God Is Love: Our Favorite Advent Ever.

God Is Love: Our Favorite Advent Ever.

If I can convey even a part of what we experienced tonight, words will have surpassed their power. For tonight, for the first time, someone loved Christmas. 

This precious student that I tutor 3 days a week came over tonight thinking we were simply attending a candlelight service together. We surprised her with a beautiful dinner. The evening started with tears. Partly because she had not eaten lunch and mostly because it was all done for her and she couldn’t believe it. Honor isn’t found easily in her up-hill world.

After dinner and accolades of how proud I am of her and her decisions, she was told that there was more.

We brought her into the living room, pointed to the fireplace filled with presents and watched the tears fall as she heard that they were all for her. Total shock was followed by an enoirmous amount of tears and giggling.

The next 45 minutes brought the Waterford ladies face to face with awe-inspiring love. Bag after box were filled with good gifts. No pocket was left empty and treasures were found everywhere. We are happy to share videos and photos with those who participated in giving this child a Christmas she will never forget. (Send me a message for footage!)

If God is love, than this was a Holy Spirit encounter. We were literally on the edge of our seats, holding our breath as each gift revealed these truths to this lovely girl:

You are seen.

You are known.

You matter.

We believe in you.

You are cared for.

You are loved more than you could ever know.

And we watched as her tears fell and she fell, for the first time, in love with Christmas. It was magical and I’m humbled to have witnessed it.

She would like to say, “Thank you for loving me, for believing in me and for giving me hope.”

Your gifts were cherished. The look in her eyes as she opened them and felt the thoughtfulness, told the story of the deep capacity that we all have to be loved. A hard road softnened, for even a little while. Her heart opened and was flooded with gratitude and an overwhelming love that shook her awake to truths she’d only dreamt of. They hung in the air like a blanket of stars demanding awe and wonder.

We finished and loaded the love gifts into the trunk.

A quick stop at Starbucks set us up for the candlelight service at church. My family has spent 24 days giving to others and waiting for Jesus’ birthday to come, but He came early. Christmas has arrived and we all agreed, if we had no presents tomorrow, we have already had the best Christmas ever.

I listened to the music and heard the prophets stories told and come to pass. My heart was overjoyed the entire service because only a loving God could pull off a night like tonight. Only a loving God would decide on an earthly Birthday so He could Be the gift for all mankind. All, everyone He places in front of us.

After church we drove around to see Christmas lights and enjoyed a little more time together. We sang Christmas songs loud and faked knowing some of the words, but it didn’t matter. Love was still overflowing over the weaknesses, the hardships, the broken places and the needs. All was right in the world for those moments and we had only their embrace around us.

To those who gave: You did more than give a child some Christmas presents. You took 3 Waterford girls and their mother and offered them a front row seat to the miracle of Christmas. Before our very eyes we witnessed something beautiful and we ourselves were changed because of it. 

We couldn’t have done it on our own, but we were never called to do so. If we all Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of Us, I believe mankind will wake tomorrow and the next tomorrow to find that Love came, Love comes and Love will come again. This gift of Jesus has been given, but we get to give it even now, an inheritance of love.

One daughter said tonight, “Mom, I understand why you love gifts so much. The joy in giving is so much greater than the receiving.” 

One girl got a Christmas to remember and we got a Christmas we will never forget.

Thank you for following us on our advent adventures this year. We have enjoyed sharing part of our lives with you. May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas. 

We sure have.

Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You 
*Monthly and sporadic adventures through the year will be posted on the blog and Whoevers In Front Of You facebook and instagram accounts only. Follow us today at http://www.whoeversinfrontofyou.com 

Stay A While!

We had a lot of people stopping over today for various reasons. We decided to bake cookies and spend the day giving what we can not keep, our time.

We got to meet a friend’s new baby.We deepened relationships. Wood Den customers brought bonus gifts for the girls. It made for a neat day! 

We also thanked the trash man for his year of service to our family!

Thanks to everyone for stopping over and coming in! We loved our time with you today!

Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You 

Beauty Reveals Kindness 

Good and thoughtful gifts are my love language. They really mean something to me. Most of my extended family could care less about gifts. It changes part of Christmas for me in the giving and the receiving. I wrap up something that I think matters, something that says, “I thought of you, I paid attention, I know you.” I’m truly handing you “I love you” tied up with a ribbon.

Oftentimes, gifts are cast aside or shrugged off. It’s hard to send messages of love that go uncared for.

Every now and then, I’ll receive a gift that jolts me full of love. A piano students mom got me this bracelet and I cried tears of thanksgiving when I opened it. Her words that followed the gift were humbling and life giving. It’s one of my prized possessions because it reminds me that kindness is worth it. 

