Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas 2017-

Merry Christmas, friends!

I know I have been relatively absent from my blog for the past few months. There are reasons for this but for now I just want to focus on how our family is celebrating this season of Christmas. Come in from the cold and grab a cup of tea or cocoa. You are always welcome here.

My small but treasured collection of Rae Dunn cups find their place in the cocoa/coffee/tea bar. This year they are in the tiered tray. Last year's tiered tray was recently featured on Life On Summer Hill.

Our Christmas tree was decorated in a red and white theme this year. It was my youngest's idea and I conceded since this is her senior year of high school and our world will be very different next year.

I was tempted to stop here and leave it minimal. Hmm....

 If you look close enough you will see the rooster and hen made their way back in tree along with some other favorites. No matter the theme, it would not be Christmas without them.

The hutch this year looks a bit different from last year when I turned it around backwards. I brought my chalkboard from the kitchen into the living room.

Birch logs wrapped with a ribbon and lights makes for a cozy display.

From our living room you can see the dining room. I love the new color on the walls in this room and the tray I bought at the Pro.found Vintage Market this fall.

After dinner we curl up on the couch to watch one of our favorite Christmas movies. Yes, that is the tv that caused us so much trouble earlier in the year!

When the day is done we head to bed. I try to make my bed everyday. I feel that at the end of the day I can at least look at the bed and feel like I have accomplished something today. This room begs for me to curl up under those Cuddle Duds sheets (I am recommending these to everybody!!) and snuggle in for a long winter's nap.

Visions of sugar plums?

I don't know about that but I do know that this is where I do much of my praying and reading. This is where, at the end of the day, I talk with God; confessing my sins, finding mercy. This is where, more than anywhere else in my home, I meet with my Lord. In this room I pray and plead, confess and find comfort, reveal the ugly parts and find a rest that is bigger than anything imaginable. Why? Why would I do this? In this post-modern world doesn't it seem silly? No.

 Prayer is essential. It is a soul feeding, life saving, peace-inducing necessity. I need this time. I need the Lord to be real and active. I need fellowship with the Lord of all creation. I need the God-Man who came as a baby, just like me. This Man knows my sorrows, he knows my heart, he knows my frailties and my faults and in spite of them all he loved me. He gave to me that which was his;  obedience and righteousness. And, he took from me the things I could not bear; my sin and guilt. I am resting in that truth this Christmas.

The last few months have been filled with much hurt and sorrow in our home. I am reminded that Jesus, the babe in the manger, knew sorrow in his earthly life. He knew the feeling of abandonment and the pain of betrayal. He personally experienced the trials we face in this life. There is nothing that escapes his gaze and it is in this Jesus that my Christmas joy is founded, grounded and celebrated. I can decorate my home, shop and give gifts, sing in choir, bake cookies, and find quiet time to remember Jesus was so much more than a little baby- all because my joy is not contingent on my circumstances. It is contingent on my status and no matter what this world throws at me I am Christ's and that is my status, secured.

I pray that if you are struggling this Christmas season that you find rest in the One who knows our sorrows, intimately. I pray that in spite of the struggles of this life you will experience the joy of being known by God, the Father, because the Son has called you friend, brother, sister, beloved.

Merry Christmas