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December was such a sweet month! It flew by way too fast! I love every moment of the Christmas season, the lights, making Christmas cookies, and the special time spent with family and friends! My enthusiasm and love for the Christmas season easily rivals Buddy the Elf!

"Let’s celebrate Jesus who was born right in the middle of the grit and the grime, showing us lowly and small beginnings are nothing to scoff at. Let’s celebrate He who became the true Emmanuel, God with us in the flesh. The God-man who experienced life as a human. He knows us. He gets us — yet still loves us" Amanda Bacon . Thank you @naptimediaries for another great advent devotional to prepare our hearts and home for Christmas

Andrew and I made new traditions as husband and wife; my favorite was decorating our first tree together!

After Christmas my older sister, Anna got married! Her wedding brought all of our family and friends into town to celebrate! I have loved sharing this season of engagement and wedding planning with her! It has been so much fun to get married within six months of each other and I look forward to walking side by side together through our first years of marriage. Her wedding was absolutely perfect! It was very romantic, filled with candlelight, gorgeous flowers, and a dusting of snow for ambiance.

Congratulations to the beautiful couple! Enjoy your first day of marriage Last night was the most romantic wedding I could have ever imagined!

My sister’s wedding brought back memories of our wedding only 5 short months ago. Even though we have been through a lot of unexpected experiences, I have found God’s sweet love and promises all over them. God doesn’t promise there won’t be trials, he actually promises the exact opposite. A bible passage that has provided comfort and hope during these times is the parable about the foundation you build your house upon. It doesn’t matter what the foundation, the storms hit both houses, but the house built upon rock withstands and endures.

“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.” Matthew 7:24-27 (MSG)

I have had to depend upon the rock of my foundation as I have struggled through getting my surgery scheduled, preparing myself for what I know will be a painful procedure. Since October we had been waiting and didn’t receive a surgery date until the week of Christmas. We were excited to finally have the surgery scheduled, but a bit overwhelmed since we weren’t anticipating having to say goodbye to our family and friends in Charlotte for the next six weeks. God knew that celebrating the Christmas season was exactly what we needed to prepare us and equip us for the surgery.

“My cup brims with blessing.” Psalm 23:5 (MSG)

Our cup has been filled to overflowing by being home for the holidays. And the opportunity to spend so much time with our family was such a blessing just days before surgery. I am thankful that God not only listens to our big prayers for health and safety but He hears the smaller cries as well for the comfort of family and friends, laughter, and silly dancing.

Congratulations Anna and Matt! We love you soo much and can't wait to embark on this season together #annamattrimony

Today we are flying down to Tampa for pre-op tests and the surgery is on Thursday. If everything goes as planned we will be in the hospital for 3-5 days and then in the Tampa area for 7-10 days as they continue to monitor my recovery. Thank the Lord it is going to be so warm and beautiful! I can’t think of a better place to recover (another small blessing!).

I feel filled with a lot of emotions, including anxiety over surgery, worry about pain management, and hope for healing. Andrew and I will use our blog to update you on what’s going on and thank you for all of your prayers! We feel overwhelmed by the support and love we have received over the last few months and are so thankful for your continued support. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.” Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)

We both are firm believers of the power of prayer and would appreciate if you would join us in praying for our hearts this week while we prepare for surgery, for God to calm my nerves, and then for a successful surgery on Thursday.


Thank you!!!!

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