I’ve got a sweet one at home that’s not feeling 100%. She burnt her tongue badly late last night and it’s made eating today hard. 

I had to run an errand, so I picked her up a frosty. At the drive thru I had an internal battle moment. I paid for the frosty and waited to move forward, but I kept feeling the prompting to pay for the car behind me. Finally, I relented and got the cashiers attention. I paid for the car behind me. When I finally pulled forward, she paid for the car behind her.

Because oftentimes, kindness reveals beauty.

I believe that our kindness changes things. The person who receives the kindness is changed, even in a small way. That trajectory continues on and on and on.

So be kind, give good gifts and Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You 

Mail Call

Mail Call

Today’s Advent is dear to my heart. For the last three summers, I’ve left my sweet family and traveled 2,500 miles west to help run a kids camp on the Lummi Nation Indiana Reservation. Through those years I’ve fallen in love with the kids there. This year I was privileged to spend time with one family before camp started. It was an amazing day that none of us will forget.

The Boxwell-Rosario family and I drove up Mt. Baker to have a snowball fight, in June! It was awesome! I love and miss these guys so much.

A family from my church heard my post-camp kids presentation and asked if they could buy presents for a family. I was already sending a box to this family, so it was truly the more the Merrier Christmas!

So, we boxed up goodies for a family who works hard, but doesn’t have a lot. I wish I could send gifts to all the kids from camp, but that’s not in the cards this year. Maybe another advent.

While I was waiting in line at the post office, a lady two people in front of me couldn’t get her debit card to work. It had been locked for some reason. Now, nobody wants to stand in a post office line twice at Christmas. So, I handed her the money and covered the cost of her shipping. Sometimes advent comes to you.

As I drove away, I couldn’t believe Christmas is in 4 days. The anticipation of celebrating Jesus coming is growing so big, we Waterford’s might burst! I asked myself the question, “How generous would we be if we knew it was all completed in four days? We couldn’t take any of it with us.” I like the thought of a giving world. One that really cared for their fellow man to the point of emptying themselves out for one another.

More thoughts on that a different day.

Thank you, postmen and women, for taking boxes of love all the way to Washington and working to get them there by Christmas. I’m thankful that the ladies packages will arrive on time too.

Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You

Ginger, Oh Snap!

I’m in the throws of a bad allergic reaction. It started Sunday and hasn’t let up. We don’t know what’s causing it, but ginger is possibly the culprit. It’s changing our plans and making it a lot more challenging to serve others. Thankfully, I’m not in this by myself. 

The last two days Jason has taken over with help from the girls. Today, the girls we’re going to make gingerbread houses with Grandma Linda. Ginger is one of the allergens on my list. So, I was out for participating. We can’t risk this getting worse. 

The girls spent some time making gingerbread houses today. Their dad even did a little smoke detector checking while he was there.

The time was full of giving and blessings. The girls rushed in to show me all their treasures! I’m so glad hey had fun.

Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You 

Nice Ash!

Nice Ash!

If it’s one thing we have around here, it’s wood and woodworking skills. Tonight, we invited some friends over for dinner and a little Santa’s workshop time.

The girls helped the boys draw up plans and began making their specials gifts for their family members! 

They had so much fun with this awesome family! We’re so glad we can be apart of making their Christmas a bit more special. 

Those homemade meaningful gifts add up to memories! We’ve got one more night in the shop with these guys until things are completed. We can’t wait to hear all about the surprises opened on Christmas.

Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You 

*Check out our website at http://www.whoeversinfrontofyou.com for more photos!

Here’s A Tip

Here’s A Tip

Today was a triple Advent day.  I took the girls on a day getaway to West Baden. One of our crew was needing a little restoration and beauty has a way of helping that along.

We decided to have a snack which turned into a meal. Our waitress was new and pretty vocal about her life. It seems she had a pretty difficult life as an adopted kid. Her first daughter was born just a month ago. She was working to help her husband make ends meet.

And that was before the entree arrived.

The girls and I had been discussing what it is to have peace, real peace. The kind the rises above your circumstances. The kind that allows you to love whoever is in front of you. Now, I had the chance to live by example.

I kindly asked little questions to the waitress and listened to her responses. Any encouragement given to her seemed to really lighten her load. The image bearer before us came to life. She wasn’t simply a novice waitress, but a real person living a real life with her own soul and struggles. She became worthy of love because she was seen and we all could use some more of that in our worlds.

We enjoyed our day out. Lots of beautiful conversations transpired and refreshment came to those who needed it most.

As for the waitress, she received a tip that said you’re more valuable than your skill set, your more valuable than your hardships tell you and you have been seen and loved. Merry Christmas.

Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You