Monday, January 11, 2021

Merry Christmas and let it be a Happy NEW Year!

 So the holidays are done, but I still want to share our Christmas, birthdays and New Years with you.

Honestly, it was hard to face the fact that we were still in Michigan for the holidays.  We have grown to love Christmas at our home in Uganda.  It is a special time with our church family, with the youth and Freedom in Christ teachers and prison ministry.  Grace was quite upset when I began putting Christmas decorations up the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I finally asked why she was having such a hard time with it.  She said she wanted to be in Uganda and it just wouldn't be the same.  So true.  It is hard and we want to be in our home, with our church family, with the FIC team as they do a crusade in the prison Christmas Day, with the youth celebrating the New Year with testimonies and worship like no other...but God has us here so we decided to find the blessing in Christmas in Michigan this year.  I am thankful we did.

  As we began the Christmas season I was thinking about Jesus birth and God gave me whole new thought.  God chose for His one and only Son to be adopted.  Adoption is close to God's heart and Jesus experienced it personally.  Obviously adoption is close to my heart and meaningful to me this year with the adoption of Makai and because of my family full of adopted brother, sister, nieces and nephews.  It touches me deeply that God chose for Jesus to understand what it is like to be adopted.  He really understands the struggles and joy.  Jesus really knows what we go through.  As I shared this with my friends, one of them reminded me that God also chose a father for His Son.  And He too chose us for our precious, chosen child.

I also really appreciated reflecting on that Jesus came at a hard time.  A time of gloom, darkness, and despair.  He came to bring hope, light and Good News.  I know I've heard it before, but it is meaningful to me with the difficult year we have had as a family.  Jesus comes in my gloom, darkness and pain and brings hope, Truth, healing and peace.  He is with me.  He has come to rescue me.

Last Christmas thought, the wise men from the East, astrologers, outsiders, important people... I find it so amazing God chose people from probably the middle east, who probably didn't know or worship God to be the first to worship Jesus.  God cares so much for the unsaved that He chose to give them a miraculous sign in the sky (which they studied or worshiped) to lead them all the way to His Son Jesus.  God's heart desire is always for the lost to know Him!  I wonder if the wise men's worship meant they became children of God?  Did they bring the Good News back to the East?  In a land that is known as closed I love that God called men and sent them back to that "unreached" place.  What a God!

Makai's First Christmas!
We had to barricade the tree from Makai who is into everything!  But he was so cute standing by the tree looking.

Christmas Cookies

10 months old - his first word was on Christmas Day, "up".

My Birthday!

I love all the decorating and parties!  I was able to have a Christmas Tea with some friends.

We enjoyed many nights going around looking at Christmas lights. 
We also went to the Christmas tree walk and a couple live nativities.  

Some of the Beutes got together to decorate cookies, have supper and sing Christmas carols.

Singing Christmas Carols

The girls and I were able to dance to "Noel" for two services.  I love it! 
Above is the dance at Jamestown CRC.

Our family Christmas party!

They love it!

So thankful for our kids!

So fun!

Grandpa & Grandma Beute joined us

Makai and Achia love to play together and make noise!

Makai was so much fun for Christmas!  He loved opening gifts and knew just what to do.  He also loves to eat paper and would tear a piece of wrapping paper and try to eat it, tear another and try to eat it...


Christmas Eve waffles and strawberries breakfast!

And we finally got snow on the morning of Christmas Eve!
Makai's loved it!  He was so curious and touched it, crawled around and eat it.

This family is happy to have snow to play in!

Beute family Christmas party


Brand new baby cousin!

Shaarda family Christmas party Christmas Day.
Josh's sister was sick so their family couldn't come, so we will be having two parties this year!

Loving the snow!

Emalai celebrated her 8th birthday!
Malai is so sweet and joyful! And so loved!

Malai got a micro phone and a tutu for her birthday - and she loved it!

New Years Eve we got together with friends/family at Sliedrechts.
We a great time sledding, having a fire, playing games, eating and Tim make a huge bonfire at midnight.  It was so much fun.  We were really missing Uganda because New Years Eve with the youth there has become a tradition that is very meaningful, special and fun.  Although we were sad not to be there, we are thankful for family and good memories made here.

New Years Day we went to my parents and had a nice surprise of ice on the lake. 
We had so much fun ice skating!

It started snowing hard, but it was beautiful.

More sledding and more winter fun!

Shaarda family belated Christmas

A few extra cute pictures!

I want to end on one last note.  We did have a great holiday season for which I am very grateful, but I want to be honest.  Although we look pretty good in these pictures and they are nice pictures, the truth is we aren't waiting on the Lord in Michigan for nothing.  We are a broken, hurting family that deeply desires your prayer.  We are putting our hope in Jesus through a time of trial in our family.  I can't post the pictures of our painful moments or share the difficult journey we are on, but I can still let you know we need God's people to go before His throne with us to find mercy in our time of need.

Thanks you.