A Merry Christmas Season to You & Your Family!image

Luke and I have returned to the U.S. for the Christmas season! We are so happy to be home for the holidays. We are spending time with family and friends in Virginia and Nashville after living in Haiti for over a year.

We love the Christmas season! I love the time to celebrate, catch up with family and friends, shop for Christmas gifts, drink yummy holiday drinks from Starbucks, listen to wonderful music, watch holiday movies, eat cookies and more!

I also love the joy and reflection that comes from December. It’s the end of the year. I can’t help but think over the past year and be thankful.

God has been so good to us! We have had many challenges and victories while living in Haiti, launching our books: Radiant Purpose and Runaway Stroller,  growing in ministry, working on businesses and relationships with friends and family in the U.S. and Haiti. It’s not been easy but God has been faithful. He’s given us strength and perseverance for the journey. image

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3 Things I Am Reflecting On In This Season Are:

1. In Christ there is abundant understanding, love, grace and joy.
I have had so many times where I have struggled to feel like my thoughts, feelings and heart were truly known while living in Haiti. But Jesus knows. He gets every aspect of my life and yours. He has seen every moment of joy, every tear cried and understands fully.

The fact that the Lord over all understands me fully is so encouraging. He knows my strengths and weaknesses. He knows the good, the bad and the ugly that come from living in the third world and the first world. He cares. I have so much joy in knowing that I am known by Him. You are too.

2. Transparency and authenticity are the doors to true community.
Sometimes it can be hard for me to share with others how I’m really doing. I can be hurting but still want to listen to others. It’s so hard because my wiring really says me last, others first. Eventually I do open up with those I trust most. Talking is therapy for me.

When I share I always feel better. Things get clearer and make a lot more sense. I’m learning to tell the truth more even when it’s hard.

Be real and open up the hard and the good.

Yes, I’m tired today. I need some rest. No I don’t want to spend time with any people, just coffee and a book today. We’ve had a really hard season that we just came out of. This is how I really feel. This is what I really want. I don’t like this. I do like that. And so on.

For a recovering people pleaser with an approval addiction, speaking the truth in love can be a challenge. But it’s so refreshing when I speak, others respond with understanding and I just am simply myself.

3. Joy, fun, and rest are necessary.
It’s good to laugh and have fun!

It’s good to enjoy friendships, family, coffee and food. It’s good to rest and take naps. It’s good to write and think. It’s so therapeutic for me to do life giving things like go to the mall and shop with my sister, search for Christmas gifts for family, write blog content and plan for the future.

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Speaking of life giving. I love self-care: make-up, essential oils, warm baths, candles and beauty products! I’m pretty high energy and love to connect, do and go. Things that relax and rejuvenate me are so wonderful because it helps me have the energy to keep going! I’m loving this Shea Butter by Talia Waajid to keep moisturized in the cold weather in Sterling. Thanks Angela!

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We had a lovely time with my sister Hannah at her Yelp Elite Event at Hail & Hog! She and I wore fun holiday shirts she got us from Victoria’s Secret. If you’re in northern Va check out Hail & Hog! I did my very first Yelp review of the event here.

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Luke and I really enjoyed our time at the Yelp Event and are loving using the Yelp app.

Sometimes life gets so busy that I forget to breathe and relax. I have struggled for a long time with rest, but when I do: God Almighty always rejuvenates my soul in deep ways.

He is The Healer. Sabbath is joy. There is freedom in the good and lovely simple things.

I have been enjoying visiting, taking pictures and doing some fun holiday acivities with my husband, my sister, and my parents during our visit in Sterling, Va. We have had a blast having lunches out, shopping and catching up on life.

image  Luke, me, and Hannah at McLean Bible Church.

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Luke, me, my sister Hannah, my Mom and my Dad at McLean Bible Church.

Jesus Christ is love and I pray that the Holy Spirit will minister healing, joy and grace to you this season.

Immanuel, God with us! He is here. He came so we would experience salvation, peace, and joy in Him!

What lessons are you learning this Christmas season? What’s your favorite part of the holiday season?

I’d love to hear from you!

Stay Radiant, Stay Beautiful!

Semone

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