I hope you all had a wonderful, meaningful holiday filled with traditions and loved ones! Christmas and New Years can be a beautiful time, but also a time filled with triggers that have the ability to launch us into sadness and pain. We work hard at New Hope to help our girls make new, happy memories and during the holidays we find it especially important to reimagine with them what it means to celebrate the birth of our King. Every night of December we gather together and have a special devotion using The Advent book, which, if you haven’t seen it, it’s a beautiful addition to any advent traditions you may have. We fill each girl’s stocking with ten tiny gifts and throughout the month there are surprise doors that prompt them to open each of their new treasures. We find that the anticipation is perfect and helps to inspire and communicate the spirit of advent.
On Christmas eve we share a meal and we go to sleep in our new PJs. This year the ladies in the workshop made custom PJs for everyone in the girl’s house including staff. The tradition in our area is to celebrate the opening of gifts on Three Kings day, January 6th, but as we are making new traditions-- we open our gifts on New Years Day after a late morning recovering from the New Year’s Eve Bonfire. Then, on Three Kings Day, instead of receiving gifts—we give them! This year Vera Bradley helped us give by providing beautiful bags we could fill with treats for kids in the hospital during the holidays.
Many of you helped shop for our ladies and girls this year. I gave you wish lists and you all truly went above and beyond! God used you to remind us of the "more" and the abundance He has promised us. Watching the individual reactions in the room as our girls and women uncovered their new treasures filled our home with gratitude.
I remember when our girls didn’t know how to receive a gift. There was NO affect or reaction… But look at them now! Joy is truly a fruit of the spirit and we are blessed to bear witness to this fruit in each of our girls.
Here is a sneak peak into the special Holidays of New Hope Girls. Thank you again for being part of our story and growth. We are grateful to begin a new year in reflecting on what we have been given while looking ahead to the goodness and beauty that lies ahead!