Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Gilberts!

You can quit checking the mailbox . . . this post is our Christmas card this year!  The past two months have passed so quickly in a blur of sickness, travel, and busyness so my intentions of mailing out a cute card just didn't happen.  

But I must admit that the main reason you won't have a picture to put on your fridge is that I'm praying we'll be able to send out an adoption announcement soon.  I want a card with our family of five and my sweet Easton's face on your fridge instead!

Highlights from 2012

January . . . Chad and I were blessed to attend a Pastor's Retreat at Winshape Camps for four days and, most amazingly, for FREE.  There aren't words to describe how needed and amazing this time was for our marriage and in ministry.  {As if we needed more reasons to love Chick-fil-A!}

January . . . Chad's mom spent 10 days in the hospital after finding out that she has auto-immune hepatitis that has severely damaged her liver.  It was a scary time for our family, but we are so thankful for God's care for Grammy.  She has had a roller coaster year and is on the liver transplant list, but overall has stabalized.  We continue to pray for God's healing and sustaining power to be on her as she enjoys life with her three grandbabies!

February . . . Cole turns 31!

March . . . I attended Created for Care, an adoption conference just for moms, where I got to hear amazing testimonies from adoptive moms and meet other mamas from our agency {now we aren't just online friends!}.

March . . . God spoke and we obeyed.  We changed our adoption parameters so that we will adopt a son who is HIV positive.  God is already doing mighty things through our Easton!

April . . . Ava and Grayson have a cousin!  Chad's sister, Leigh Ann, had Penelope {Penny} on April 3rd and we have had so much fun loving on that sweet girl!

May . . . We enjoyed fabulous vacation to Florida with my family and Grayson got to experience the beach for the first time . . . not a fan!

June . . . Chad went on a mission trip to Guatemala with members from Edgewater as well as people from other churches in Louisiana.  They served at a malnutrition center for children {lots of fun times with adorable little ones} and shared the Gospel with the locals they met.

July . . . We finally got on AGCI's adoption waitlist!  Now we can watch our number drop each month as we wait to see Easton's face!

July . . . God has provided for our adoption in some major ways, including my cousins giving us their van!  We picked it up in September and are still praising God each time we get in!

July . . . Chad and I celebrated our 9th anniversary!  {I'm praying our 10th will be celebrated in Ethiopia!}

August . . . Chad celebrated 4 years as Pastor of Edgewater!  We are so grateful to God for planting us in a city we love with a faith family we love!

September . . . Ava's 4th birthday and a hurricane evacuation!

September . . . Chad and I went to the Empowered to Connect adoption/parenting conference in Nashville.  
Life. Changing.  

October . . . I continue to do ministry with Inward to men and women in the sex industry on Bourbon Street.  I attended a conference on sex trafficking and shared on the blog about the outrage that should come when we realize what is happening right here in the US.    

October . . . God provides not only for our needs, but also just blesses us with gifts out of His great love!  We had a swing set given to us!

November . . . Chad turns 32!

November . . . Chad and I attended several kindergarten open houses.  I'm still trying to figure out how it is possible that our baby girl will be going to school next year!  We're trusting in God's sovereignty in where Ava should go to school . . . the lottery system in NOLA schools is some kind of C.R.A.Z.Y. :)

December . . . Grayson turns 2!

December . . . We have a new addition to the family . . . Tilly, the cutest little mutt you've ever seen, has been such a joy so far!

2012 can be summed up in one word . . . grace.  

God's grace in our lives is overwhelming, undeserved, and is what we hope to proclaim in all we do and say.

We are especially thankful for His grace during this Christmas season.  Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us . . . What grace that God would become a man to rescue us from sin and provide with His death and resurrection our only hope for salvation and eternal life!

We pray that you will have eyes to see God's grace in your life, hearts of gratitude for what He has done on your behalf in Christ, and an amazing Christmas celebration spent in worship of our King.

"Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."  Luke 2:10-11


  1. From Mandi Eastwood:
    This is beautiful, Cole. You sure have a gift for putting words down! I'm so thankful we get to serve God together in Nola. We love y'all!!

  2. Love you, sweet friends!! Merry Christmas!!!