Naps, pajamas, I-spy books, snuggles on the couch, movies, paper plates and minimal Christmas decorations. This may sum up December 2013 for our family. We knew after moving in November and with another move ahead of us in February, that staying put this Christmas was going to be the best decision for this family. I think that this year may change the way we do Christmas for years to come. I will probably trade in our 4 ft Christmas tree for a much bigger-real one, but this year we were able to rest and enjoy each other’s company for an entire month.
We have been able to focus on the relationships in our lives. I’ve gotten together with more friends this past month than I did the 6 months prior (or so it feels;) With different children’s books from the library (all of ours are packed in a pod somewhere) focusing on the birth of Christ and weekly worship nights as a family, we were able to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Even our elf, Bagoo brought daily Bible verses to help us learn about the birth of baby Jesus pieces at a time. Elise took it upon herself to write her own letter to Santa one day. I love how she tries to sound everything out by herself. These notes are the sweetest to me.
After writing out: a real puppy, the same computer at school, and a kitten, she got too tired and asked me to finish it off by writing: a real cooking set. I then had to explain to her why we can only have one dog at a time, how she will never have her own computer until she goes to college, and that our family will never have a cat (no matter how cute little kittens are).
Well, it turns out part of my daughter’s Christmas wish came true as we got to bring home my in-law’s dog with us last week after an emergency trip to Illinois. My mother-in-law had a stroke and fortunately will be ok after a few months of physical therapy. But in the mean time, we are holding their dog ransom until Jane is healthy enough to make the trip out here to get her back (but mostly to lighten the load on my father-in-law).
(The little white poof in the background is my husband’s fur sister, Mitzy)
2013 was one heck of a ride for us. We strapped in and went full-speed ahead and are thankful for a much slower track at this time. You know the saying, “Hurry up and wait.”? That would be a good description of the past year. We continue to be extremely blessed through the ups and downs, backwards and sideway turns of life.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30 ESV
I love the nudging of the Holy Spirit, quiet moments with my Lord, reminders of His abounding love, and glimpses of His blessings in our every day life no matter how small or how big they are. I’m so thankful for the rest he has provided for me and my family at a time when we just really needed it.
I pray that this Christmas you may be aware of how God meets you right where you are, in your most overwhelming struggles of this life to what may seem like the best moments of your life. He is right there. Always. Don’t miss Him.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
The Claytor Family
Jen, Jonathan, Elise(5) and Nolan(2)
P.S. I’m in the middle of updating the website and blog, so please pay no attention to how it looks:)