Friday, December 24, 2010

'Twas the Night Before Christmas... (at midnight!)

I am STILL up and just now getting to my annual Christmas Eve, so busy! I wanted to post the last couple of Christmas gatherings before this post to keep things in order. Then, I always like to read last year's Christmas Eve blog before I write one for this year--so neat to reflect back on the same time last year and where we were in life. I can't believe we had our first and only Christmas at our old house last year!
Landen was only a small baby last year, not much on opening presents, etc. But this year will be so much fun! The stockings are set out, and I even organized the presents in piles for each person to save time in the morning...trying to get ahead for once! I thought I would give a tour of my home....but it will be VERY short. It's a 4 ft tree on my hope chest with a bunch of homemade decorations on it! A far cry from my 5 trees and fireplace mantle last year, but this duplex is busting at the seams and I have no desire to drag out anything more than what's necessary!
The stockings were "hung by the chimney with care"...or in our case, set out in the living room floor! Everything's ready for Christmas morning! :)

There are so many great presents "under the tree" this year, but I think what has been the most memorable this year is the image of Christmas 2010 years ago...I have always pictured Mary as this blessed woman carrying the Savior, but at last week's sermon, I realized that my image is so wrong....she was 14 years old, scared, and never felt more alone in her life. Her world had been turned completely upside down--nothing like she planned. But what a great reminder that God's will is definitely not ours. We may seem like the most unlikely person to do a task, but to God, we are the perfect one. He knows what he's doing (even when we have no clue)....the Christmas story took on such a different meaning to me after that sermon. It became a story of how my plans for my life are just plans. But, my life is not my own...God's hand is working in it every single minute of every single day. Thank you Lord for a wonderful, blessed life.
Another part of the season that has stood out is a that I have heard many, many times before...Little Drummer Boy. I heard a rendition of the song the other night by Jars of Clay on a TV program and it was the introduction given by the lead singer that hit a nerve....the explanation of how The Little Drummer boy felt so unworthy to bring a gift to a Savior, our King. He wanted the perfect gift and sometimes that gift is something we can't buy or create. It was a song he played, full of love and joy at the birth of Christ that was his gift. And you know what? I am confident it was cherished just as much as the Wise Men's gifts. It was a great reminder during the holiday season as I was shopping for that perfect present that sometimes that gift is more than anything a store could offer. The other night I heard about a couple in our community that is struggling. They are friends with people who have more than they can imagine. The struggling young woman was trying to think of what to give the lady who had everything. So, she decided to make her a pan of cheddar peppers--LOVE it! A gift from the heart! I can promise the lady enjoyed the gift just as much as one that came with a big price tag--because she knows the gift is full of love.
So, this year may your Christmas be more than just an image you have carried around for years--may it be an eye-opening experience. May your Christmas be filled with God's will for you and your family. And may your gifts be those that come straight from your heart and are full of love. They are priceless and cherished!

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2010!!! God Bless EVERYONE!!! :)

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