Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow what!

Ok, so I must admit that this Christmas has been a bit difficult. With no house of my own and no Christmas fixings of my own, I have been quite perplexed. Everything that I thought that Christmas was, is not for me! No christmas tree, no presents, no home to decorate, etc... So, I must say that when Oliver Springs received this snowfall (measured in one spot at 6 " and counting) I was ecstatic! I threw open the curtains, made some hot chocolate and lit a candle. After all, this is what makes it all worth it. The snow was beautiful, and the way it fell on the farm land, oh how magnificent. Who needs a house full of decorations when you have acres of snow on the ground.

But, this euphoria ended real fast when David and I had to make a trip to Athens, and the amount of snowfall they had received was well non existent. We had driven through about 45 min of snow only to drive about 15 more min with the beautiful view of nothing! No snow anywhere. Unlike the melting snow, my heart began to get heavier and heavier, colder and colder, for I was not ready to leave the snow. I told David that I was so surprised, but I was really having a hard time with our absence from the snow.

It seems this Christmas, everything that has always meant so much to be has been stripped away, but by God's grace there is more to this story. Although this is hard for me today, I can rest thankful to my God for rooting out these faux joys. These things, which do certainly help us look to Christ, do not in themselves satisfy me! The thing that gives me my fill is Christ, that he came as promised by God, lived a sinless life, and took God's wrath that was meant for me upon him! By His wounds I am healed.

So, this Christmas, I do not rejoice in the fact that I have a home to celebrate Christmas in, or that I have a christmas tree, or have drank my share of hot chocolate! By no means!! For if I gave any of these things a place in my life, they would always fall short of giving me joy!

I rejoice in my Lord and Savior! I rejoice that God promised a Messiah and that he has come!!!

" But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
And he shall be their peace..."

I am also thankful for God's grace in my life through my church. God has used them to really helped me look towards Christ this Christmas!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Words from a Dear Friend on this Holiday Season

This is a response from a sweet friend about her views on this season... David and I are in awe of God's grace in this sweet family and love just watching them all interact!!! I wanted to post this because I love the way she views the season!! Very Helpful for us!!

" start with...I don't like seeing Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving!! I think that's a real revealer of what's important in our country...STUFF...MONEY...MORE STUFF...MORE MONEY... I enjoy the advent season leading up to Christmas because it's such a great time of preparation and examination. Preparation for celebrating the birth of our Savior and examination of my heart...asking the Lord to show me where I'm not treasuring Christ more than (fill in the blank). I enjoy decorating our house...and hopefully it's tasteful and inviting. We don't do the whole Santa Claus thing...and didn't with our children. However, when our kids were home we did tend to go over-the-top with gifts...not a good thing. God has been so gracious to redeem us and redirect our hearts, though. So, our focus is more on worshiping Jesus than accumulating things. We have always gone to a Christmas Eve service, which is a highlight for me. That's why I'm so thankful that CCK will be having a Christmas Eve service this year!!! I didn't really appreciate establishing traditions when our children were young. Now that I do...I find I'm more excited about the season of Thanksgiving and the preparation and anticipation of Christmas. So, this year we're starting a new tradition (shhhh...don't's a secret to our kids) called advent baskets...which will include an advent calendar. So...starting with December 1st and ending on December 25th, they will open one small gift each day from their baskets and in each day on their advent calendar will be an attribute of God for them to ponder and meditate on. Hopefully, this will help all of our hearts remain fixed on the amazing truth of the gospel...that God gave us Jesus...and there's no more precious gift than Jesus!!! I'll look forward to reading your "conclusion"!!"