Friday, December 16, 2011

Season's Greetings

The Holiday Season is in full swing, welcomed in starting in September here in the Philippines. It will continue to be a part of everyday scenery until January.  And while I'm not quite used to seeing things that early, or for having them up for that long...I do love seeing the city lit up at night, and all the decor everywhere.  This city sure does know how to decorate!
As I said before, we're almost done setting everything up in our home.  But Christmas is up and present.  So here you go:
Our humble little tree:
All 4 1/2 feet of it is special to us and will always be since it was our first tree.  It has somewhat of a theme to it of birds and crosses, with some other ornaments.  Here are some of my faves:
And all lit up.  
We've also gotten a few decorations to adorn our home with in the Philippines.  Some of the best decorations I've ever seen!  Like these cute little trees:
And I even made a few additions myself.  I'm still trying to figure out what to do with this door above our entertainment center, but for now I thought it was perfect to add a little holiday cheer to.  Along with some other Philippine purchased Christmas knick-knacks and a very special picture Jordan made for me last year.
Gettin crafty...
And the stockings hung with care:
And a few other little things to add some warmth.
This will be my first Christmas away from home ever.  And even though that's sad, there are things to be grateful for and new things to embrace.  It's exciting being in a new place for Christmas and seeing how different traditions play out.  But the best thing of all is that Christ is still at the center.  And no matter how the scenery changes, the meaning doesn't!  Happy Christmas! 


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dear Soul Sister

I have absolutely loved being a part of small group on Saturday nights.  Week after week we come together to discuss the previous message, share our praises and requests, and have an all around good time.
Since we were staying out at Greg and LuAnn's when we got here, I started attending small group with her, of which her daughter Jessica is also a part(not pictured).  I know Filipino people are happy, welcoming people in general, but these ladies are beyond that.  I just love them!  At the beginning of the month we had a Christmas party and as you can see the theme was purple!  I have been so touched by each and every one of these ladies.  And they all have stories of God's grace, and healing, and forgiveness that would just blow you away.
But one of the coolest things, was being there the night Ms. Santos (pictured on the bottom left in the pink) got saved.  She just retired from the head of schools, and Greg and LuAnn have been working with her for many years.  In fact, she is the one who asked why they did not have a moral values camp for the teachers, and got them to start those.  What an incredible thing to see seeds planted finally take root!
I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful group of ladies to help me to fit right in here, and find my way.

No matter what country you were born into, or what language you speak, God is able to tie all hearts together.  And mine is definitely knit together with these ladies.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dear Friend

I don't think I can call you long lost friend at this point yet.  I know time has past, but all for good reason.  You see our stuff came, and then I got lost in putting my home together.  I'm a firm believer that if my house is not in order, than my life is not in order.  So unpacking began!
As soon as we heard word our container full of our stuff had made it to the Philippines, I was so excited!!  And then I had to wait....and wait...and wait.  There's a process it has to go through before you have it in your possession, and that week and a few days felt like an eternity.  I had been patient long enough, I was ready for us to finally have a home!
We heard word that it was going to arrive on the 23rd of November, so we worked hard at our apartment all day to make sure we were ready for everything.  And then we waited, and waited, and waited.  Finally at 4:30 am on the 24th our container pulled up!  It didn't matter I had been up all day I was pumped!  Within a few hours all of our stuff we sitting in different rooms, just waiting to be put in its proper place.
But it was Thanksgiving and several of our teammates had waited all night with us.  The unpacking was going to have to wait.  We had a celebration to get to!  Jordan and I finished up, and headed back to where we were staying.  I took an hour nap, and then to the kitchen I went.  Christi was so kind to let me use her kitchen.  We were in there all day!
Our first holiday away from home and everyone we know.  But we weren't alone.  We have an awesome team here that we are so blessed to be a part of!  
It was a good day!  And everyday that has followed we have been working diligently to get our home all set up.  I'm so thankful, and have been so blessed to have this place to call home.  Things take a lot longer to get up and running here and there's things to be involved in, but it's almost all done.  And when that day comes I'll give you a proper tour.  But for now I'll leave you with a preview.
Well I gotta get back to it.