The holidays are such a special time of year for our family. Both Paul and I love to celebrate Christmas, and are especially excited this year as we will be welcoming our first child, Isaiah, right around Christmas/New Year! In fact, some of our closest friends came together last weekend to celebrate the soon-to-be arrival of our little guy with a super awesome baby shower. Rather than accepting gifts, we asked our friends to bring their favorite children’s books so that we could fill Isaiah’s library. That way he’ll grow up surrounded by the books of the people who love him most. It was a really special day with some really special people and we’re just so thankful God has given us so many great friends who fill our lives with so much love and happiness. Some pictures are below:
“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'”
What an incredible time of year. What a gift God has given us, the birth of his son! One of the best ways we can celebrate and rejoice as a family is to give back to those in need in our community. We are so blessed to be surrounded by incredible friends who are always generous with their time and assist us in our giving endeavors throughout the year.
This holiday season, we have extended our reach throughout the North Florida area. We adopted several families in partnership with the St. Augustine Christmas Angel program which provides Christmas joy for those involved in St. Johns County Homeless Coalition/Transitional Housing through the Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition (ESHC). ESHC is a private non-profit agency providing transitional housing to families with children that have encountered difficult times due to various reasons such as evictions, burnt out of their home, kicked out of family dwelling, etc… ESHC makes a difference in the lives of homeless families by providing them with opportunities for them to remain stable and intact as a family, save towards affordable permanent housing, and possibly by improving their credit scores, are able to become a homeowner such as thru Habitat for Humanity. The families we adopted had children that ranged in age from 1 – 16 years of age. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to help them have gifts under their trees this year, and give these incredible families most of the items on their holiday wish lists.
Another family we’ve adopted this holiday is a family of 7. It includes a mom, three children ages 6 months – 9 years, and 3 pets (we can’t forget the pets this holiday!). This amazing family suffered a huge loss over Thanksgiving weekend when their home was engulfed in flames and they lost nearly everything they owned. We are so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to bring some joy back to the holidays for this very special family in Jacksonville.
Next week, we will be partnering with our good friends Jim & Tabitha Furyk and their foundation (www.jimandtabithafurykfoundation.com) at Hope for the Holidays where together we’ll provide holiday meals for more than 1250 children in Duval County. These children and their families are very close to our hearts, as they’re part of the Blessings in a Backpack program (www.blessingsinabackpack.org) that we support throughout the year. Blessings provides elementary schoolchildren who are on the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal Program with a backpack of food to take home for 38 weekends during the school year.
Below are some pictures of our shopping adventure for our adopted families, and we’ll be sure to add more photos after our Hope for the Holidays event next week.
We extend our prayers and love to each of you for a blessed holiday season!