This morning my Grandma was in surgery and as I was praying for her a rush of memories came to mind of the many Christmas times with her throughout my life. She always used to pile all of us grandkids of top of her for pictures so that no one could get a good shot of her. She had these sleigh bells we used to put around our waists and prance around on our hands and knees like reindeer and she always had some kind of craft or baked good to keep us nice and messy and good and busy….though that certainly was not limited to Christmas. She is a brilliant, remarkable woman who has shown me from nearly birth what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman. She has never let anything stand in the way of loving, supporting and taking care of her family. So much of who I am is because of her influence in my life. I am praising God that he placed her in my life by his grace and that she came through surgery and is doing well!
Looking back over the past several Christmases I am overwhelmed with God’s love that He has just so graciously lavished upon us. In 2001 we celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple and even after the expense of a wedding just weeks before my husband made it extra special, as if he wasn’t gift enough, with diamond earrings in my stocking!
In 2002 I was very ill but very excited (though I had to keep my big mouth shut because on New Year’s Eve my sister-in-law was getting proposed to!). In 2003 our family was gearing up for a wedding the coming Spring.
Christmas 2004 we were unexpectedly and joyfully expecting our first child and just so thankful for the miraculous way God showed up and brought us hope in such darkness. Christmas 2005 was Emalynn’s first Christmas and probably one of the happiest in my life. She was my little angel sent straight from God to rescue me.
2006 was our first Christmas in our new home as well as celebrating the news we were expecting yet again.
2007 we celebrated Maxwell’s first Christmas as well as the news that our kids were going to have a cousin.
In 2008 we had a new nephew, Eli, to celebrate.
In 2009 at Christmas I was ginormous and expecting little Jackson in the coming weeks.
2010 (last year) was Jackson’s first Christmas.
This year we have our new little nephew Weston to praise God for bringing to us healthy and strong despite his dramatic entrance into the world. What will God do next year-? We will be celebrating the marriage of my dear sister in September of 2012 and we are VERY excited!
I love to look at old pictures of Christmas to remember all of these wonderful things and God’s faithfulness in our life. The only thing I can say is it’s not at all what we had planned…but immeasurably more than all we could ever ask or imagine! While we don’t have photos of Jesus to remember His arrival and the reason we celebrate this joyous season…we have His Word to remind us of all He has done for us…not to mention all of the grace He extends to each of our lives every single day. It’s easy with things like seemingly untimely surgeries, difficulties we face everyday, all of the things we have to get done and places we have to be to forget that joy and the peace we can find in that one most important gift God sent so long ago. As we’re closing in on Christmas one of my favorite things is remembering why I have hope, peace, joy and love and how God has proven that over and over and over, year after year after year…so that I don’t forget!