December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Santos Times. 
We pray that God would bless you as you consider His great gift to us in giving us a SAVIOR which is Christ the Lord.


For us?

Tamales (of course)
Ham and garlic potatoes
Salad and green been casserole
apple pie and cherry pie ala mode

Sparkling cider and cocoa

Christmas Eve service
Board games and hymns
The Christmas story recited by memory. (Have you memorized the story too?)
Open gifts at midnight (or thereabouts depending on whether the old people can make it)
Happy Happy Christmas to you all.

December 21, 2012

Dear Mom

The world was supposed end today.  But no, not yet.  How are things where you are? Say hello to Auntie Nina and Grandpa for me.

I hung the nativity quilt you gave me. It's on the same wall as it is every year and the children said they can't imagine Christmas without it.  We've been having different people over for tea and refreshments to share in the decorations and the season.  You would be delighted. Wish you could come too.

We received a big box in the mail. Don and Lisa sent gifts to the kids. It was so surreal, as if you were still here.  I was very thankful for the kids sake, who can hardly contain themselves for the excitement.

Sophia and Noah are going to play bells in the Christmas program at church. How pretty it sounds! I will try to record it for Don. Naomi isn't in the show.  Why not? It's a long story that I wish you could help me with.  I really don't know what I am doing when it comes to being their mother. I should've asked you more questions while you were here. I should've listened more and not tried to prove how well I was doing.

Luis and I are doing better, Praise God.  We came so close to divorce. It seemed like the only answer. Thankfully, many people were praying for us.  God's grace is so abundant!

I know you meant the inheritance to be a blessing to us all.  It was a blessing, but not in the way you intended.  It revealed so much, like a big spotlight on our character...everyone's.  You know how you have to pull all the junk out of the closet before you can really say it is clean?  I didn't know how much junk there was!

I ended up giving up my share. At times I feel angry. I was robbed. It was so amazing, Mom.  When I asked the Lord, "What should I do?" He led me right to 1 Corinthians 6:6-7 "But brother goes to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another.  Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?"  And then I remembered "I have been crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I; but Christ liveth in me."

Luigi has been really into chess lately.  He plays against the computer and even reads books on how to win.  I asked the other day, "Would you like me to learn how to play chess so that we can play together?"  He said "yes" and promptly assigned me "chess tasks" LOL.  Everything is a project to him.

I paid a woman to finish the quilts you made for the girls. We will pick them up this weekend.  Now I can hardly wait for that! I hope they turned out well!

Sophia is improving in violin and will soon begin piano lessons.  She is so amazing how she can just pick up a tune by hearing it.  She is also pittling around with a guitar.  I hope to get her more established in her music studies.  Naomi is reading! YEAH! She writes a weekly newspaper called "3 Kidz Newz".  Most of the words are misspelled, but it is very creative and fun to read.  It has everything: ads, comics, weather, even a column called "Mom's corner" where I contribute.  Noah and Sophia also contribute with different articles.  If you were here, we would mail them to you.  For now, I just collect them in their portfolio.

Noah is eight years old now.  He continues to be a blessing.  What a talker! Everywhere we go he engages people in conversation - the checkout guy, the chiropractor, the receptionists.  I was overwhelmed when he commented on one woman's looks the other day.  He said, "Are you sick?"  She said, "No, that is just my birthmark" (half of her face was purple).  "Oh. I was wondering what was wrong with you.  Guess nothing IS wrong with you.  You were just made that way." I thanked her for being so gracious.

Oh, I forgot. Auntie Rhoda came up for a visit.  It was like fresh water.  I didn't know how much I wanted and needed a part of you.  She really blessed us and helped the children to deal with missing you so much.

Uncle Gordon  posted all his old pictures on facebook. They are wonderful!  I love seeing pictures of you with the family.  Little by little we are getting used to life without you.  God is good and He is doing good things in my life.  I will miss you always.  Until we meet again,

Your Laura 

December 18, 2012

Cancel Christmas?

I wonder why when something tragic happens people want to cancel Christmas?

I say, "Thank God it is Christmastime!" 

It reminds me that there is Hope. 

"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."

It is a scary time.  Everywhere we turn in this world something tragic is happening.  A flood, an earthquake, a war, a shooting, cancer, corruption.  I am tempted to fear. 

I look around the house at the decorations and they remind me, It's Christmastime! 

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

But perhaps you are not looking for a Savior.  Maybe all we want is more money, no suffering, everyone to do the "right" thing according to our own philosophies.  If we had that then there would be nothing to fear.

Maybe that is the problem.  We fear the wrong things - the external stuff. 

"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28

We fear the stuff we can see and touch, but not the Living God that made us.  Do we remember that we are created?  We are born with a purpose. 

If we did fear the Lord, we would know that we are sinners in need of a Savior.  We would know that it is impossible to make ourselves good.  Every day we fail.  Every day people fail around us. 

THEN we would despair for what hope is there?

We would look around at the lights and anticipation and perhaps...

We would remember...

"Oh YEAH! It's Christmastime!"

"Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."

ALL PEOPLE!  For unto you is born this day, in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

"O fear the Lord ye his saints for there is no want to them that fear him." Psalm 34:9


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