A Merry Christmas to All!

This year, amid the whirlwind of selling our home and preparing to move half-way across the country, we decided to drive up to Northern California to spend Christmas with my family. We actually alternate years between my family and Caleb’s family so it just kind of worked-out that way. I’m glad it did because in just a couple of weeks we will be Texas bound! It was nice to see my family and get everyone up to speed on our plans.

Luca and I got hit by the season’s latest cold virus going around but luckily it didn’t hinder our plans too much. As long as there are trains around, Luca is happy…

Playing with Grammie's Disneyland Train.
Playing with Grammie’s Disneyland Train.

We didn’t get a chance to go to the mall and get the Santa picture but luckily my Uncle Mike knows Santa personally! He asked him to come over and take a few photos with Luca.

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Yeah, after a lot of research and thought, we have decided that we are going to go with the whole Santa thing. In a nutshell, we believe that the historical figure of old St. Nick (who was a Christian) actually has a way of bringing hope and joy to children before they can completely understand the hope and joy that Jesus brings. It’s kind of a way of priming the pump if you will. But the day that Luca asks us if Santa is “real” we will be honest with him. Santa is real in the same way that George Washington is real. He may not be with us physically anymore but we carry on his tradition as a way to extend Christ’s sacrificial love.

On that note… We really do want to make sure that we are commemorating the actual reason for Christmas which is Jesus’ birth. Caleb and I did an advent Bible study this year called, “The Dawning of Indestructible Joy” by John Piper and it was awesome. Awesome for us, no comprendo for Luca. (Have mercy, I’ve never taken a Spanish class in my life) We weren’t exactly sure how to make Jesus’ birth significant for Luca too. Well, it didn’t take us too long to figure it out. This kid LOVES birthday cake. So, we made Jesus a birthday cake and sang him “Happy Birthday!”

Licking the beaters. Naturally.
Licking the beaters. Naturally.

Then we explained that Jesus loves us SO much that He wants US to have presents on HIS birthday! How cool is that??

Some of the madness...
Some of the madness… Christmas Eve at my mom’s place. Food was SO good too!

It was a special day. Being with family was by far the best part.

Cousins and Grandparents and Parents and Puppies! (Luca was napping)
Cousins and Grandparents and Uncle and Parents and Puppies! (Luca was napping)

This year, like every year, there were some pretty gnarly world events leading up to Christmas. The song that resonated most with me this season was “Oh Holy Night.” The lines:

“The thrill of hope, 

A weary world rejoices,

for yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn!”

Are so poignant for this time. Our world is weary, we are desperate for hope. Well, Merry Christmas to All! Can you believe it?? Hope has come in the form of a baby swaddled in a manger. The scandal of God’s redemption through a mere human is our gift. Jesus came and showed us the path to God. He died so that people would no longer have to earn favor with God. He paid the ultimate price. Now we anxiously wait for His return but pray that His dear loved ones (that’s you) choose to follow Him first.

We have the gifts of hope, peace, and joy knowing that God will remain true to His promise, just as he always has.

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Love to you all! Prayers for us these next couple of weeks would be greatly appreciated: 1. Continued Trust in God’s Leading 2. Sanity. Thank you!

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