17 December 2015

new traditions

There are people--a lot of people--who have absolutely no where to go this Christmas and absolutely NO one to spend it with.

If you happen to come across one of them...if you know one of them...if you suspect one of them?

PLEASE take them freely and lovingly into your home this Christmas.  They might live 2 minutes away.  They might be kind of weird.  You may not know them all that well and it might be a little scary, and it might mess up some of your traditions and it might be uncomfortable.  

And yeah, inviting them to church is always good.

But BEING the church is better, and they might need Jesus through a friend who puts them on their couch and watches Christmas movies with them and eats cookies with them and shares the heart of Christmas with them a whole lot more than Jesus through a strange church with people they don't know.  Lonely is a whole new lonely at Christmas...open, a whole new open.

PLAN on it.  Make THAT your new tradition.  Please.


THAT is my very random two minute missions moment for the day.

moving on.

Today Lily officially finished first grade, and Sofie, preschool.  We started homeschooling them several years ago in March, so they are always off the standard school calendar :)  But, they are done, starting second grade and kindergarten in January, and WOW has He been faithful to continue carrying us through this adventure of their education.
  
And what a unique and challenging education it has given ME, who NEVER dreamed of homeschooling, EVER. Oh, these girls.  Add a baby to two separate curriculums and one child who has NEVER sat still nor kept on her shirt on for more than 30 seconds and you would send me sympathy chocolate.

Tomorrow is a big day in the office for payroll and working on month end.  As I've been relying on Jodenel's help this week getting all that done, he instead sent me this email this morning:
Hello Stacey!
How are going things there?
I am sorry because I can't come today again, the situation is getting worse. Now, there is another riot, political men are shooting guns, burn tires on the road, it is difficult to get out now, transportation is really difficult, several people have died, homes are burned, I don't want to take risk on the bike. So I wish I could come tomorrow in case that the situation is changed.
Thanks a lot!
To keep adding to my "Dirty is why we are here" post noting that while there is struggle everywhere, that does not mean it all looks the same...yeah.  Can you imagine receiving an email like that from one of your coworkers?  Ah, home and politics.

He is faithful.

Then Saturday we head next door the the Dominican with some 18 people for some hopes of rest..and to meet up with my dad and sister and their families for a few days!  Can't WAIT to see our Evie girl, especially, who is growing like a weed and chatting up a storm.

The girls are desperate for some family time, Sofie even bawling at a photo book we were looking through the other day.  We finally had to cover up all the pictures of Grandpa so that she would stop crying.  I am not kidding. It's been a long time, especially if you are four.

Mail has been rather sporadic lately, but we got a few last ornaments this week before Christmas!
This is so neat...when Jim arm Sue got married some 30 something (?) years ago, they had NO ornaments, and Sue's sister made her all these quilted stars for their tree in Ohio.  And now WE have one!  In Haiti!  I mean, how cool is that!
Aunt Sharon and Uncle Martin sent this one, which is beautiful glass and made mommy put it out of Sofie-is-continually-kissing-all-the-ornaments reach.   Another dear ornament from Kansas, along with this one...
Thank you Sunderland friends!! We are so blessed to have you.
Randy and Elaine sent these from my hometown!  SO CUTE!  Each girl has picked their favorite and now I've got to get some cute photos to fill them.  Thank you!
And this one from Miss Linda will go with them with a family picture!  (Until then, this girlie is cute and reminding us that someone, somewhere, has snow...a totally crazy thought for my littles who can't even imagine.)
Finally, Miss Pam walked across the driveway and brought us these little gold homemade stars.  Pam's never been here for Christmas, usually just coming from England for  2-4 weeks to teach intensives, but having these past few months, and this special season, with her has been such a gift.  I will always be blessed to pray for you, Pam, when we hang these up each year.  

Thank you each, so much, for taking the time to pray for us, to remember us, and to send us such special reminders for our tree!  If you sent one that hasn't come yet...it will!  We only receive mail once a week, so it just takes a while!  THANK YOU!

O come, O King
of nations, bind
in one the hearts
of all mankind.
Bid all our sad
divisions cease
and be Yourself
our King of Peace.



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