! I really miss it there and hearing the good things they are doing for your family makes me miss my home church even more.
    I hope and pray that you all have a blessed, safe Christmas. My daughter and I continue to pray for Selah. My daughter asks about Selah on a regular basis and she loves to look at Selah's picture. Perhaps one day, my daughter can meet Selah in person. My daughter has a very tender heart and I know she would to meet Selah.

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