feels like Christmas…

It’s that time of year…
When (usually) there is a nip in the air…
When families anticipate togetherness and…
Eyes and hearts are filled with joy and wonder.
These are just a few of the things that make Christmas…
Feel like Christmas.
Honestly, NOTHING feels like Christmas.
We are having to form new traditions as we grieve the former.
We are choosing to enjoy “the new normal.”

Yesterday… the smalls had graduation from school.
Experiencing this milestone felt really important.

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In the midst of so many transitions…
I have been wondering how to make this season “feel” more like Christmas.

It’s hard when the weather is a million degrees and there is very LITTLE Christmas decor.
No radio for constant Christmas music merriment…
No TV for constant holiday favorites…
No Hobby Lobby eye candy for me this year.

We have done our best to embellish our home with a few holiday items.
SO thankful a family member brought us our stockings that my grandma made us so many years ago.
It simply wouldn’t be Christmas without them.

And, yes… that is our Christmas tree this year!!!

I think it finally started to REALLY “feel” like Christmas when we were able to step into the stories of others and offer…

True tidings of comfort and joy…
To others living in EXTREME hardship… hardships I will never know.

We have been SO BLESSED to help our neighbors in need.
One particular neighbor is an elderly woman mothering her 10 grandchildren.
IMG_2208We partnered with the smalls’ school and amazing teachers to help meet some basic needs as well as supply some items for the children.

We were also blessed to spend this past Sabbath sharing the love of Christ in a neighboring community…
We unpacked a truckload of items…
And 90 kids were able to receive backpacks, school supplies, food, and treats for Christmas…
IMG_2237The local teacher that organized this event has a beautiful heart and God is using her mightily.
IMG_2262It was a really special time.

There is nothing more life giving than partnering with God… nothing!
Serving truly has a way of  making it feel like Christmas.
IMG_2240Lastly, I know this is the time of year when people really treasure helping the needy, especially children. While I know I cannot change the lives of everyone in Costa Rica I do know I am called to change his…
IMG_2174We have made good progress for Fabricio’s schooling but we still have a ways to go.  I am really praying for a few people or a group to invest longterm in my special buddy … to form a relationship.
He is a true treasure, and the blessing will surely fall heavy on those deciding to support him.

Again, we have no words to express how thankful we are for each of you.  Please keep praying for us as we continue to learn, seek, adjust, grow and serve.  God is moving…. ALWAYS!