Focusing on Today

Tis the season to be jolly ~ Fa la la la la la la la la

Christmas is my favorite time of year. Had you told me a few years back I’d be celebrating Christmas 2016 in Texas, I would have been convinced you had lost your mind. I loved my North Carolina mountains and had no plans of leaving them. Yet we did, and here we are!

Instead of cutting down a Christmas tree from the Stanbery’s Farm, we ended up picking out our Frasier Fir at Lowes. Audrey thought it was quite comical that we were headed to a home improvement store to buy our tree. “Where are the tree farms, Mom?” she questioned. We then proceeded to talk to her about Leyland Cypress trees and Virginia Pines, which aren’t anything like Frasier Firs. Of course, she didn’t really care about the difference of trees, she just kept laughing over buying our tree at Lowes.

Once our tree was standing upright and ready to decorate, we dug out the lights and ornaments. Each year we all get a new ornament to adorn our tree. They always are related in some way to that particular year’s activities. I loved hearing Audrey exclaim with each one she pulled out, “Oh look, Mom. Remember this one!” Finally we finished our tree off by adding the Lego train set to circle underneath. Audrey created an entire Christmas village with Lego reindeer and all, then we stood back and gazed at the beauty. For as long as I can remember, Audrey has wanted our tree to have a train set underneath. This year her wish came true.

img_0818Christmas wishes! They come in all shapes and sizes. Mine will be fulfilled when I have all my children nestled snug in their beds here at the little blue cottage. It doesn’t matter if we’re in Texas, North Carolina, or Kalamazoo, for there’s nothing better than to all be under one roof during this time of year. I’ve had the thought recently that this could be the last time we are all together like this. Not a great thought, I know; however, as I get older, I’m realizing how short life is. It’s important to cherish the moments we have.

It is our hope that you will also cherish the moments you have this holiday season with your family and friends. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We honestly could not do what we are here without your partnership. In January, Lord willing, Audrey will begin taking classes at Christian Heritage School in Tyler, and I will be staffing a Discipleship Training School with approximately twenty students ready to learn about Jesus. Richard has been an intricate part of developmental changes happening in the advancement department, which will begin to be implemented next year, so 2017 has some exciting things awaiting us all. We are very thankful for God’s help and guidance in these areas.

Over the last three months, we had fifteen people who committed to pray for us daily, and we know their prayers made a huge difference in many of the decisions we were making, as well as helping us to not give up when we faced difficulties. As a result, our vision for a discipleship movement to spread amongst the church and emerging generation remains deeply rooted in our hearts. It’s hard to see how it all unfolds, but God hasn’t called us to understand. He’s called us to walk by faith. Thankfully, He’s marking the trail before us step by step. Just the other morning when I was worrying about some needed future provision, Richard emphatically exclaimed, “We can’t do anything about tomorrow, but we can do something about today! Let’s just focus on today, honey.” Wise words! Thank you to all who faithfully prayed during this time. Your prayers have given us the fortitude we needed to continue on this journey of following Jesus.

We hope you have a very Merry Christmas! Please drop us a card and family picture during this holiday season. We’d love to hang it on our refrigerator and see your smiling faces all throughout 2017. Christmas is a jolly time indeed filled with much wonder and joy, but for some this time of year can be hard because it’s a reminder of what’s been lost. Let’s open our hearts to the hurting around us and give the indescribable gift of Immanuel’s love to all.

“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79 NLT)

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him!

Amy

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