Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

It feels so good to sit down tonight and write.  That may sound a little insignificant but I feel like I have been running on a fast track with no time to slow down.  Like I have stated before, Christmas is my favorite time of year.  I love the Christmas lights, the music, the gift-giving, the smiles on kid's faces when they open their gifts, Santa, and mostly celebrating the birth of the Savior.

But man this Christmas season has me feeling like I am riding a bull and I can't seem to get a grip on the horns and am about to fall off and get stomped on in the process.  I feel like I have been playing catch up all season.  I am a planner and like Christian told me the other day, I like for things to be in order.  Part of it was because Bryan and I made some wrong turns in life and found ourselves back where we needed to be but with no time to plan.  I have found that in life sometimes those wrong decisions help you to know exactly what is right in your life, what you need to focus on, and what you need to invest in.  Nonetheless, we found ourselves thrown back into the daily grind of getting the feed store ready for the busiest time of year.  We also had our local basketball league starting up at the same time.  So all of the craziness that comes with that collided with our business and has made for some stressful days and nights.  Throw in kids and everyday life and it seems we are in the midst of a hurricane.

I always have my tree up and decorated the first weekend after Thanksgiving.  Given that we sell trees at our store, I still did not get mine up until just about a week ago.  My Christmas cards weren't done by a professional photographer like I wanted.  I went to seven stores trying to get jeans to fit my 12 year old and still haven't been able to find any to take professional pictures in.  So our pictures were done courtesy of this momma forcing my kids to put a shirt on and stand by the fireplace.  A momma who told her kids that we were getting that picture done in 10 minutes so stand up and smile.  And there you go..."picture perfect."  I am still running around on my lunches and after work picking up last minute gifts, because if I could get everyone in my life a present, I would.  I ran to four different stores yesterday trying to find one more Nerds on a rope candy because even though Bo's school paper said take 20, he said his teacher said to bring 21.  Let's just say I never found one so Bo doesn't get one.  I am tired of running but I need to get my behind back to running again.  Well, let's not even go there.

So I am out of breath typing all of this.  Maybe you feel the same way.  I told Bryan, this is the first Christmas in a long time that I felt like I haven't been able to take in the magical moments of Christmas.  But wait, there have been some great moments, some small moments that have reminded me that Christmas is everyday.  Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of a baby who would change the world by His words, His actions and His love.  What better way to reflect the Savior than to change the world just as He did one small step at a time.  So I choose to remember the great things that have happened over this crazy period of time in my life.

I am proud of a husband who recognizes his weaknesses, puts his pride to the side and admits when he has made a wrong decision.  I am proud to be the wife of a man who says he is going to fight for what is his and for what he believes God has put before him.  I am humbled by a son who is not outspoken about his good deeds but everyday when I drop him off for school, I see him opening a door for a classmate with his backpack, laptop and lunch in hand.  I smile when I see my youngest offer his hot chocolate to a little girl who wanted some but there wasn't any left.  I am confident in saying that we have prayed many prayers for some friends that are fighting for their life in a hospital room right now.  I am thankful for great workers and the loyal customers who support our business and have made this a great Christmas season at the feed store. It was great to see three of my neighbors who don't even have little kids at home anymore come see my boy play basketball. I love having friends who go above and beyond to help make Christmas wishes come true.  I was completely in awe getting to witness the woman who took care of my kids for four years get a new home, fully furnished by her wonderful kids.  Her tears of joy made my heart smile!

I write all of this to say that Christmas is so much more than the pretty bows and the perfect card.  It is the special moments that are packaged so genuinely that when opened they create happy hearts.  We were given the best gift of all.  We were given the answer to our hustle and bustle.  We were given the answer to this crazy thing called life.  Jesus came to give us abundant life.  He came to give us peace and joy.  Remember Him this Christmas.  When you make Him your focus, you will see His children rise up and share the gifts that are inside them that He has given them.  Share your gifts of laughter and joy.  Spread love in the little moments that make powerful impacts on people.  Never grow tired in doing good.  God promises that at the right time it will come back to you.

Though my shoulders are tense as I sit and right this tonight because I am carrying the weight of some stresses in life, I write to tell you that God is good.  Sometimes life is a whirlwind but if you can close your eyes and take a deep breath you can smell the sweet fragrances in the air.  If you open your heart, you will see all the good that is out in the world.  Hold on to the moments that may seem small but that make your eyes light up with joy.  I pray that happiness fills your soul today!  I pray that you take time for what matters most to you.  May your families be blessed this Christmas and in the years to come.  May Santa leave you some goodies.  May you be showered with love by the One who gave you the best gift of all.

Merry Christmas to you and your families!  You are loved!

Hope