Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

Happy Dia de los Magos Reyes (Day of the Magi)!  I personally feel like I’ve been showered with Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. I’ve been , astonished, spoiled, surprised, loved, and leveled in the most enchanting ways through a series of fortunate events. Some were planned, others were completely spontaneous, all occurred over the last six weeks.

It may have started with our family gathering at my mom’s.  Her plans to leave town from early December through the new year got us celebrating pretty early. A large and unexpected store credit gave our budget a much-needed shot of adrenaline. Gift giving is a treat beyond measure for me and God answered my bleating prayer. Who knew that the demise of my Ninja (pooping out after two splendid years) would be like rubbing a magic lamp? That store credit helped us take care of my four grand babies’ gifts and our nieces and nephews – woohoo!

Next, my hubby and I frantically cleaned house and plowed through our storage for Christmas lights and decorations for our little church soirée. Little, ha,ha, around 3o people with their kids merrily crammed into our small apartment for some potluck, champurado, desserts, hilarious games, gift exchange and “Brave” on DVD for the wee ones.FG KIDS And

To finish on schedule, we worked late into the night hanging lights and decorating our home. It wasn’t stressful, it was fun and stress releasing. Behind the scenes, another Christmas miracle was in the works. Rick’s uncle was hospitalized, in a coma, slipping into scary, unexpected complications and undergoing several surgeries. Our lives were consumed with prayers, visits, and deepest longings for his full recovery. After about eight weeks, his progress was undeniable and his second chance – a priceless blessing – was finally at hand. Throughout that time, I was reading “Oh Holy Night…” a true story about the Lord’s impact on World War I soldiers (see below). It inspired me to keep standing in that gap between very painful circumstances and God’s omnipotent love and grace.

Meanwhile, God’s phenomenal giving was surging into a fever pitch. The day after our church party, my hubby and I used our Disneyland passes to watch a Christmas show we weren’t expecting that completely captivated our hearts. A vast ensemble of choirs delivered a powerful concert of Christmas music narrated by actor John Stamos about the true meaning of Christmas: the birth of Christ the Savior. I cried, I cheered, and hugged my husband tightly as we stood there watching in awe. I especially want Disneyland execs to hear my joy filled praises over this kind of “kingdom magic.”

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The next day we went to visit my son and daughter-in-law to say goodbye because they were also leaving town. They shocked us with tickets to visit to my daughter’s home in the midwest. We would all be together as a family! The next day, on 2 hours of sleep, we drove to Las Vegas where, after so much fun with our kids and more family, we caught our flight to Springfield to surprise my daughter who had no clue we were coming. The look on her face at the airport was a like a tidal wave of mirth!

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Christmas at the Bellagio in Las Vegas

We spent ten unparalleled, blissful days with a touch of snow, cuddling our four grand babies, cooking, playing games, taking pictures, laughing, and getting another surprise with an early birthday celebration. I missed our parents and other family members but I knew all was well and that made everything perfect.

The Spirit of Christmas is cherished over any holiday throughout the year. And while some may ask why that is, some are invested in keeping it alive long after the final weeks of December when families reunited – often traveling for miles – and enjoyed traditions that have bonded them for years. I personally celebrate my belief that the first thing the Christ child and the Spirit accomplished was to bring that love of family about with the unifying presence of the shepherds and the 3 kings — destroying any division of the classes and giving all the opportunity to be one Family under heaven. You’ll see more compelling evidence of this in the amazing story below. The three kings brought gifts symbolizing divinityGods heart of gold that paves the streets of Heaven; the fragrance of healing and holiness through frankincense – the path we all need to be on; and Myrrh to persevere through everything.

A Heart Stirring Read

Oh Holy Night: The Peace of 1914                                                                                           Written by Michael Snow and Illustrated by Annie Berzovan

Oh Holy NightI highly recommend this book – especially to students from 6th grade through college. It will transport the reader to the hearts of letter writing soldiers facing death, fear, and the indomitably loving spirit of Christ in the traumatically harsh battle fields of World War I on one particular Christmas Eve. It combines historical accounts and details of the political composition of that war with the uniquely astonishing influence that only the Son of God could have on the common soldier – causing enemies to unite almost as brothers if only for less than 48 hours. I encourage everyone to read this book for both its educational and spiritual value during any time of year.

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About Light Stream

Casandra Moreno Lombera is an author, blogger, and Emmy nominated television producer who grew up in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver communities. In junior high school, she promised her single mother that she would get straight A’s in order to graduate early and help her relocate to Aurora, Colorado. She did… and though women and Latinas were scarcely visible in television, she dreamed of a future in broadcast journalism. From an early age, Casandra wanted children and loved to write. She began her career in television (writing and reporting on camera) at the age of 18. She also began raising two very successful children as a single mom. Throughout her career, she became an award winning, television producer/program creator (receiving both the Imagen and Golden Eagle Awards); was executive producer of both public affairs and children’s programming at KWHY-TV, Channel 22; and worked on camera hosting public affairs talk shows for many years. More distinctive opportunities came her way, however her desire to write children’s books and to blaze new trails in the publishing world became irrepressible. Her dreams today focus on empowering youth, writing (particularly about God’s love for them), and raising money for the impoverished through organizations like Hope Worldwide https://www.hopeww.org/sslpage.aspx. Throughout her life, she has been passionate about hands-on giving to the community and has received many forms of appreciation (including a congressional commendation) for her efforts. She has served on several boards including Communications Bridge Institute, training disadvantaged youth in television production; St. Anne’s, building futures for at risk teens and unwed mothers; HOPE, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality; the American Diabetes Association fund raising committee; and the Consumer Advisory Committee for the California Contractors State Licensing Board. Casandra is also a recipient of La Opinion’s 2012 Mujeres Destacadas (Exceptional Women) Award. She is completely smitten with her husband, two children, and four grand babies who inspired Light Riders. Follow her @casandratweets and @Lightersbook on Twitter. Her blog is at http://www.shewentthere.wordpress.com. Direct Contact: Lightridersbook@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Childhood, Christmas, Community, Cooking, DVD, Entertainment, Faith, Family, Food, Free, Fun, Games, Giving, Healing, Health, Kids, Loss, Movies, music, Nature, Parents, photography, Prayer, Shopping, Spanish, Spiritual, Women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

  1. This post had me in “happy tears” from the beginning to the end. Thank you. BB2U

  2. Truly love your story of reuniting with your loved ones this Christmas! I spent Christmas Eve with my cousins and aunt for the first time in years and cherished every moment. Happy New Year, Casandra! 🙂

  3. John Briggs says:

    Lcved reading your blog over coffee this morning! Put me in the “right place” emotionally as I begin my day. Thanks Casandra!

  4. Lola says:

    Wonderful!

  5. i love your blog, don’t find many that are so clear, it is nice to see that someone really understands. lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email

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