I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t like winter. I just survive it. My fireplace has helped the last few years to boost me along, but this winter it’s been in need of repair. I finally have it fixed, just in time for Christmas!
I know some are struggling this season. I have a friend who’s marriage is falling apart, another who’s dad just passed away, and others who are missing family members stationed in unknown locations. I don’t take it lightly that I had all my family under one roof for Christmas Eve.
Isaiah made it home from California amidst a horrible blizzard and cold snap!
Samuel and Liv braved the drifts and slept over, which was so fun! Andrew and I woke up Christmas Eve morning and the first comments we made were how good it was to have everyone under our roof. We felt so blessed!
Lots of gifts were exchanged, lots of cookies were eaten, lots of games were played. We all had a wonderful time and I’m so thankful for this clan the Lord has given us.
Andrew and I have asked each other numerous times over the past month, how is it the end of the year? How did it all go by so quickly? And now we have to think of Christmas?
I love Christmas and I’ve grown to love it more every year. I love the lights and decorations, although this year we haven’t decorated much yet with all the remodeling going on.
I really love picking out gifts for my kids and friends. I’m a gift giver at heart. I love to think about what a person needs or would like. I love to wrap it and hand it to them. I love to see their joy if I’ve done a good job. And it’s impossible for me to stay within budget. Sorry, hon.
What I love most of all, though, about this season is setting our hearts and minds on Jesus. I know there are a lot of people in this world today who don’t know or love Jesus. I know there are a lot of people in this world today who have been hurt by people who claim to be Christian. I know there are a lot of people in this world who choose to live by their own truths, standards, and beliefs.
But as for me and my house…
I’m sure many look at us as strange and different. They probably don’t know what to do with us. By most people’s reactions to our family I’m sure they are stupefied.
Ah, but wasn’t Jesus strange and different. He sure ruffled a few feathers when he walked this earth. He’s still ruffling feathers. And if you don’t seem strange or odd or different from the culture, why not? Has He, the Savior, changed you? Have you allowed Him to?
This Christmas season is the perfect time to dig into that. How can I reflect on Jesus and open my heart to Him in such a way that I am changed? How can I point my kids towards the One who can heal, fill the holes in their heart, and change them for the better?
While I love the lights and gifts and anticipation on the Christmas season, I hope my kids see deeper than all those things. I pray they see The True Love, The Eternal Light, The Perfect Gift. I hope I see Him and can focus on Him more than everything else!
This year we’re studying the names of Jesus, one each day leading up to Christmas. It’s been so joy-filled everyday so far and we all look forward to learning a new name each day.
Not only is it pointing our hearts and minds towards the real reason for the season but it’s becoming a beautiful Christmas decoration for our unfinished living room too!
In whatever way you celebrate the season, I hope and pray you take time to reflect on Jesus and who He is, what He’s done for you, and how He can change you! We wouldn’t even have this amazing holiday without Him!
Now mind you, we were all getting ready to go out and cut down the tree, when I spied a couple of my men with guns. Yeah, guns. What in the world do we need guns for? I don’t remember needing those to cut down a tree.
“Operation red squirrel took priority,” stated Andrew matter-of-factly. Okay…can we just go cut down our tree??
This year is unique. For one, we just had a baby four days ago. For two, we have a shed leaving our property.
What does that have to do with a Christmas tree? Well, since mama is still in recovery mode, we didn’t want to travel far for a tree. We usually go to a sweet little tree farm about a half hour away to pick our tree. That’s not far, except when you’ve just given birth! An hour drive for a tree didn’t sound like something I could manage this year. Of course the family could have gone without me, but where’s the fun in that?!
Here’s where the shed enters in. There’s an old grain shed on our property that just sits empty. It’s actually a really neat old building. I love the old wood, wondering about the different people who used it and the different ways it was used. I love the old hay smell. You can just feel the history when you walk in. But since it sits empty and we have long term plans for that spot, we decided to sell it. And this fall it’s moving off our property. To move it, the farmer who is taking it has to cut down a number of trees on the west side of our property. Hence, the Christmas tree right on our own property.
So, just a little walk, in the bright sunshine this afternoon and we have our tree! It was such a gorgeous day, the sun even still felt warm on our faces. The kids found hiking sticks, because you know, it was such a long walk. Andrew got to use the chainsaw, which always makes him happy! And I got outside, which I haven’t done in quite a few days. All in all, a great “field trip”.
You know how the tree always looks smaller when it’s outside??
Yeah, it’s a little full! Might take a bit of trimming…
God is good, isn’t He? He provided a tree free and easily that we wouldn’t have otherwise considered. It’s not perfectly groomed, and we may not fit through the doorway next to it, but it’ll be a family memory we’ll never forget, guns and all!