Wednesday, December 24, 2014

{ a colorado christmas card }

It's Christmas Eve - the presents are wrapped, the tree is trimmed and glowing with lights, stockings are stuffed, things are quiet after a week's worth of parties. We're ready for Christmas!

The funny thing about all this, is that I'm not with my family. I'm spending Christmas out here in Colorado with the children. It's a small little family right now - since several of the staff aren't here - and that feels a little funny too, but this truly is such a precious time.

To be honest, I'm missing my family - the realization that I'm not going to be with my extended family tomorrow at my Grandma's house, with all my cousins and aunts and uncles just hit me yesterday when I opened a package from Grandma full of all the yummy treats she makes every year for Christmas. And Maddie was here this past week for a few days to visit, bringing a little bit of home with her. I'm not going to see Mark, who I haven't seen in two years, or Jessica and her little ones - one of whom I've never met. We have so many traditions, so many of my favorite and sweetest memories have been Christmas afternoon at Grandma and Grandpa's...I get a little teary thinking about it.

that year Mark missed Christmas 'cause he was at boot camp.

But there's also grace to be out here. Jesus's birth can celebrate anywhere and everywhere, and hearing the stories, singing the songs, and seeing Christmas through the eyes of the children is precious. I'm making new memories - treasuring this short season of life that Jesus has me in.

And boy, what memories these are! Christmas parties galore, Secret Santa, Christmas concerts, carriage rides, Christmas lights, more cookies than we could ever eat, making gingerbread and graham cracker houses, painting Christmas ornaments, decorating the uncles as Christmas trees, a Christmas pageant at Pastor Eric's house, singing Christmas songs in English, Mizo and Amharic, cozy nights at home, and so much laughter.

Tonight the children are going to sing at Ellerslie's Christmas Eve service - and then we'll all be over at Mike and Christa's. Tomorrow will be such a sweet family day...pajama snuggles, presents to exchange, yummy food to eat, praises to sing.

I was thinking back this morning to last Christmas. One year ago, I was not the happiest camper....really struggling to fully enjoy everything when I was just days away from saying goodbye to our farm for good. Our house was in boxes, I didn't want to move, I didn't want to live in the new house, but most of all I didn't want to leave the farm. 

One year later, I'm sitting on a couch in my living room in Colorado, listening to a few pattering feet upstairs as the girls are waking up and getting ready for the day. It's pretty cozy down here, the tree is glowing and the lights in the room are still off. Katie's here for the day, Josh just came in and said good morning and dashed upstairs to wake up the boys, and I'm minutes away from preparing breakfast. It's a new life, a different life, than it was last year...I never dreamed this is what I'd be doing this Christmas...but there is such peace and joy in knowing I'm where I'm supposed to be.

Christmas is usually such a sweet, peaceful season for me...but even more so this year, because the tender love of Jesus is so tangible. I'm away from everything I know, but yet I'm at home because I'm with Him. There's true peace - true joy - true light.

Christmas is about worship. It's about seeing the sacrifice, and rejoicing in love. It's about giving up everything to follow the Son - looking past the holiday and seeing His grace. Recently, a few of us staff have been talking about the wiremen, and their story. How they traveled thousands of miles, and all it says they did was bow down and worship Jesus and give Him gifts. They didn't accomplish anything - didn't gain anything - didn't do anything. In fact, they probably *lost* a lot...time, resources, possibly even their health, or the lives of their servants and animals. But they gave it all....just to worship

This Christmas, even though I'm far from home, even though I'm surrounded by children and grown ups who I love so dearly, even though I'm smiling and happy and loving every moment of this sweet season, I want to truly worship this Christmas. To truly SEE my Jesus and His beautiful never-failing deeper-than-an-ocean love for me, and to worship Him.

So, sweet friends and family, my dear readers...Merry Christmas, from my family to yours.

Joy to the World!


  1. This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your heart :) ~Emily Stoltzfus

  2. Dearest Liza, Thank you so much for sharing your heart and for posting these wonderful pictures! I know your family must deeply miss you (as you do them) but I know that at the same time, they are so proud of their daughter and sister who is glorifying the Lord through selfless service to the Fatherless. There seems to be a bittersweetness mixed in with the joy of celebrating the birth of our Savior which helps to point us back to the cross each time. He died for me and now I need to die to myself in order to bring joy to others. This is clearly what you are doing my dear sister. Thank you, thank you, thank you. With love and blessings in our Lord, Susan