Christmas in the USA (part 2).

I sure do love the people God has placed all around me. From family to friends, to all the in-between…you guys add so much laughter to life & I’m thankful for each & every one of you.

These women in the below few photos? They’re my homegroup girls: my best friends from college & our fearless leader, Kim. As soon as I landed in the states, we all went to dinner at Kim’s. We love this woman & the wisdom she’s shared with us over the past 5 years. Also, Caroline is clutch for bringing her selfie stick.

Breakfast with my dad – it’s a tradition & it’s a favorite.

Loved being in town for Grace Fellowship’s Christmas service!

The day I wore this outfit I’m pretty sure the people at the Apple store put “grey shirt crazy pants” as the note on my appointment.

Friends that wear plaid together stick together.My beautiful mom treated me to a spa day on Christmas Eve – so relaxing!Torchy’s Tacos. Need I say more?
I spent Christmas Eve with this fun Burnett crew, my mom, & Wes. Lisa made Javanese dinner (one of my favorites) & we prayed, sang, & laughed quite a bit.
I’ve loved these girls for over a decade. Time is flying!Javanese dinner. <3
Christmas morning outside at my mom’s house (basically in the middle of the woods)! It’s quite beautiful out there. We went & watched Star Wars on Christmas Day (Happy Birthday Jesus!) with all of the family & facetimed Ryan & Jessie in Greece while we were waiting to go into the theater. It was great getting to see their faces for a second & share with all of the family. Also, isn’t my Grampy adorable in his Texas A&M hat?
I know I mentioned it in my last post, but Christmas lights are simply lovely. This house had tons of hanging snowflakes!On Christmas night, Alanna & I lost 3 games of marbles in a row…but hey, in Steve Harvey’s book – we’re Champions. ;) Too soon?

Life may be crazy sometimes & it might not always look like I would have planned, but I’m unbelievably grateful for the journey & the Lord’s faithfulness in every step.

Merry Christmas friends. May your hearts & minds be focused on Christ & the joy of His coming!

Christmas in the USA (part 1).

My new Christmas tradition that I decided to start this year? Christmas pizzas. 

  
    
After Christmas pizza, the best thing to do is drive around town with some of your favorite people & find Christmas lights. Today was a day filled with reminders that relationships are to be cherished, no matter the distance. I’ve known these 2 girls for over a decade, & I’ve had the privilege to walk through many stages of life with them. The past few years have looked different since I’m not in the States, but the times we do get to spend together are cherished. Today was a sweet day to add to those cherished memories! We can also add some pretty great dance moves to those memories. When the 3 of us get together, it gets hilarious. 

Cheers to making memories, friends. Merry Christmas! 

   

Haiti Christmas Party 2015

I believe the Mobilization team Christmas party is one of the greatest events in Haiti!

From laughter, cake, games, recreating iPhone emojis, gifts, & sparkling juice – I sure do love this team!

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EB & I: 👯

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I’m looking forward to some time in the States this Christmas, but I sure do love this team & the chance to celebrate Christmas with them.

T H A N K S G I V I N G.

Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays. I LOVE Christmas, but I find that Thanksgiving is the necessary “reset” in my heart & mind to truly prepare me for Christmas.

The heart of being thankful is something I desire to define my life 12 months out of the year. However, in all honesty, I’m thankful for the cultural reminders & the “reset.”

This year, Thanksgiving day started with a worship service down at the Church of Hope with over 1,000 people! The church was FILLED with MOH employees, school children, & North American team members. What a perfect start to the day!

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Each year, we celebrate Thanksgiving “traditionally” as a staff family! I’m talking the whole spread: a turkey, all the delicious sides, & dessert. It’s always a favorite evening of mine! Full table, loads of laughter, & delicious food.

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Love these people, this place, & this holiday!

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Fall 2015.

Fall in Haiti is one of my favorite seasons. It’s filled with a bit of a slower pace, THANKSGIVING, & many other great things.

Enjoy some photos from this month! (captions below)

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Constant & I matched one morning. When she saw, she said “we have to take a photo!”

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Friends! Of course, Britney is the one doing the handstand. :)

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Reuben (Tex) went back to the states after serving at MOH for close to three years. Above is our staff praying over him before he left. Reuben, you sure are loved!

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Jude apparently took a selfie during church one Sunday. :)

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Some Saturday mornings look like the above photo. The struggle.

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Pretty light sweeping across the tree tops.

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This photo is of Marie France (our Guesthouse Manager) & her husband Bincent (a MOH driver) getting a final sonogram before their baby is born. This was also their first time to hear the baby’s heartbeat! They were told the entire pregnancy that the baby is a little boy, but this sonogram showed that it’s a little girl! The other really cool part of this story is that the sonogram technician, Kevin, is a friend of mind from my home church in Texas. It was really neat to get to watch worlds collide here in Haiti. On Friday, Nov. 20, Marie France had her beautiful baby girl “Benchelle”! Mama & baby are happy & healthy. Below is sweet Benchelle.

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We had a huge celebration service the Sunday before Thanksgiving with close to 200 guests that were serving with us for the week. It was incredible to see how many people gave up their traditions & selflessly served!

