To Read on the Journey

Monday, January 12, 2015

Our Christmas 2014

This blog is a scrapbook that highlights the happenings around here. Like flipping through the pages of a photo album, from time to time one of us will be seated here in front of the computer scanning Victory Rd.'s posts.
It's for those moments that I am thankful for the hours I've poured over posts, because I know that this little space in blogville is ultimately a gift I am giving my family.

With that in mind, indulge me as I "scrapbook" Christmas of 2014. 


During dinner our Christmas eve,  I asked my three what their favorite family Christmas traditions are. It's no secret that I am "sentimentally ill," and this holiday season I was battling the "I only have two Christmases left with Noah" blues. Seriously people I blinked, and two Christmases!   Michael attempted to comfort me daily by reassuring me that Noah isn't leaving us, and we have more Christmases with him than we think.  But the point is he could -sniff sniff.  And I'm not ready. (Also, this is a heads-up that next Christmas I will be down to one Christmas with Noah, AND only two remaining with Emilie. Please send chocolate (meds for sentimental illness). The good kind. And a lot of it). 

It was because of this I wanted to be certain my family's treasured moments weren't overlooked. 

Noah's said his favorite is me at the end of the hallway with the video camera Christmas morning, ready to capture my three heading to the tree for their stockings (Awww, and I thought this annoyed him. This kid knows how to tug on his sentimentally ill mama's heart strings). I asked if I should still record this when he is 40 and charging down the hall with his own family? He said yes (I'm going to hold him to it. Mark your calendars to visit Victory Rd. in 24 years to see the footage)!

Sentimentally ill mama's are the kind who get matching pj bottoms for her fellas. 

Emilie cherishes reading the Bible together. We read the story of Jesus' birth from the gospel of Matthew on Christmas eve, and from Luke on Christmas morning. We read about His dysfunctional family, and about God becoming human and taking on the humblest, sweetest form- a baby. We read how he was given the name Jesus- which means Savior. We're thankful because we need a Savior. We read how He came to be "God with us."  We're thankful, because we need that too. 

Josie's was simple- "Family.  I just like being with my family" (eh em...this is why you should never leave us, Noah).

Listening to my kids' share their favorite Christmas traditions caused me to consider what tradition was dearest to my heart

It is  unwrapping Jesus.

We have a tradition in our home that began with Noah's 1st birthday, where we speak words of blessing into the birthday boy or girl, expressing who they've been, as well as highlighting best-loved moments shared over the year- we unwrap the gift they are.  And on Christmas day, the celebration of Jesus' birth, we do the same with Him. 

This year after video footage was captured of kids opening their stockings, the gospel from Luke was read, and our little family gathered around the table for a delicious Christmas breakfast of french-toast bake and omelets,we nestled closely together around the flickering lights of the Christmas tree, and the pile of mysterious gifts, and one by one unwrapped all "God with us" has been in 2014.

Michael: He has been Consistency. I read my Bible and see that He does not change. I'm learning that His fatherly direction, discipline, and love are things I can rely on.

Noah & Emilie's answers were the same: Jesus has helped me be myself, to be content with who I am, and the unique ways He wants to make Himself known through me.

Josie: Jesus has given me a voice to praise Him.  He has caused me to use it in a variety of ways; singing, sharing scripture, through serving others, and by being intentional in my relationships.

Me: He has revealed His favor.  I have seen that He is for me and not against me, and that He "withholds no good thing" from me. He has given me peace (soundness of mind) in this area where I have so struggled in the past.

After we unwrapped the gifts Jesus has been to us, we prayed and thanked God for His generosity to each of us. Then we tore through the packages under the tree.

The gift wrapping bar is set very low in our house. Every year I forget gift-tags, and write names on 
the bottom of gifts with a Sharpie (apparently my kids have learned this too). Pinterest can't get credit for this crafty idea. Nope, I came up with it all on my own ;)

Bing Crosby crackling on Noah's new record player was ideal for Christmas morning, but was short lived, and given the boot by an AC/DC album he received from a family friend. 
The past few years my kids have dipped into their own $ to purchase gifts for each other. These are the first gifts they want to tear into. The way these three adore each other- and I can't afford it, but it's mine.

Causing Emilie to ugly-cry was a highlight this Christmas (sentimentally ill people enjoy causing others to  feel mushy too)! Over a year ago she lost her cherished "immeasurable" necklace, and after we were finished opening  gifts I "realized" there was one more.  I don't know whose expressions I love more in these photos- hers, or those of her sibs, who knew the gift she was receiving would bring her much joy! 

 My children gave me a new bible. This page inspires me to live in AND live out all the other pages. 

Our 2014 Christmas gifts are things we'll certainly cherish and enjoy, but each of us knows that none of these gifts can cause our souls to feel their worth like Jesus does.  

"God with us" is the gift we receive everyday.  

And though this mama wishes the years wouldn't pass so swiftly, I do look forward to Christmas 2015 (and even 2039- when Noah is 40), and to the many Christmases we'll share together, unwrapping all "God with us" will illuminate Himself to be to us and through us in the years to come.

 Live in Peace,



Kathleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathleen said...

Oh what joy! I felt like I was peeking in from the top of the stairs as you all opened your packages. Of course, I love Emilie's necklace. And I pray that you are blessed with new revelations as you read through His word. Be blessed this year, my friend! p.s. There was a typo in my previous comment. Couldn't let that live for eternity in blog land!

Linda Z said...

I love your Christmas scrapbook! (I may have to copy you! I've actually been feeling a little bit like blogging lately!)

I love that you got an "I Can't Afford It But It's Mine" plaque!! How perfect for you! And Emilie's sweet tears!! And my Christmases with Josh are dwindling, too... I don't want to think about that!

Your "God With Us" gifts are beautiful! :)