this is our first Christmas in our new home.
i have so enjoyed decorating for the holidays.
i have to be honest, though. this year has been a bit different and i can't quite put my finger on why.
in our family over the past few years, we have tried to be very aware of busyness. we try to keep our calendar simple so we don't have to rush about during the holiday season...or any other season for that matter.
and we're not extravagant gift-givers...so rushing about to get presents or being over budget and stressed isn't a real issue either.
i think the problem might be that i'm comparing what this year looks like to years in the past.
and you know what they say about comparison?
it's the thief of joy.
last year we had a small ministry opportunity each week as a family. they were small things like making cards for people at the nursing home, baking cookies for firemen, etc and we got to serve the community during the holiday season. we were so blessed by those experiences and it wasn't so much work that we were all exhausted by the time it was over.
this year? we have done nothing resembling that at all.
and as i looked at my list (i'm a list maker. and i like to write a list at the beginning of a semester or season of things i'd like us to do as a family) i realized we had done little-to-nothing of the things on the list.
and i told the hubs...it's ok. --this was more for myself than for my husband.
he's so flexible. and gracious. he doesn't mind what we do.
he's up for whatever crazy ideas i come up with, God bless him!
doing anything more than we are doing right now is just not feasible with school and family stuff.
just because there are fun things to do to bring in the Christmas season does not mean we have to do all of them every year. (you are probably saying "uh, hello! we know that! geez, lady. you're slow.")
i'm kinda a creature of habit (or in a rut... po-tay-to, po-tah-to...your call) so we do some of the same traditions every year.
but this year it just ain't happening.
this whole year just looks different.
it has for awhile now.
less flexibility, less time with friends, more time in school, more time in speech therapy, more homework.
it's just different. and sometimes not as much fun as life with more flexibility was...
and i have to keep reminding myself...it's ok.
we are doing this season now.
and whatever God has for us in this season, though it looks different, i don't want to miss it because i'm looking back and comparing.
and since we find joy in the thanksgiving...
i am thankful for time with my in-laws. --i know not everyone gets along with theirs. mine are kind and considerate and funny and helpful and gracious. i SO enjoy time with them.
i'm thankful for gingerbread houses. that don't stay together. and laughing with kids and correcting kids and calming kids down.
i'm thankful for advent. sitting around the table, lighting candles, and celebrating Jesus.
i'm thankful for time in the dark with twinkle lights on after the kids go to bed.
--ah, just typing that is relaxing.
i'm thankful for pink eye. because though it is a plague and might not be done with us yet and it kept me from getting anything done last week, it allowed me to spend one-on-one time with some of my boys and that was a blessing.
i'm thankful for God's grace and love demonstrated through His Son, Jesus Christ.
i pray that God helps me...us...to remember that no matter what our Christmas season looks like, we are blessed to have the joy of a Savior who came as a baby to save us all.
May your Christmas season be filled with special moments of recognizing Christ as our Savior, Redeemer, Messiah.
He is Immanuel, God with us.
"behold the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, 'God with us.'"