Christmas Letter 2014

Christmas

This year, I purchased photo Christmas cards for the first time. I’m laughing at myself now. They were so expensive and for what? I think next year, I’ll buy standard cards and write each recipient their own letter. I’m tired of the mundane traditions of the season and instead want to take each moment as it comes, revel in it, and be intentional about it’s purpose. Until then, enjoy your Christmas cards with a photo of us on the front; just what you wanted!

For those that follow me on this blog, Instagram, or the now semi-retired Facebook, it seems as if a Christmas letter is outdated. I remember as a little girl, I would have to stuff each letter into the card. As I grew, I started to edit my mother’s letters and take out the details that I was inevitably embarrassed about, albeit true. These days, you don’t need a letter when you have every. single. detail. about someone’s life, most of them you did not want to know. I could tell you the things I’ve eaten in the past 24 hours, or how I’ve (not) gone to the gym, or what I think of the person who cut me off, but why are those things important? They’re not. When we pass on, will you be remembered by the things you have done or said or shared or will share? I can’t stomach what y’all would think of me. So this Christmas, the focus is on Jesus. I could fill this letter with Dillon’s career accomplishments, my daily life as I’ve come to know it, family affairs, or what we plan for the next year; sure, they may be interesting, but they do not matter in comparison to much bigger things.

So this year, the letter is about Jesus.
You may stop reading now, I totally understand.

This time last year, Dillon and I packed up our entire lives and jumped into black water. We could not see the bottom and begged God to help us stay above it. The story continues that He did, we survived, and our life is steady these days. Yet, it goes so much deeper than that. Please know, I can only speak for my own heart, although it’s often in rhythm with my husband’s, so this is largely from my perspective. His story is his to share.

In the past…I suppose many years, even though I wish it was a blink of an eye, I’ve battled some things that I would not have chosen for myself. As humans, we piece together this life we want, comprised of everyone else’s lives, to result in the perfect circumstances. In my heart, that was built as a castle, a castle that I lived in for many years and it was made of pure, thin, fragile glass. I did not dwell with God, I stayed within my own self and the only way God was going to get me out of it was to take it down in one swift motion of gut wrenching pain. What was a swift motion, became a drawn out ache, coloring everything I saw. I was mostly angry with God, as He had taken away the glass house I had tiptoed in for my entire life. As the years went on, I sought council, friendship, and healing, my life was rebuilt. I felt like God took the glass away, and has rebuilt a small dwelling in my heart, made of heavy beams and only roomy enough for Him.

The outside of me has followed suit, letting go of the things that fit the frailness of my heart and in came a sturdy, simple, and naturally beautiful things that resonate with God. Instead of feeling as though I must look perfect all the time, I instead thrive off feeling real and dirty and hard working. I have been stripped of everything I used to fill my heart other than God.

The journey was long, is long I should say, and full of many steps. I still thank God every day that my husband brought us to Colorado, as it was completely vital to my healing. I will die here and enter heaven through the Rocky Mountains. I still walk those steps every day and have to check my emotions daily. More than that, I have to check my heart daily. Am I pushing God out? Am I replacing Him with things that only served to shatter my world? Each day is a step, sometimes forward, sometimes backwards but at least I am on steady ground again.

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord. – Psalm 40:1-3

This Christmas season signifies a huge leap of trusting God, and of massive amounts of healing. I am forever, and ever joyful to be thriving today, but only by the grace of God. I hope this transforms every moment for me and leads to monumental things in this next year.

There is no better summary of the year than this: God is a God of redemption, healing, and is an expert craftsman. I may not always want it, but I can depend on God being my constant, even when glass houses break.

With so much love, peace, joy, and holiday cheer from the front range,

Cameo Abigail Pierce

October & November Update / Thoughts about adoption

I hope this finds you well and living in the goodness of Jesus. Our life has been uneventful, but fulfilling. We have moved into our new home and totally love it; it’s bright, open, and best of all, packed with people every Thursday night for small group. We always want our home, in whatever capacity, to be open for people, to be a safe place and a welcoming place. As we are blessed with space, so we give it back. Our cups runneth over with those who enter and we are grateful for every guest who finds refuge here.

We will cut our Christmas tree down next week, and once it’s up and decorated, I’ll post some photos. Of course, I would much rather have you walk through the door and sit in our living room. You are welcome any time for any reason at all. This Saturday is our town’s 79th Annual Starlighting. The entire town shuts down and we gather in the downtown square and read a poem, sing Silent Night, and count down the lighting of the huge star that sits on THE Castle Rock. It is the biggest event of the entire year in our little town. You can read more about the history here. I am so excited and I will likely cry through the entire thing. Sure, it’s a bit hokey, but I’m all about hokey.

One of my best friends and I are planning a trip to Europe in February and I’m really looking forward to that! I’m mostly looking forward to a beer and pretzel, followed by chocolate cake in Germany. Is that stereotypical of me to think that? Is that like every other place in the world thinking that Americans only eat burgers? Because that’s true. I eat a lot of burgers. Regardless, I’m thrilled.

Our families are doing well. My daddy is finally recovering from his broken leg back in February, mama is enjoying her time with committees and ministry, which she’ll do until she dies. The little boys are doing great too! Karson is finally tall enough to see the top of the pool table and Kaiden is a world famous scientist in the world of 6 year olds. Dillon’s younger brother Jake is finally home from his trip and I’m exhaling for a successfully safe trip across the United States. Their parents’ businesses are growing wildly, and their ambition and dreams course through Dillon’s soul just as much.

