Wednesday, December 21, 2016

First day of winter 12.21.2016

It's the first day of winter. A perfect way to start off the season, we had a fog freeze that left hard rime all over the woods this morning. What a sweet way to make an entrance without going all out! I had to take a walk through the frosty beauty, it's probably going to be the closest thing we get to snow this year.
Today was also Joe's first day home for Christmas break. We are so excited to have him home in addition to a break from school. I baked all day and the kids and I decorated paper Christmas trees. It's been a good start.
We've had some mild sickness, nothing to keep us down. I'm just praying we can stay healthy through Christmas. Being sick a Christmas is the biggest bummer ever, so not fun!
I've been trying to take this month slow, to ease into Christmas without all the craziness. So far, so good. All the gift buying was done online with the exception of a few gift cards and one in-store stop. I completed a sewing project I wanted to do for 3 of the girls and it is finished! I'm so relieved that I made it happen and I like the outcome.
It's been an interesting year for me and currently I can't even put my thoughts into words, so I'm just going to share this post below from Joye's Instagram. I used to read Joye's blog years ago and now I get so much encouragement from following her on Instagram.
Maybe you've been walking through some hard in these holy days. And it's not that there hasn't been beautiful songs of hope and joy alive in your heart, it's just that the journey you're on has been a rocky one. You're not alone, friend. It's ok to sing through tears and need the Hope of the World more than you ever have before. Our little (big) family has had to press in and pray through some hard lately, with my husband having injured his back and struggling through debilitating pain; with the birth of this womb baby a week and a half away and swaddling blankets needing to be hemmed and final preparations made for her. And I imagine this is how the holy happens. How it always has happened. Mary must have had grand plans for the birth of her firstborn, her mother and midwives preparing to be present for the occasion. And then in that last week, when her swollen body craves rest, she receives a notice that her and Joseph have to travel 90 miles by foot over rocky terrain to a little town called Bethlehem. That's a week of hiking. In the last trimester. And you know the rest of the story...no soft bed for Mary to soothe her aching body in, no cradle for her babe, no comforting presence of a midwife. She gives birth in a barn. Not exactly what she envisioned. Not exactly what she had hoped and dreamed for. But the world would never, ever be the same. Because the Hope of the World never looks like we imagine Him to look like. He comes through the pain and the hurt and all the broken and the lonely places and He chooses to be with us right there in the muck of it all. It's like He says, "see, you don't need your situation to change to have hope, to find happiness, you just need ME." Just Jesus. He is our Hope Eternal. And all the weary in our world rejoices. 📷: @laurencarrollphotography #advent
A photo posted by Rubie (Joye) Dicharry (@joyefuljourney) on

Some days seem to fall apart before they ever begin. Some days life is ugly and unpleasant and scary. Some days I don't have a single right answer. I try to quiet my heart by covering my ears, by closing the door between the noisy kids, by praying for calm, praying for peace. How can a heart so heavy race? How can so much chaos possibly become more distractions? How can life be so painfully intense and stress filled and yet, so beautiful and joy filled at the same time? This is the season of living with both. Learning to hold tightly to all the amazingly good things the Lord has given me in one hand and carry intensely broken and painful baggage in the other. It feels like an arm load, it causes my shoulders to physically ache, it slows me down. I want to run free of all these hard things but they push me to keep seeking Jesus. I'm trying to wrap my heart around this one truth this Christmas. The Light of the world became a baby, born in a manger. He changes everything! He conquered the darkness this world holds, He conquers the darkest corners of my life. He said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life." John 8:12 He has overcome all darkness! He has overcome! ⭐️

May the Light of the world make your Christmas bright.

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