Advent

“Advent — this is the season of preparing that prepares us for any season of life — because we are preparing our lives for Christ to enter in.” (Ann Voskamp)

We love you already.

A new ornament for the tree: We love you already.

At all times, in all things… “Let every heart, prepare Him room.”

This year, our Advent season has comprised both preparations for the birth of Jesus and continued preparations in our adoption process — making it a Christmas season full of joy and anticipation!!

The most recent step in our adoption progress was our home visit this past Thursday.  (Yep, the Thursday before Christmas.)  You might think the timing of this would only add to the busyness of the season, but I personally think the holidays are a great time for a home visit… the house smelled like cookies, and it was decorated all merry and bright! ;)  But seriously, I really had no idea what to expect… so of course we cleaned really well, and I took a half day off work.  Turns out, it was actually pretty short and sweet!  She took a look around, asked some questions, and the whole thing was over in about 20 minutes.  The only thing she recommended we get that we didn’t already have was a carbon monoxide detecter.  Other than that, we were good to go!

home visit

Waiting for the visit.

I had kind of a moment when our social worker was walking from our bedroom back into the living room… I suddenly pictured us sitting right there in our living room filling out our applications back in April, and for a split second it seemed like only yesterday.  Then here was this person, a real live representative of our adoption agency in our home, and it was as if all the paperwork and interviews and meetings and reading and waiting had all been just a flash.  Before we knew it, we were sending her off with goodies in hand, back to Raleigh, and that was that.  Time to complete our profile book while she writes up our assessment, and we are still looking to be in the “waiting” phase come the second week in March. :)

home visit2

Cozy.

As always… ’tis the season for cookies!  One thing I have learned about myself is that I am a seasonal baker — which will probably change once we have kids. :)  For now, we keep it pretty healthy around here most of the year, but at Christmastime, I really enjoy baking for all the parties and festivities!

Linzer Christmas cookies

Linzer Christmas cookies

linzer cookies

Adorable sweet treats.

linzer

All ready for my small group’s Christmas party!

Preparing for an annual Cookie Swap.

Preparing for an annual Cookie Swap.

White chocolate cranberry cookies for family.

White chocolate cranberry cookies for family.

Last year's peanut butter cookies.

Last year’s peanut butter cookies.

This Christmas has also included a search for the best Christmas lights in Wilmington… Off we went on a “winter adventure” in these 70-degree temps we’ve been having!

arches

Magical!

Trey at the North Pole. :)

Trey at the North Pole. :)

A beautiful home in Parkview.

A beautiful home in Parkview.

And currently we are preparing to host Trey’s family over Christmas, which will be so much fun… our first time hosting!!

fire

Complete with a nice warm fire on the hearth. ;)

Last night, the family celebrations began with a gathering on my dad’s side (an annual tradition).  We are SO looking forward to more family time ahead!

The "Marvin Reas" at the Rea/Freeman Christmas.

The “Marvin Reas” at the Rea/Freeman Christmas.

landfall

Classic!

It’s been fun and full, and I can’t help but to think about how blessed we are…  For the families we have, for a comfortable home, for all the joy in what’s to come, but most especially: for the hope we have in a promise that’s our reason to celebrate at all.  There is much to do in preparation for all that this time of year entails.  But if nothing else on the to-do list gets done, we can honor Him with our hearts lifted in worship, knowing that it’s not what we’re doing for Himbut what He’s done for us.  That most mysterious gift that infuses the air with a hopefulness, joy, and gratitude unparalleled in any other season… lifting an aroma of adoration and anticipation, awe and wonder…

“Let all within us, praise His holy name.”

…filling every space in our lives in this Advent “season of preparing.”

And that makes it the most wonderful time… of the year. :)

already2

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2 responses

  1. I love your last post about patience and grace. It is amazing how, as Christians, we pray for things and think God will give us what we pray for in our time. But it’s amazing how God gives us our prayer requests HIS way in HIS time. I have to remind myself of this so often and sometimes it is so hard to come to terms with. One other thing…if you are anything like me it will always be weird to hear congrats. I get so caught up on life and how I am just suppose to be in the place I am that I forget I have so much to be congratulated on. SO CONGRATULATIONS CHICK ON BEING YOU, the you God plans for you to be, STAYING TRUE

    • Contd..staying true to that, and loving every minute of God’s plan for you and your life. I am so happy for you and Trey and pray God gives you the continued strength to be the Godly woman you currently are and the Godly parent I know you will be. GOD BLESS!!

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