Well, I didn’t exactly intend to take a 3 month break from blogging, but it just wasn’t the season to write. It’s been a season of many other things, and my mind has been whirring around since August around with post ideas, but the long and short of it is that it is now January. January 2017.
A few miscellaneous things…
I want to clean out all the cupboards and closets, and yesterday I completed The Epic Pantry Purge. I’m attempting to ask myself what I want to keep, rather than what I want to get rid of, and it’s a surprisingly simple and helpful exercise. In the process I’ve been aghast at the amount of stuff I’m surrounded with. And the excess. It’s really no wonder our houses are cluttered. They sort of can’t help it. A book on decluttering that I’m reading maintains that the only way to fix the problem of a messy house is to get rid of stuff.
We had a family picture taken. By a very dear and talented friend. For the purpose of Christmas cards. 5 days before Christmas. To be fair, we had scheduled it several weeks before and it was raining. There aren’t words to describe the hours preceding. I could have written a whole Christmas letter about the utter joy of herding 4 children into nice clothes, finding shoes (they all seemed to disappear?!?), the whoosh of relief that escaped my lungs as we were driving out of our driveway (late, of course) with everyone safely shoed and buckled, and realizing halfway there that the road we were on was closed due to road work… turning around… going a different direction, hoping that we wouldn’t miss the light for pictures, and …yeah. We arrived, took the pictures, it all went relatively well, and managed to get a few where everyone was at least looking at the camera with mostly pleasant expressions on their faces. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and let me tell you, in between the pictures was many words. Of (gentle, of course) encouragement to not stick out tongues. Or make wide-eyed scared faces. Or perhaps maybe the 4 year old could avoid curling up into a ball or hunching over near whichever person she was standing beside? The important thing was, they actually turned out pretty well.
I got the flash drive, and while looking through them, thought many thoughts about how truly blessed we are, what Christmas looks like now with 4 children and how I used to wonder what a rowdy and laughter-filled holiday would be like. There was even a good shot of the 2 year old by herself. Sun glinting off the blonde curls, sweet smile, and yes, life’s good, and problems are temporary and Thanksgiving lasts through Christmas and longer when you see through eyes that look for blessing. The 2 year old got ahold of the flash drive within a day and it’s nowhere to be found, but that’s the way it works and I’m pretty sure we can get them from my friend again. We won’t be sending out Christmas cards this year, but that’s ok too. Because there’s plenty to be glad about besides whether we accomplished that particular task or not.
Speaking of being glad,
I’m listening to two girls play with their babies and sing a happy mixture of Christmas carols and hymns, and they are pretending to pray for devotions in front of the fire in our living room.
There’s baby kitties in the shop again, and they are loved on as much as possible. Miss E says “Niiice kitty, Awww…” There’s five, and so each are claimed by except one. They are rocked, petted, snuggled, and adored by all..
There’s a warm home, firewood, new soup recipes (and old favorites!), quilts strewn on the floor, fresh eggs found in the cat food and brought carefully in by Miss A – who always is so proud and excited when she finds one. There’s new hope, Scripture that comforts when the tears come, and friendships that reflect the love of the One who loads us up daily with all these benefits and more.
Above all, there’s the truth that came to me this morning.. none of His love for me relies on my performance or getting it all right… and I’ve been repeating the truth of “You love me!” on a regular basis for the last few days. It’s so easy for me to forget the simplicity of the Good News-Gospel.. that He came to save and not condemn. Save. Rescue. Sweep me up and off my flesh-feet in the most romantic and blessed Rescue Endeavor ever known.
Praise. And more praise.