And just like that, it's December. After an intense month of writing back in October, I took an unexpected month of silence in this space.  Maybe I had used up all my ideas. Or maybe it had something to do with us having family in town for the month of November. Maybe it was all the turkey. 

One thing that November taught me was this: perspective. That word has been rattling around in my brain for weeks now and it all started with a deep-down-in-the-heart-of-things prayer from one of our boys. 

Backstory: At the beginning of November, we took the boys home to Mexico for the weekend (they stay with their families most weekends) but as we crossed back into the US, we encountered an issue. Somehow, something had been messed up in the system and it showed that the boys had never enrolled in school (let my 4 hours a night of homework speak otherwise, thankyouverymuch) and so we had to get more papers and send them off to Washington be looked at. This meant that the boys could not cross back into Mexico again if they wanted to be able to come back to the states until the paperwork was processed and returned.  Almost a month later, we are still waiting.

The boys, for the most part, have kept their spirits up with this unexpected change, but they miss their families.  You can hear it in their prayers. When they pray and ask God to please make sure their families have food and that their baby brothers have warm clothes to wear, well, let's just say it's a heart-check.  I can't imagine truly worrying about these things for my family, especially as a child. They have lived a live very different from mine.

It's really opened my eyes (even more so!) to how much I waste or take for granted. I have been made more aware and purposeful in my thanking God for the food we have within reach at all times and the heaters that can be turned on at the ready. We are praying every night that their papers are returned soon.  They really want to go back home for Christmas break and we are praying for them that that will happen.

In the meantime, I'm trying to get these boys in the Christmas spirit, although they stand firm that Christmas doesn't arrive until the 25th -- pssh! -- and we are also celebrating Advent - a time of expectation and hope as Christmas approaches.  The boys are older, so we are using The Jesus Storybook Bible (Spanish and English edition) and following this reading prompt. Do you celebrate Advent? What does that look like for your family?