Category Archives: Holidays

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello.

Goodbye blessed Christmas. Hello exciting New Year.

96bd818d-525f-4e17-a5b9-360e23220b71I’ve been blogging since 2008, which I suppose makes me old in blog years. It began as a way to document our first adoption, and eventually our next adoption. The posts may be fewer with those days behind us, but this site still brings me joy, so I continue to share my heart into the next year. 2016… welcome! After the fullness of the year behind, may simplicity be your theme.

Happy New Year All!

Shared from my heart~ Stacy

Freedom and Traditions

Flag cakes and a houseful of cousins at my sister’s in Lake Tahoe. I LOVE that Dzintars has now experienced this family tradition for the second year with us!
Last year:
And this year:
(That sweet hidden face is another L@tvi@n cutie whose picture I can’t share. He is being hosted again by my sister’s family. Can you all please pray for “D”?!)
In past years we have hiked from my sister’s home, across the meadow…
and onto the crowded beach where we watch the incredible fireworks display over the lake. This year the long walk was not possible for me. (Hip surgery in the near future. I’ll share more some other time.) So my sweet family accommodated me, and we were beyond blessed to watch the event from a friend’s secluded back yard overlooking the whole lake.
Beautiful!
I think our kids had the best seat ever!…
Our tradition continues the following day with a visit to Nana and Papa’s in the high desert of Nevada, beyond Lake Tahoe, where the kids spend their time catching lizards and riding go-carts…
While the adults relax under beautiful sunsets.
Breathing in the beauty of God’s creation!

With the persecution that so many Christians are enduring in the world today, I don’t take such freedom for granted. I’m very thankful for this great country of ours! We are blessed!

He is Coming!

Dz, our son-to-be, will be arriving in less than a week! Our family is getting so excited! We’ve been planning out our days that we will spend with him. One month. Our adoption is in process, and not yet complete, but we will have the blessing of being able to host him over Christmas through New Horizons for Children.  A part of me is heartbroken that he will only be here for one month, and we won’t yet be able to tell him anything about adoption. But the other part of me is thanking God that we will have one more month to spend with him, and I trust he will return when the timing is right.

As we prepare for his coming, the Lord has been speaking to me a lot about Advent. Do you celebrate Advent friends? Oh what a blessing the Advent season is for our family! Advent simply means… coming. To celebrate the coming of the Christmas holiday, in parallel with the coming of Christ. So as Christmas approaches, we take time together as a family each day to focus our hearts on the one who came into the world as a small child and will return again as our reigning King.

This year we are reading Bartholomew’s Passage together. (Get this book! Seriously.) In the midst of it all, the Lord has asked me… “What have you done to prepare for the coming of Dz?” And as I thought through each thing we’ve done, The Lord has shown me that I need to make the same preparations for Him. He is coming.

When we first started down this path, we began by praying for each of our hearts. Praying that each of my children would easily accept him, that he would experience comfort in our home, that our hearts would find connection and joy in one another’s presence. Christ has the same prayer for us.

 …”In His presence is fullness of joy…” Psalm 16:11

 

As Dz’s arrival date gets closer we have spent a lot of time trying to learn as much as we can about him. What is his personality like? His character? What does he enjoy doing? What kind of food does he eat? We have had the privilege of having many of these questions answered for us by people who have met him personally in the past. I’ve sent many questions by email to his previous host mom, Stacey, and her replies have been so helpful. Jesus speaks to me again… “I am coming soon. Are you taking time to learn about me? Have you read the letters written by my disciples, my personal friends, as they share what I have revealed to them about my character? Will your recognize me when I come?”

 
“As for God, His way is perfect, the Word of the Lord is proven, He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” Psalm 18:30
We are choosing gifts for Christmas and I want to know enough about who Dz is, to choose the right gifts for him.
What makes these men wise? I wonder about this as I place my wise men figures on the mantle. And I see the gifts they hold. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  “They knew who to expect.” Jesus whispers again. “They had asked questions. They studied and learned all they could about who was coming.”
They brought myrrh, a perfume used to anoint the bodies of those who had died, because they knew this was the one who would die for the sins of the world.
They brought frankincense, which the priest would burn on the alter as an offering to the Lord, because they knew this was the one who would become our high priest, interceding for us at the right hand of the Father.
They brought gold, like the crown and value of royalty, because they knew this was the one who is King of all.
Do you know Him friends? Are you prepared for the coming of The Son?
Come Lord Jesus.

Shared from my heart ~ Stacy

The Christmas Lamb and Bread of Life

In the midst of the crowded yet desolate city he walked with his hands pushed deeply into the pockets of his tattered jacket, head tilted down to keep the wind from his face. The world bustled all around him… but he was alone.

His heart was heavy, and his stomach was hungry, and he searched for a place of warmth and comfort. He ducked into an alleyway; a temporary shield from the wind. But his frozen toes still curled tightly inside his worn-out shoes. He would find food here to appease the ache in his stomach. He watched as the bags were carried out and tossed away, then he silently slipped into a small familiar space between the cold cement wall and his dinner. His nose had grown accustomed to the smell, but his heart could not get used to the emptiness.

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Just down the street she stood in the warmth of the kitchen slicing the Christmas lamb and arranging it neatly on the platter, while her friend broke the bread beside her and placed the pieces into the overflowing baskets to be placed on the tables. They had volunteered that day to go into the heart of that desperate city and prepare a feast at the shelter. They served contentedly along-side many others, hoping to offer the warmth of a fire and a filling meal to the cold and the hungry. They smiled a warm welcome, they wrapped compassionate arms around lonely shoulders, and they offered a simple gift of love to fill the empty hearts.

But he didn’t know about the feast that was being prepared that day. He didn’t know about the warm fire or the open arms to welcome him. He didn’t know about the gift of love that was offered. So he remained in the alleyway alone, wrapping his thread-bare jacket a little tighter around his aching soul.

How will they know if we do not tell them? (Romans 10:14) …that Jesus volunteered to come into this dark and desperate world (John 12:46), to wrap arms of compassion around lonely shoulders(Mark 1:41), to prepare a feast for the hungry (Psalm 23:5, Matthew 22:2), and to offer himself, The Christmas Lamb (1Peter 1:18,19) and The Bread of Life (John 6:51), as a gift of love(John 3:16).

Go therefore…. (Matthew 28:19,20)