We had a truly joy-ful Thanksgiving. It was more like an entire week-end of blessings. On Thanksgiving day we all pitched in with the food and we had a sweet time around the table reading scripture from our Thanks-giving tree, and sharing things we're thankful for with family and friends. I think my favorite was little Becket... He was thankful that he was going to get to shoot stuff later that afternoon on the Farm with his Daddy. :) My in-laws blessed us with a girls and boys day out on Friday and bowling and Fargos on Saturday. It was a treat of a weekend. :)
Thanksgiving has come and gone, and December is so close I can taste it.
And to tell you the truth when I think to long about the holidays I kind of want to hide out in my bed. I know, I know, Christmas is supposed to be such a sweet season with family and friends and treats and parties and giving and gifts and joy... oh-my-goodness!
I guess it's another one of those areas in my life that I have unrealistic expectations for myself and I end feeling disappointed when all that I try to create for the joy of the ones that I love most doesn't work out.
But this little dilemma of mine can be easily solved by this Mama simply making a different choice.
So we choose to do the things we love most.
We love each other, we love others, and we stay super close to our Jesus.
The best mantra for a Christmas filled with Christ...
Slow down, Soak up, Pour out
Slow down, Soak up, Pour out.
It's what I start telling my heart in the middle of October. :)
Cuz really what good is Christmas if I insist on blending into the world and forget to Seek and Savor my First Love?
So I wake up on a Tuesday and I find that my Siah has been a busy bee and I ask him what he's doing. His answer kicks starts Christmas for this heart of mine and I glow all morning at the thought of all that the Spirit in doing in the heart of my boy.
Every year since he was three, our family has done a blessing box at Christmas time. We go through all the toys and books and clothes in the house and we pick things to pass on to others who might not have as much. And we try not to just pick junk toys, but we encourage each child to give something from the heart, to sacrifice the best way they know how. :)
At the top of the stairs there are piles of things neatly stacked. I didn't even say a word, and My Siah, he tells me that Thanksgiving is over and that it's time to pull out the blessing box. He's cleaned out all the trash in his room and he's set aside some things. He's smiling from ear to ear and he asks, "Do you think they'll like the things I picked out?" And the truth is, I could care less what he picked out because I'm on my knees thankful that he has a generous bone in his body, that he's seven and it's Christmas and there is a part of him that's willing to give and he hasn't been completely over taken by the "I want" bug.
Later that week the girls and I conquer their out of control attic hide-away and they surprise me too. That spunky girl makes my heart chuckle when she belts it out (cuz she really only has one volume, loud) as she puts one of her favorite toys in the bag. "Oh my goodness Mom, whoever gets this thing is gonna be stoked!" Then the Charmer pipes in, "Oh ya!" I love it when he says that. He's still small and squishy and he's finding his words and he talks with this subtle lisp that makes me smile every time he opens his mouth.
We work together all the morning, the kids and I.
And I can't think of a better way to start a school day, to start a season really, than to learn to think about others above ourselves in an attic room with my many small children.
In the closet as we fold up clothes that are too small, My Siah and I, we talk about His upside-down kingdom and the way that He calls the weak, strong, and the least, great. We talk about storing up treasures on earth and how all the broken toy pieces that we keep finding scattered throughout the closet are a picture of the greatest things that the world can offer. The truth about the world is that even the finest things are rubbish in comparison to knowing our Jesus. I love the days when we can talk about these things, the days when he asks questions, the days when my little man seems to be growing up into Him.
Christmas is coming.
Or maybe it's already here?
Maybe as we learn to love like He loves we realize that Love has already come down. He came, and He comes, and He's here now, and with His life he taught us how to really live.
I love that.
I love that Christmas doesn't have to be anything more than some soul-deep gratitude bubbling out of us folks who know who He already is... some thanks-giving for we've already received the absolute greatest gift of all,
Sweet, sweet Jesus.
The Christmas season has begun.
We're learning to give, they're rooms are clean (a bonus that lasted for a whopping five minutes :), and my Mama heart is happy with true Christmas joy. :)