Merry Christmas From the Castillo Clan!!
The week leading up to Christmas has been a busy one to say the least!! I hope you’ve been able to see our Facebook posts – – and read about all our Christmas Celebrations on this blog and our ministry one – molehaiti.org
We spent most of Christmas Eve serving the community – there’s absolutely no better feeling than that. I’ve been watching how God has been moving here… through the storms – through the suffering – through the numbness. He continues to allow me to see the beauty through the mess…. as He makes His presence known to me almost daily.
I managed to completely throw my back out Christmas morning – and while I could sit here and complain – I really can’t. My back started to hurt the day after our Staff Dinner. Yet I got to participate in all the things that I hold dear to my heart! AND – with no responsibilities these past two days – I’ve been able to rest securely in His arms and reflect on ALL the reasons I love Christmas!
No, it’s not because of the decorations and the lights – though they are SO beautiful! No, it’s not because of the perfectly wrapped presents …. I learned a long time ago there’s nothing in a box that can bring me long-lasting Joy.
Our greatest JOY at Christmas is simply giving others a reason to smile – a reason to believe in the goodness of God again! Our greatest JOY is reflecting the Father’s face – while celebrating His birth with others!
I have a Bible App that I use for all my Bible Studies. While I was doing the Study of Mark last month – the speaker made a comment that there’s just something about holding a Bible in your hands – feeling the pages of God’s Word with your finger tips. Something I had forgotten about since I’ve used an electronic one for so long.
Well… the girls got me a new Bible & highlighters for Christmas. The Bible is absolutely beautiful. I love the smell (if that makes sense) and the feel of the pages. There is nothing like it for sure.
On the cover of the Bible: Romans 15:13 – May the God of Hope fill you with all JOY and PEACE as you trust in Him.
How perfect is that after the past few months of trials and tribulations?
I was stuck in bed – which meant I got to spend my Christmas Day reading God’s Word – marking my favorite passages – reflecting on what it all means!
I learned a long time ago – Christmas isn’t necessarily about WHERE you go – nor is it necessarily about WHAT you do. At least for me – MY best memories on Christmas Day are all about who I was surrounded by. You see I can’t complain about a bad back – because it set me up to have an intimate Christmas with Jesus! And it is a new memory that I will cherish for years to come!
Below are a few snippets from our Christmas Eve…
Again we hope & pray you had a wonderful Christmas… and that you were able to create long-lasting memories that you will cherish & hold dear to your heart!
Opening Gifts From Each Other…
When the kids were in the states this summer they shopped for each other! We didn’t have a lot of money to give – for them to spend on each other – – but everyone was happy and thankful for their presents! That makes this momma very happy too!
Baking Cookies For Santa…
We got to bake Nana’s homemade sugar cookies! The kids had such a blast but I think Fabi had the most fun!
Spreading the Reindeer Food & Waiting For Santa…
A few years ago my dad brought Reindeer Food for the kids to spread in the yard! This is so Santa can find us in Haiti! 🙂 So every year since – we’ve been scattering the seed… waiting for a harvest! LOL!
Then the kids spent the night together in our bedroom waiting for Santa. This is what we did when I was a kid. All of us kids would spend the night together – we’d laugh and worry about who was on the naughty list! LOL! Some of my best childhood memories are those nights where all of us brothers/sisters were cozied up together!
I really miss those nights. I hope as my children grow older – they appreciate those Christmas Eves – where things were simple and all of them were together.
Santa came around 3:30am….
….. And my back went out a few hours later….