No place like Home for the Holidays!!!
You might be celebrating the holidays ‘away from home’ if…
We love that we can be surrounded by friends and new family here. Last year, Thanksgiving in Texas was a juggling act of trying to juggle people’s schedules and football games and work. In the end, only the three of us and our mothers were able to have dinner together. This year, 16 of our friends and family gathered in our home in Spain for dinner. We celebrated with a family from Puerto Rico (USA), a family from Mexico/Texas, Billy’s mom, and a family from Spain. The Spain family are commonly referred to as “Sarah’s Spanish Family”, as they adopted her (and us) years ago and they are never not involved with us. If a day or two goes by without contact, they check in on us. If Sarah has a cold, they want to take her to the doctor or bring her a home remedy. In fact, each of these families is so special to us and is so closely connected to us that we consider them family. So, when I say that we celebrated with friends and family, I mean it in every sense of the word! I’m thankful for these great people.
There are several things that I’m especially thankful for during the holidays in Spain:
Pray for us as we spend another holiday season away from Texas. It won’t be easy. It never is. We miss our boys. We miss our mothers / brothers / sisters / friends more than ever during these times. And thank God that He has surrounded us with friends and family here in Spain that help us to have new traditions and feel loved and connected. We are home for the holidays, because home is both in Texas, and in Spain - home is where you have relationship roots, home is where you are loved!
~ Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas from
Laurie, Billy, and Sarah
11/28/2016 04:15:40 pm
It's such a joy to read your letter and to be able to serve with you as you share God's love. What a blessing to have those dear friends in Spain. Blessings for Christmas and the new year!
11/28/2016 05:14:57 pm
My first year in Thailand, was also my first time ever working on Thanksgiving. It was odd, but everyone gathered and celebrated on the Saturday after. It was also my first ever sitting at a table with a large group of people, that was very different. Someone from the states had sent candy corn and candy corn pumpkins and I remember LOVING my two candy corn pumpkins yum!! Thanks for your heartfelt Thanksgiving blog. So thankful to be praying for you and all that you are able to do
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In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a soccer mom, a horsewoman, and the neighborhood hospitality queen. I did "Joanna Gaines farmhouse style" before Chip and JoJo were even a thing - we restored an 1884 Victorian farmhouse in small town Texas and did shiplap walls until I thought I'd go crazy. I taught at NASA, scuba dived with astronauts in training, and studied animals at Sea World for educational purposes. I've tried just about everything, because I have an insatiable need to know if I can do it! Never underestimate a Texas girl in cowboy boots!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in small town Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers via teaching and training and care, and helping displaced people to navigate their new reality in Europe.
I'm passionate about fostering personal growth, growth in community, and growth in The Kingdom. Walking alongside others and helping them to use their unique design, their gifts and strengths and maximize their abilities to fulfill their God-given purpose - that's what makes my heart sing!