A Few of My Favorite Things

  • God and all that goes with Him
  • Time Spent With Family
  • Bedtime Prayers
  • Family/Group Hugs
  • The Beach
  • Good Friends
  • Good Music
  • Laughter

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Our First Christmas

When I think back to some of my most favorite Christmases as a teenager and a young new wife, it was those Christmases that the money was tight that were the most special. I guess when we look back at our very first Christmas, money always seemed to be in such short supply, but we were so incredibly rich in love.

We decided we were going to have a tree (even if there were no gifts to put under it). This was the year, we lived in the green house on Green Street in Wetumpka. One of the things we had seen advertised was the Wadsworth Christmas Tree Farm (it’s still in operation by the way). My favorite thing about this Farm is you get to walk around, pick out your tree, and cut it down. We went out to get our tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving and enjoyed making a day of it. My sweetheart actually had a 4 day weekend, and decided that we needed the time together instead of him doing some side work. (Love his heart, those first 4 years of our marriage while I was in school, it seemed all he did was work just so we could keep a float.) So, we walked and walked until we found a tree that would be in our price range and was just right. We had a wonderful day and I held the tree while Rich cut her down.

I enjoyed watching him tote the tree back up to the front of the farm where they got it ready for us to take home. I loved watching them shake all the extra pine needles out and then slipping it through a “thing-a-ma-jig” that put the tree in a net and made the drive home easier with the tree strapped to the top of the car. We got her home and in the tree stand (which by the way we didn’t even think about needing until we got to the Tree Farm) and realized that we had spent all our Christmas money on just the tree and the stand. For the first few days we just enjoyed seeing the tree up and the wonderful smell that permeated the house.

Our family had decided not to exchange gifts that year, but to exchange homemade Christmas cards. After exams and selling my books back, I had the money to buy construction paper, markers, glue, envelopes, and stamps. Those homemade cards got put in the mail and were sent to Grandmamma Lyle’s house in time for Christmas. I also had enough paper, ect. To make Christmas “ornaments” for the tree. We had teddy bears in pairs holding hands all over the tree. We’ve talked about it and we can’t remember for sure if we actually had lights on the tree or not. We’re pretty sure we didn’t but there were lights in our heart.

When Rich got his Christmas bonus, we went out and spent more money on groceries than we had in a long time and then realized we had a little money left for the ornament we wanted that had “First Christmas” engraved on it. We went to the mall and looked around and finally found an ornament in our price range with a little money left over. We had just about $3.00 left to spend, so we made a trip to the Dollar Store with the agreement that we would take turns shopping for each other and we’d have a surprise under the tree. When you have just a little more than a $1 to spend, you have to get creative. So we took our treasures home and wrapped them and put them under the tree. It always makes me smile, we I think about those gifts…Rich got me some tissues in a pretty little box to put in my purse, and I got him a ribbon that said #1 Husband. The best gift was that my sweetheart wore that ribbon to church on Sunday and my tissues were in my purse. It wasn’t about the stuff, it was about the LOVE.

Every year we put that first store bought ornament on the tree and we put the teddies on branches of the tree. Rhey’ve gotten a little ragged, but we’ve laminated them and Lord willing my grandbabies will still see the teddies on Grandmama’s tree. I’m hoping they teach the lesson of just how important LOVE is and not all the stuff. My little man listened as I told him the teddies’ story this year and his smile warmed my heart. We don’t have them on the tree this year, but they’re standing guard over the Christmas cards.

So, Merry Christmas, sweet friends and may your holidays be filled with friends and family and joy and love. May you drink from the saucer because your cup is full!

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Tender Heart

I’m so thankful for the gift God gave me in my sweet boy! Since the last time I updated my blog my baby has become my brother in Christ. His sweet heart broke in the telling us of his need for baptism, and the hour long discussion he had with daddy to insure that he knew the why and need for baptism touched me more deeply than just about anything since we brought him home. One of my sweet red heads was also baptized that day, so my heart was so full of joy that at first there were no words. (I know sweet friends that that is hard to believe.) We were blessed with both sets of grands and Aunt Nancy getting to come in for his rebirth. I love knowing that I’m part of a family that will make an hour and a half drive one way to see my sweet boy start a new part of his life. I’m thankful that both sets of Grand’s now strive to walk daily with the Father and that my boy has their example. I’m also very thankful for the precious men (and their wives) who care for our souls at church and that they and a few other precious folks took their Friday night and came to witness his rebirth and celebrate with us.

I am one very blessed lady! Over and over again, God shows me His grace and mercy through the tender heart of my son. He and I have ridden an emotional roller coaster today, and it’s a ride I’m thankful to have ridden with him. One of the first things, I saw this morning when checking my FB page was a picture of a sweet baby boy with the caption “Forever Family”. Since this is a topic so dear to my heart, I took the time to follow the link. My boy came up behind me and saw the picture and asked who the baby was (we have many friends with brand new little ones right now). I told him I didn’t know who this baby was but that he needed a forever family. I took the time to point out (with tears in my eyes) that this sweet baby is missing one arm and one foot with some other possible physical problems. The adoption agency has no one who is already on their list ready to adopt a child with his special needs. My sweet boy said, “Mama, I know where he has a forever family! I’ll help take care of him and he can sleep in my bed.” My Mama’s heart was so full with his immediate acceptance and desire to care and love for this baby. I had to make myself have the very serious talk that IF (God were to choose us for his forever family) that this new baby would need lots of help and love and very possibly in the future if mama and daddy weren’t able to take care of this little one as an adult, my sweet boy would be the caretaker. I know that this is a lot to talk with a 9 year old about, but he quickly said I’ll take care of him if he’s my brother. So, I’ve e-mailed the agency and we’ll wait to hear something. It’s possible that he may already have a home.

After lunch, my sweet boy said, “ I could have a brother!” , as he was grinning ear to ear. I quickly told him we have to be careful, to not get excited, we just may not be the answer for this sweet wee one. My boy’s precious heart broke. He cried and cried and climbed into my lap and cried some more. I’m so thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit that comes with salvation. I was able to tell my baby that when we don’t know just what to say the Holy Spirit says it for us. Even when we want something so much and don’t begin to know how to ask, the Holy Spirit takes what is in our hearts and presents it to the Father. We took this time to remember the three answers that God gives us: Yes, No, and Wait. We talked about the times we’ve gotten a yes, a no, and a wait and have seen the results of God’s answers in our lives.

I thought for a moment that we were through the worst and could get back to school, but he began to cry again. His heart still breaking for the wanting of a brother. It’s so hard for me to talk about more children because I LONG for more but know that God has the perfect plan. So, I told him one of my favorite poems, “Footprints In The Sand”. We talked of how God is not some far away being, but He’s with us all the time, and that through the Holy Spirit we receive strength and comfort. What comfort there is in knowing that during the hard times, the Father carries us! His sweet heart and eyes filled with tears yet again, and my sweet boy still sprawled on my lap (he is getting almost as tall as I am) snuggled his sweet head into my neck, and we allowed our hearts to pray in our silence. I know we were praying for the baby and for the new treatment plan for the headache that might make it possible for us to adopt again, and I prayed for God to help us with whatever His decision is for our lives.

My sweet boy has taught me how to love and open my heart in ways I didn’t know I could! I’m so thankful he is mine to love and have the privilege of watching him grow. So once again my sweet friends, I’m drinking from the saucer because my cup overflows!!

Mat 19:14 But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
Jam 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, [and] to keep oneself unspotted from the world.