Sunday, December 21, 2014

Traditions and Perspective.

Bee's first Christmas Cookie Creation!

"There's something about saying 'We always do this' which helps keep the years together...Tradition is a good gift intended to guard the best gifts".
- Edith Schaeffer

Christmas is almost here! I read that quote the other day in my Advent study and it gave me a new perspective on all the different holiday activities we enjoy. I vacillate between feeling guilty for loving the Christmas traditions more than the meaning sometimes, or feeling silly for over analyzing what is meant to just be fun.

She always has so much fun with her mama.
I heard my co-workers talking last week about how unprepared they feel for Christmas, and I felt like I was missing something because I really don't have anything left to do. It's so strange having no kids at home this much less hustle and bustle related to all the things we HAD to do before Christmas Eve.

Such a strange season of life. But nice.

Learning new things. 
I watch my daughter be busy- juggling her new job, dear little family and a toddler with a big opinion. I see her trying to squeeze in traditions and fun and Jesus and life into a short month, and it makes me thankful for all those moments we had. All the traditions that made her love Christmas. I am thankful for the blessing of those years of "bustle" that have led to this year of less "hustle". I think I would feel a sense of loss and loneliness without those years. I might not have appreciated this phase now if I didn't remember the insanity that was before.

Thankful for an idea online to make "Blessing Bags" for the homeless this year. Bee helped fill them up.
Yesterday as I prepared the "Cookie Decorating Factory" that would be my kitchen, I kept thinking about the memorial service that was happening for dearly loved grandparents of my husband. Steve was unable to attend and needed me at home, so we spent the morning celebrating two grand lives that changed so many. I have know these people for as long as I can remember and my favorite moments were hearing Grannie Anne's stories of the traditions that made up her life. And to think Anne and Earl spent 90+ years of Christmases here, loving and caring for whoever came across their path. It made me smile. And even more, that they were bound together in life for over 50 years, and left that earthly life within a month of one another- it pushed me to keep perspective.

Bee LOVES teasing! She KNEW it was one of each item, but man, did she get a kick out of trying to slip two in!

Perspective to embrace the season I am in, right where I am. To not wish for what someone else might have, or what I think I might want of this world, but to love whatever road God has drawn in front of me. This Christmas and every day, I can keep my heart and focus on the one thing that matters.

You couldn't be around Anne and Earl and not feel their satisfaction with a life well lived. I love thinking about them and the legacy they left behind. It makes my heart hurt to think I won't see them again here, but literally OVERJOYED to know that someday- we will be together again because we have all said yes to Jesus and His saving work.
Almost complete! Just need to add the bus fare to the rescue mission,  socks and rain poncho. Thanks for helping, little one.
It will be a strange Christmas of "firsts" this year. "Firsts" without some traditions and loved ones, but also "firsts" of new traditions and love and friendship. A Christmas to celebrate the One who makes it all worth it, the One who came to make it all right.

"The people walking in the darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, a LIGHT has dawned." Isaiah 9:2
A very merry tradition with my girls has begun. 

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