Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve, the day before the second most celebrated holiday for Christians. The stockings are hung, the tree is strung with lights and decorated, there are presents wrapped under the tree, whispers and secret comings and goings, closed doors and smiles of anticipation all around. Katie and I are finally baking Christmas cookies - yes, its late, but its better than nothing. Josh will be heading to church early to practice one last time for tonight's Christmas worship service.

We all still seem to be searching for that elusive peace that Christmas time is supposed to bring. Instead we've found the busy-ness that so many of us discover during this season. We've been shopping and wrapping and cooking and driving and preparing and unpacking and settling in to our new home. We've been so busy that the day has sneaked up on us. I guess we weren't looking.

It makes me think about what's really important.

The day we celebrate Christ's birth on doesn't matter, but HOW we celebrate it does. It's not about the presents, or the cookies, or the lights. It's about realizing that God sent us His Son. He sent him to earth as the most helpless creature we humans can be. Its also the least intimidating form we can ever be. Who could ever reject a precious baby? And yet, that baby grew to be a man who died for us all and that's when He is rejected. How sad. So many celebrate Christmas and yet reject the One its about. It doesn't make sense to me. Its like celebrating someone's birthday whom dislike, or care nothing about. Who does that? All He asks of us is that we give Him our lives in return. We don't need to just believe in Him, but we need to live for Him. So simple, and yet so hard for so many.

I'm so grateful for my husband and my children, and my new son-in-law. What precious gifts they all are. Each one unique, each one loved. I'm even grateful for being busy. The inner peace is there, the outer peace will come in January.

May the joy of Christmas be with you all, and if you don't have peace yet, stop searching so hard - He's right there, just waiting for you to chose. God's grace (grace - a gift we don't deserve) is there for the taking. Once you take it, open it. And may Grace and Peace be with you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Surroundings

I had all sorts of amazing blog posts planned. Photos of our old view vs. our new view. Blogging from the road on our journey to our new home. Photos of the moving truck delivering our "household goods" (mover term for "stuff"). Photos of our new home. Yep, lots of things planned, but not much actually happened.

For the record:

We left Texas on Friday, Dec. 5. Drove for three long days and arrived up north on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 9:00 pm.

We woke Monday morning to a balmy 7 degrees, drove to our bank an hour away to get the cashiers check for closing, but we still didn't know the amount we needed to bring. Sat in the parking lot for a bit while we tried to get the right number, and then we guesstimated it because we were running out of time. Drove 45 minutes to our new home for our final walk through - a little difficult because the people we bought the house from were still moving out. Not their fault - their movers showed up late. Drove back to our temporary living space to pick up Kate and Josh, and then dropped them off with Zach and Maddie for lunch while Tom, Emma and I went to go sign lots of papers. Well, Tom and I signed them, Emma tried to eat them.

The movers came at 8:15 Tuesday morning, Dec. 9 and delivered stuff "household goods" all day, finishing the delivery on Wednesday by noon-ish.

By Thursday night we had most of the beds assembled, the living room was pretty much together, and pictures were hanging. Since then, we hung Christmas lights, picked up our tree and decorated it and finished some Christmas shopping. Whew! It's only been two weeks since we bought our house!

The dog has rediscovered the joys of a woodstove, the kids have all discovered the joy of sledding down our hill on broken down moving boxes, I've discovered the LL Bean Outlet store (great for boots, gloves, etc.). I have a new appreciation for a dryer since our electric one won't work and the gas one we ordered won't be in for another week or so.

Winter greeted us yesterday and all night last night with a wonderful Nor'easter. Our unofficial snowfall total in our backyard is 17 1/4 inches. Zach and Maddie are having a BLAST! Good thing Tom picked up a snowblower yesterday on the way home from church!


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