Merry Christmas from our family to you.

December 25, 2015

christmas tree

 
It’s the very best day of the year for so many reasons. I thought I would share a little bit about the last few weeks and the unexpected lessons learned…

I think many of us would admit we have some hope and expectations of what our christmas will be like. That all the gifts will magically be wrapped and put under the tree, or that there will not be any squabbles among siblings, or tiffs between spouses. We might even be picturing that perfect 5 course meal that will turn out perfectly for our guests. We all have a vision of what our ideal Christmas would be. It’s hard not to really.

This year for me it was to do all kinds of good deeds with my kids. I was going to have shopping done early so that I could have a more peace filled few weeks before Christmas. I was going to bake up a storm to shower all of my neighbors with perfect loaves of bread. And I was going to make sure to have my Christmas cards in the mailbox by the 15th. Well, they have yet to be mailed. A little avalanche of events happened that prevented many of these things from happening. I was starting to feel very discouraged and disheartened. I wanted to do all of these good things, but I couldn’t even get my foot out the door without my shirt on backwards.

Over the last few weeks of taking care of my sick little ones, it hit me. I was so attached to MY idea of how Christmas should be, that I was missing the simplicity of what it needed to be.  After I was forced to throw my to-do list aside, I served my family. Lots of baths, extra cuddling, and many loads of laundry later, I felt the peace creep in. I learned a real good lesson on acceptance and gratitude. To love my little ones…..so simple, but its something I need to be reminded of constantly. I didn’t need to go caroling and baking bread to find God’s peace. Instead, I found it by pouring myself out into my children. 

However, we did have a little time for that advent service list, and here is one cool story too good not to share:

This year we decided to chop down a tree and give it to someone who really needed a boost. We weren’t sure how it was going to happen or who it would be. I almost gave up on the idea several times, but I wanted more than anything for my kids to start to understand what an act of service can do for the world around them. Gabe made a few phone calls, and on our way home from the tree farm, we somehow found a home for it. A mother who recently lost her husband, and was working extra hard this year to make things work for her family. She was so thankful, but as you know, giving usually ends up having a greater impact on the giver than the receiver. What I wanted to be a lesson for my kids completely did a number on me. Perspective. Gratitude. Appreciation for each person around us in different walks of life. Writing this out because I want to remember this day with my crew and that joy that is ours for the taking of we look in the right places.

Wishing you and yours much peace, and time of rest and renewal for the new year.
With love,
Anna

“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn.” 

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