Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mary & Elizabeth

I just have to stop for a minute and just reflect. There is one sweet thing about a woman, and it is becoming a mother. There are those that God blesses with biological children, and then through the beautiful blessing of adoption. I pray continually for the day that God allows my husband and me to adopt. It is such a stretch of the heart that I want to experience. An experience of His gospel right in your home. It makes me cry; what a huge topic of emotion.

Mary and Elizabeth shared such an intimate period of their lives together. Two pregnancies that would be a game changer for all of man kind. I have experienced three pregnancies. The first, I was young and alone. The second, I was young and felt alone though surrendered by many.  I lost that precious baby. It still cuts me, today. There are only two sets of Mary & Elizabeth... All's grace. The third I had many friends along the same bridge.

We complained together, laughed, and complained some more. :)

Two women experience pregnancies that carried two men that would live a life of danger, two men that would carry the same message, one a messenger for the Messiah, and the other God as man.

You know the saying, God will only give you as much as you can handle. It doesn't sound right at all in this situation. No, God will only give you what He can handle. Think about that. You may realize that 1) You aren't in control. 2) He can give you so much more than what you could ever imagine because He can handle EVERYTHING!

He kicked.

Those hiccups feel so weird.

Elizabeth, how can a mother the Son of God?

Mary, what will happen to our boys living such radical lives?

Elizabeth, how will Joseph accept this boy? Will he love them like his own?
The worst thing a parent can go through is seeing their child die before them. I've heard that. I've witnessed it with my best friend.

Elizabeth was older in age. Did she witness her son being hunted down, beheaded, and served on a platter to a jealous king's wife and daughter?

Mary saw her son not be understood by his other siblings; she saw Him followed and abandoned. She witnessed Him being dragged on the streets up to a man that would judge His faint. She would weep as she heard the nails being driven into His wrist and ankles, weep as He hung naked in sweat and waste, and weep as He announced, "It is finished!"

Friends, relatives, sisters...

Holding on to one another because the path of their present was ever so sweet, but their future was not what they imagined they would be.

So much thinking due to two paper dolls, that's God working in our Advent season. Remember Him, His Cross, and His Hope!

Mary is making her way to Bethelem

I love this season. I have to figure out a way to keep the excitement of Christ all year round in our house.

Isaac was the sacrifice. Oh, but the real sacrifice found in a ram stuck in a bush. The ultimate sacrifice a pure lamb, Jesus Christ. What a story that needs to be told!

Zechariah silenced for his disbelieve, but he was ever so faithful.

Gabriel (The Messenger) and Mary (Christ's Mother)
*Do you see the sketch? My six year old drew out his pattern, 
and he asked me to cut out the fabric. I think we are a good team.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Flood and the Rainbow Promise with The Crown of our Prince of Peace


"Truth in the Tinsel"
*The boys' crowns weren't painted. We used colored paper of their chose.
cleaner alternative :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Truth in the Tinsel

We are doing a new book this year, "Truth in the Tinsel". We do this in the morning, and Ann Voskamp's devotional in the evenings with daddy.

These have been very precious moments with our boys during this Advent season. I am so blessed to have this tradition starting in our family because our only true hope and promise is in Him. Why create the false character in Santa Claus, when we have the real thing in Christ Jesus.

Here is our season so far:

NOV 29

NOV 30


DAY 1 Truth in the Tinsel

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Evolution of a Christmas Tradition in the Holt House

Today begins our third year of tradition with our Jesse Tree. Each year we have arranged it differently, but this year is by far my favorite setup. Each year me changing and making something to new to make it more of our own.

In 2010, we began our first adventure with this tradition. I built my Jesse Tree Book, and it started with a mini-tree. The ornaments printed and surrounded by green paper (Luk's favorite color), with a the cheapest mini-tree I could find on our budget.

In 2011, we continued our tradition, but used our candle wreath ("Cradle to Cross") differently since Logan was touchy feely baby. As a gift I received the wreath, candles were not going to happen so I spend the evening painting corks gold and spiraling wire to make our ornament stands (new ornaments). Then, since our house was small we used a small tree and adorned it with the scripture from the Jesse Tree Devotional.

Now in 2012, we have our "Stump of Jesse", our "Cradle to Cross" Wreath all working together to bring a remembrance to our Christmas season. We don't have a Santa come visit our home, but we enjoy teaching about who he represents in St. Nicholas. Our real Christmas tree is now covered in the truth,

and I am incredibly excited to start this year off, in our new church, new jobs, new home, and new "stump." The backyard had this beautiful limb on the ground just for us, an empty two-liter bottle knocked over on the table from the night before, and so I began. Left over ribbon from crafts before covering the unsightly bottle, the limb wrapped with green twine and single golden ribbon leading to the top signifying Christ's reign, and a little bit of our bunny's hay to decorate around our stump.

We are ready to celebrate His coming, His reign, His birth, and soon... His death.

Merry Christmas!

All our tradition resources come from

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sunday October 6, 2012 Chau, America!

Since this is travel day, I will simply give a play-by-play post

Once our group of 14 checked in for our flight, we made our way through security in the FLL Airport. If you want stress in your life be responsible for a church youth group to make it on a plane to a foreign country. I, promise, the stress is instantaneous and unenjoyable. However, I will say that thanks to God's timing it went rather smooth.

Once at the terminal, our group came to the realization that our flight had a two hour delay before we would leaving. So commenced our time killers...

For 9 out of 14 of our group this was their first time out of the country, and for a few it was the first time on an airplane. It was an adventure on every level for our group. Luk was incredibly excited to see the entrance of the plane because a two hour delay to a six year old is like an eternity.

But, Luk very quickly found his comfort zone in his seat, while...

the adults realized we were on the last row... and there was about three inches of leg space missing.

Once we made it out of Lima's Airport we met our awesome YWAM leader Cesar. He was a sight for sore eyes. It was good to be back in a country I loved and held dear in my heart, and to see a friend that has been missed over the past nine months.

Imagine that the six year old is too tired to walk after a six hour flight... 

Safe and sound at the YWAM Base and home for the next eight days!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 5 in Peru

It is the fifth day that we have been in Peru. It is the day that this boy:
will meet this boy:

separated by a mass of ocean, but God saw fit to bring together through the Compassion program. Two boys writing, drawing, and loving each other from so far will finally get to touch, feel, and hear each other. When I stepped foot in Peru this time last year I knew that I had to bring my son to see our precious Smith. It is never too early to expose your child to truth behind poverty. It is never too early to give your child a connection as strong as this one.

Later this week I hope to write about the other things we have done this week, but the time is approaching to hop in a taxi to see that face! I will leave you with these photos from the week so far.