Jan 5, 2012

2012...


Welcome to 2012! It seems absolutely wild to even type that number or write in my journal but here we are: January 2012. Wide open possibilities, stories yet to be told, adventures yet to be had and lessons yet to be learned! 

I’ve had the very best time spending time with my precious family and dear friends here in California. We had a wonderfully full Christmas celebration including many opportunities for me to sing at VBC and lots of cuddle time with all four of my nephews. Some of my family members and I braved the beautiful chaos of Disneyland at Christmas time and ushered in the New Year in California Adventure watching fireworks and colors bounce off the extremely foggy night sky. My highlights of the trip include riding “Soaring Over California” nestled in-between my nephews Isaiah and AJ holding tight to their hands and watching their faces experience the ride for the first time. As well as all of the one-on-one time I got to spend with Noah who was too little to ride the majority of the rides but had a blast watching all of the people and the rides as they zoomed by. I had a wonderful time with my sisters and laughed so hard I cried on more than one occasion. It’s been so special being back in California but I have to admit I’ve been missing my babies something crazy and I can’t wait to hold each of them in my arms once again!

A few days before Christmas I visited my sister Melinda’s church for a Christmas service. Just as the service was beginning Melinda introduced me to a little family who had just had a baby girl earlier in December. With their permission I held her for the worship segment of the service and as soon as Melinda placed the tiny bundle in my arms I totally started to cry. Not graceful, subtle, easily hidden tears but embarrassing, surprising sobs that caught me completely off guard. I missed my babies! I missed my calling and all of the certainty and peace that it’s brought to me heart and mind. The past few weeks have brought into brilliant clarity the longing that has been and will continue to be sprinkled into my life while serving at DOH. When I am in South Africa I am missing the close proximity of my family, my friends, my church family and the cozy familiarity that being in the Bay Area provides. But while I’ve been here in California I’ve missed my babies, my Aunties, my roommates, the climate and culture that have been my home for the past 13 months. Above all else I am longing for heaven and for the beautiful day my Savior will hold the real me in His arms, that amazing day when He will make all things new!

I am excited to spend the next few weeks continuing to share about my adventure at DOH and all of the precious little ones the Father has planted into the depths of my heart! Please pray that I would be able to clearly share my story and our babies’ stories over yummy cups of coffee and from church pulpits. Please pray that I would use my time wisely and that I would be able to connect with everyone who I am supposed to. Please pray that I would be able to carve out time for my nephews, for my family and friends. Please be praying that the Lord would continue to spark peoples’ hearts to pray for me and to prayerfully invest in practically supporting my adventure. I’ve been encouraged in so many ways and I pray that these last few weeks in California would be protected, full and showered with favor and joy.

May the God of all hope encourage you and hold your hand as we head into this brand new year!

Much love….

~ Nicole

Here are some pictures of me and my precious nephews:

 Getting some Parker cuddles in Green Bay


Noah and I people watching in Disneyland

 Isaiah looking gangster waiting for our turn on the Toy Story ride

 AJ was kind enough to offer up a smile for his Toy Story "Partner"

 Captain Jack Sparrow

 Me and my good friend Peter Pan

 Noah and I sharing a Christmas cookie and Isaiah's school Christmas party

My favorite Parker Christmas picture (I stole it from his mommy's facebook page)

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