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I’m so proud of these 2 guys! Jean Marc (left) & Guetchine (right) shared their stories at the celebrations service & did a great job! It’s been encouraging to watch them grow as leaders, speakers, & advocates for the people of Haiti. They have experienced life transformation & desire the same for others!

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Thanksgiving morning sunrise – the best way to start the day!

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Justine made the most delicious & adorable sugar cookies that looked like a slice of pumpkin pie!

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Thanksgiving Day – time to wear boots & pretend it’s “fall” ;)

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The beautiful kitchen ladies that prepared a Turkey & mashed potato dinner for all of our guests! They received a standing ovation – the people were so grateful for their hard work.

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Frankline decorating the Thanksgiving desserts.

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Dreary overcast days are rare here…& I LOVE them.

Happy Fall, friends!

thankful for this staff family.

It’s far too often that I find myself caught up in the busy-ness of life, & another week slips by. And you know what? I’m over it. I’m over time slipping by right before me.

I don’t want to look back & see that I’ve lived years in Haiti & I forgot to document life in this unique season right here & right now.

I wanted to take a moment to highlight each member of this Haiti staff family. I don’t want to forget the beautiful melting pot that is the staff family in this season. We’ll never have the Fall of 2015 again, & I’m grateful the Lord has compiled these incredible people here for such a time as this.

Description is below each photo:

Bernards

Kenol & Rachel: When I think of this power couple, the one word that comes to my mind is faithful. They have a beautiful family, the BEST smiles I’ve ever seen, & they work each day to faithfully follow the path God has set before them. They are leaders.

EB

Elizabeth: EB is a total #GirlBoss. (if you don’t know what that means, it’s essentially saying she’s an inspiring leader). She was my boss when I interned back in 2012, & she’s since become a dear friend. She is a strong leader with a humble heart & a sincere love for Jesus. Give her a guitar? You’ve found yourself in the middle of a worship session. She’s one of my favorite worship leaders because she makes it ALL about Jesus. Google Docs has got nothing on her. Her mind is sharp & her talents are many.

Katie

Katie: Katie is a warrior. First, she’s a prayer warrior. There is no doubt in my mind that when Katie says she will pray for you – she will. She reminds me not to put God in a box. Her love for the Lord radiates. Her heart for the 60+ Orphanage Kids she’s “mom” to is one of the first things you’ll notice when you meet her. She shines!

Johnsons

Matt & Amanda: Both Matt & Amanda are two ridiculously creative friends. Amanda – with a brush & paper, a camera, & words. Matt – with a guitar & the ability to write a sermon that is relatable & theologically sound. They enjoy good coffee & will make it for their neighbor (cough, me) often. They are hospitable & gracious. They are the best parents to be & I can’t wait until baby J comes into the world Spring 2016! They’re always up for an adventure, or watching The Office…both are equally valuable. They make marriage look fun!

Kelci

Kelci: I’ve known Kelci since 2012, & I have loved to watch her grow. She is brilliant, y’all. She’s also hilariously witty & strong. She pours herself out for the least of these, & has an endurance that is clearly God-given. She handles difficult situations with prayer & grace. I’ve watched many people’s lives transform because of her faithfulness.

Britney

Britney: Britney reminds me to never take life too seriously. She busts out into random dance moves, twirls, & laughter daily. She is FUN. She has a deep joy that comes from a vibrant relationship with Jesus. She knows her purpose & she walks confidently in it.

Haley

Haley: Haley connects with everyone. She is relatable & kind, while also hilarious. She says one liners that will have you cracking up. She also has a way of articulating what the Lord has taught her in a relatable & sincere way. She is more talented than she would admit, & she’s filled with grace & Truth.

Courtney

Courtney: Courtney is a Godsend. She reminds me of Jesus & has such a gentle spirt about her. When I’m around her, I am always encouraged & more aware of Jesus. She is one who lifts people up. Kindness radiates from her. She also has a beautiful singing voice but she would never tell you that.

Carrie

Carrie: Carrie is a constant. She is gentle & calm, even in the midst of what others would call chaos. She is joyful, intentional, & a breath of fresh air. I often find myself thinking Carrie has been here for longer than she has because she just fits so well. I admire this woman!

  Holly

Holly: Holly is amazing with children. She is also so incredibly artistic & talented. When she makes pottery, she is in her happy place. Her creativity & kind spirit are qualities that I admire. She’s also really patient with kids…which I also admire. ;)

Justine

Justine: FUN. Justine walks in & she can own a room with her charisma, while she also can sit in the corner with a woman & talk about life. She has a way of finding joy in the ordinary moments of life. She loves to celebrate & she makes the best cupcakes.

Chris

Chris: Chris is one of the few men on staff, & I’m thankful for his presence. He’s a calm in the midst of medical situations, & he handles difficult situations with strength, sensitivity, & wisdom. He has grown so much in the time he’s been here & I admire him!

Reuben

Reuben: He loves Texas & bacon, but most of all he loves the Lord. He’s a hard worker with a unique fashion sense, & he always knows how to make someone laugh. He speaks fluent Creole & has a way of making you feel like family, even if he just met you.