Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Cheer

I'm a Christmas lover.  I love the merriment as we get ready to celebrate Jesus' birthday.  I love to watch my children as they try to figure out what is under the Christmas tree.  I love the bright colors and the cold snowy weather.  I love to see my children dream as they look at the blinking lights as they lie under the tree in the dark.  I love to do this myself as well.  I love to watch my family come together with plans of how to bless others throughout the holiday season.  I love to remember the birth of our Gentle Savior and to allow Him to inspire within me more love and grace as I go through my days.  I pray you too find reasons to love the Christmas season and that the joy and peace it can bring last far throughout the new year.

I am happy to report that I am almost done with all my shopping.  I have just a smidge more to do and then I will move on to baking.  I love wrapping presents and placing them under the tree.  I also enjoy baking with my children assisting me.  Oh, they are such helpful little elves and I know that one day I am going to miss all of them gathering around and asking to lick the spoon and spilling sugar and dropping eggs and flicking flour.  I am going to be baking for Christmas and for an open house we are going to be having in a couple of weeks.  Such an exciting time for the kids and myself as we begin to make plans for entertaining our friends with all the children running around.  We have not had a Christmas party in many years and I am so thankful that hubby finally gave his blessing for having a gathering this year.

My children have thoroughly enjoyed the arrival of snow.  We waited for what seemed forever for snowfall and then when it finally arrived, the sun melted it away far to quickly.  The temperatures are now low enough that the snow hangs around for a couple of days and the kids will spend hours playing outside.  Getting them bundled up is always an ordeal as everyone tries to find gloves and snow pants and boots.  It is amazing how quickly they can become lost from one day to the next.  Each article of clothing has a designated spot for when it is off the body, but stuff still ends up lost.  We haven't had enough snow to build a snow man yet, but the kids find plenty of other creative activities to entertain themselves with for several hours every day.  Watching them walk stiffly across the yard brings flashes of my own childhood and the time I spent playing in the snow.

My anxiety level has come down over the last couple of weeks and my hope is returning.  The last month and a half has been full of many sleepless nights with me in prayer trying to battle the overwhelming anxiety I have been feeling.  God is working out something within my spirit and I am clinging to Him as my life line through this time of shaking.  I have been able to sleep more easily and am learning to live victoriously in my every days, one day at a time, despite the overwhelming brokenness of our world.  Staying focused on my children and what God has placed before me one day at a time has helped.  I am trying to fight off all imaginings and what if's.  I am focusing on God being my daily bread, refiner's fire, counselor and lover of my soul.  I want my prayers to avail much and I am trusting that God knows exactly how to get my heart to this place on a daily basis.  Growing can be painful, but it is worth it, knowing that I am growing closer to God.

I managed to have a large Thanksgiving meal with only one burner working on my stove.  Our guests were a bit late and this helped me to be able to prepare everything by the time they arrived.  Have my mother in laws old plate warmers proved to be priceless.  They kept things warm while I prepared the next dish.  I am looking forward to my new stoves arrival within the next week or so.  I wonder what I can cook that will need all four burners to be used at the same time?

I continue to praise God for His provisions, especially when there are times when I feel like my house is getting ready to fall down around me.  We have had to have the plumber back, yet again.  Our dishwasher hasn't worked for months and I am now able to look forward to the arrival of a new one.  I think my children are just as excited as I am to not have to wash so many dishes by hand with every meal.  Our stove will join the dishwasher in some scrap pile as well.   We also had to take one of our beloved cats to the vet yesterday and found out that she has diabetes.  Yikes.  We are going to have to give her two shots a day and her special food will hopefully wow her taste buds because it sure shocks our pocketbook.  However, we are struggling to get her to eat and if she won't start eating, I'm not sure how much longer she will survive.  She is the second woman in my husbands life and this is proving to be very hard on him.  The thought of losing her is going to be hard on the whole family.

We have 5 birthdays to celebrate between November and the end of January.  So, you can only imagine the excitement and activity in our house between the birthdays and holidays.  Party, party, party.  Oh, what will we do when things settle down again?  My children will probably say die of boredom.  Hah!

May your holiday season be full of magical splendor as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

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