The weather is balmy, about 60* during the day, and in the 30s once the sun goes down. Last week, we got roped into the polar vortex and it reached a high of 0 degrees one day, sans wind chill. It was my most favorite day, I love the shift in seasons.

If I may also shift direction of this post, I’d like to share my heart. I don’t think I have a whole lot of readers, so I like to use this space as a canvas where my heart and mind can collide and make sense of things. If you read this along the way, welcome in to my soul.

For my entire life, I’ve always known I will adopt. It’s always been a part of my story, and as Dj and I grow in Christ, it’s become ours. God has moved in Dillon’s heart immensely, as in mine. We will adopt.

The way I see it, adoption is Christ.

If I get the pleasure and honor of being a mother via adoption, it will be beautiful and exciting and a moment of straight up goodness from God.

But there is heartbreak first. A mother must give up her child, hoping that by her choice, this child will have a fighting chance.

Her heartbreak is my hope.

Isn’t that Jesus on the cross? God gave up His son, that by that sacrifice something beautiful would come of it. It was painful and hard but it changed the world.

I hope to replicate that in my small, insignificant life. That by a woman’s sacrifice, something beautiful would come of it. It will be painful and hard, but it will change the world for that child and for our family. 

I think of her often. If we adopt, when? How old is our birthmother right now? Is she 5? Is she 15? What is her family life like? Does she love Jesus? Does the father of her child love her?

It breaks my heart that something I desire so strongly in life comes at the cost of a broken life for her. If I believe that God has called me into adoption, then I must also believe that God has called this girl into a scary life…brave, yet hard decisions have to be made.

I pray for this girl, whomever she may be, wherever she might be. Whenever our worlds finally cross paths, I will hug her and tell her that I have prayed for her for years, and I thank God that she is a pure reflection of redemption.

Goodnight, all.

December 2013 – September 2014

We have been in Colorado almost 10 months and I’ve yet to update y’all thoroughly. It’s been a whirlwind of change and moving parts, yet at the same time, it feels like vacation. 

Fall is making a slow entrance, with the days still being about 84, but the nights getting around 45 degrees. Every few trees are starting to turn yellow and the mornings are a bit crispier. In a few weeks, we will be in full blown fall, with the entire countryside being brown, orange, and yellow. By late October, snow will be immanent and by the annual Castle Rock Starlighting in November, it will be a fairly harsh winter according to the weather guys. It is so beautiful having seasons and getting to experience the leaves changing, the snow coming, the flowers growing, and the warm summer days and afternoon storms.

We spend a lot of our days outside, grilling, relaxing, running, hiking, or exploring. There is rarely a day that doesn’t require a few minutes outside in the rocking chair.

Here is what’s going on in our life:

Dillon : Dillon works for Northstar Realty Securities, who handle commercial real estate investments. He works in the Denver Tech Center, which is a very large and beautiful business district in Greenwood Village. He drives about 30 minutes to and from work, and since his clients are on the east coast, he is up and out of the house by time I reach my second REM level. He loves his job and is continually a top producer. I have never met a harder working man in my entire life, and he never once complains about the long days. He is honored to provide for our family and I am honored to be his wife. He is currently in the beginning stages of training for a triathlon, still golfing plenty, and has been reading a ton of books, mostly about the stock market, investments, and other business related things. 

Cameo : I’m working a few hours a week at an investment firm in downtown Castle Rock, a couple hours a week being the county ambassador for Operation Gratitude, and filling in my time with CrossFit and horses, my two love. I keep my days fairly simple and easy, taking care of our home, and enjoying life. It’s super healing! I’ve adapted the paleo “lifestyle” (as opposed to diet, as I don’t know what the heck it’s called), which is essentially eating meat, fruits, and veggies, and things that are derived from those things. I’ve felt awesome, and continue to do so, and found out that gluten and I are just not great friends. Who knew I spent my whole life feeling terrible for the sake of a roll of bread!? I’m really taking time to take care of myself and ensure I’m living the best life I can.

Home : Dillon and I have been staying in my parents “bed and breakfast”, where the door is constantly revolving with guests in their many bedrooms. We have enough privacy, while still able to pay off debt, save, and find the perfect place in Colorado, where the market is a touch expensive (think DOUBLE than Tempe, AZ, our previous place). We’ve finally found an awesome apartment that is big, light, airy, and open. We will move in the first week of October, just in time to get settled before winter hits. We are SO excited and our guest room will be ready for y’all!

Family : The Colorado family is all doing well. Kaiden (nephew) started Kindergarten and is probably the most in love with school out of all of us. Dad is headed in for another surgery (that makes 4!) on his foot/leg, which he broke in February. It’s been a constant one thing after another and we’re hoping to be DONE with all of the hoopla by Christmas. Dillon’s family is also doing well here in Arizona, with both of his parents’ businesses booming. Dillon’s brother, Jake, is living in North Dakota but will soon be on the move again, traveling the United States in his truck. By Christmas, we hope to all be together again. Dj and I have NO intentions of building our Pierce family for many years, and if anything, maybe we’ll get a pup someday, although it’s still a touchy subject (GSD or lab!?).

Church : We’ve settled into Plum Creek Community Church about a mile from home and really enjoy it. We’re in a small group with 3 other couples and will soon be introducing a baby boy into the group. In the fall, I’ll be joining in on BSF, which is a women’s bible study. I’m sure many of you are familiar with it.

We miss our friends and family that are scattered throughout the United States, but at the same time, so LOVING our adventurous life in Colorado. It feels good to build a life, build a career, build a family, and do it all together. We’re dream followers to a fault, and our dreams took us to Colorado. 

We are forever grateful.

Love from the Front Range,

Dillon + Cameo