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Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I love this time of year…. usually.  It’s my favorite holiday.  I love the lights on the house, and the tree all lit up.  I love taking a moment to gaze at all our handmade ornaments, from the time I was a child and now my children’s ornaments.  I enjoy sending and receiving Christmas cards, and even baking cookies.  But for some reason this year it all seems so tiring.  Maybe it’s me and the fact that we are still adjusting to our family of six.  I know that seems like such an excuse, but it’s only been a little over a month since we’ve been home.  Maybe it’s that I’ve been so much more tired than usual, or the fact that the King Fish has been traveling.  I barely feel like I can get the day to day stuff accomplished, much less all of the Christmas things.  I won’t even think about blogging about life and Christmas!  I’m lucky to get a shower most days!

I’d love to be super mom and show the homemade gingerbread houses we made with an entire gingerbread family to go inside. I’d love to showcase my beautifully decorated house… all decked out for Christmas like the pages of my Country Living magazine. However, there are six bins still sitting in my entryway filled with Christmas decorations that we won’t be using this year.  My schoolroom is literally like a cyclone hit it, and the playroom has been made into a makeshift bedroom for my young man who broke his collarbone and must sleep sitting upright. There are dishes in my sink from last night (fly lady would be appalled), and I can barely stand to mention the laundry.  It’s okay though… it really is.

I was talking to a long time friend of mine the other night.  Kelly and I haven’t caught up in a year.  But she’s the kind of friend you can jump right back in with.  There is no superficiality….  our conversation goes right past “how have you been”, and somehow it weaves it’s way into what God has been doing in our lives.  There is always a great dose of “realness” and transparency in there which is such a blessing.  Kelly was my neighbor for many years back north. She was also my prayer partner.  We lived four houses away from one another and would get together and pray once a week.  I can’t tell you the number of prayers that were answered or the amount of tears that were shed at my kitchen table.  It was a sweet, sweet time for me.  At Christmas one of the things we would do is bake goodies, like banana bread and blueberry muffins, and take them around the neighborhood to whoever was home during the day.  God always knew who needed the basket, or a friendly face on the day we went. 

I’m so not saying that in a trite sort of way….

He really knew and would have the people home who needed the encouragement the most.

I’d be traveling with Tiger Shark and Jabber Jaw in the double stroller and we’d start walking up the hill to the people we rarely saw, but whom we knew were widows and widowers or elderly couples.  One year Kelly and I also hosted a Christmas tea for ladies who were a part of a neighborhood bible study.  Each lady was to invite a friend who they wanted to hear the gospel message.  Truly, truly special times she and I shared.

During our recent phone conversation we both talked about the things we needed to do for Christmas.  Both of us were way behind, and we joked about our word J-O-Y.  It’s sort of our own inside joke/memory of our Christmases on Farmington Lane.  During our many prayer times and conversations we talked about our attitude at Christmas.  Kelly shared how if she couldn’t accomplish the things on her to do list without grumbling or complaining, then she wasn’t going to do them.  Period.  I jumped on that mindset whole heartedly as we discussed having a joyful heart as we set about accomplishing our many tasks of the season.  If we couldn’t be joyful in the process of baking cookies, or filling out our Christmas cards…. if they were just a thing to be checked off the list, grumbling all the way, then we wanted no part of it.  We laughingly reminded each other of that this Christmas.

Which explains why I have not baked a single cookie for Christmas yet.  (There is nothing worse than a mom who is all stressed out and grumpy, turning something that should be fun, into something negative.)

I don’t want to be that mom.

Our tree just got decorated yesterday.  I let the boys decorate it and they did a fantastic job! All our hand made ornaments look beautiful, and it was fun for them!

Today once my Christmas cards are all out in the mail, I will break out the butter and flour and sugar and start to make our first batch of Christmas cookies.  The boys have been itching to do so, and I truly think I’m ready.  Perhaps not at that joyful stage, but certainly not grumpy or grouchy either. 

I am letting go of the things that are unimportant, and focusing on the big picture. 

December Photos 017 

This what I look at everyday, many times a day, in my living room.  It reminds me of my girlfriend Kelly and our times back home.  It reminds me of where my attitude should be during all the hustle and bustle that is a part of this season.  It reminds me to be grateful for the season of life I’m in right now, and for this Christmas season that is upon us.  It nudges me to think about the very first Christmas on this earth.  How Christ was born and came to be living and walking among us.  It reminds me that He will return again one day to take up his own in the clouds. 


But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Luke 2:10


Barb said...

Merry Christmas Jackie! (I keep erasing what I want to write - the words aren't coming out right - too many distractions around me) Anyways, have a JOYful Christmas. Hope Jabber Jaw heals soon!

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