Traditions are great, but I am Exhausted! And December is just now half over. While our mornings and afternoons remained relatively normal with homeschooling (ok, not so much) more like laundry, cooking, cleaning, and shopping. And did I mention laundry? A few weeks back, I wrote about our December bucket list, and I explained that we want to be intentional with our kids and celebrate the season all month long so that when Christmas morning arrives, we can look back on all the month and breath a collective sigh of gratefulness.
In the past two weeks our family evenings have looked like:
Decorated our home (this year before Thanksgiving)
Dec. 1 – Invited another family over and decorated a large batch of cookies together followed by a Christmas movie that night
Dec. 2 – Christmas Orchestra production where my kid’s NaNa played piano to kick off the season
Decked the Halls of a family in our church who lost all their Christmas decorations in a recent fire
Participated in Angel Tree gift giving where we buy gifts for children of inmates and wrap them all together with our friends (oh wait! We never really DID this activity, that was LAST year – I must have dreamed this, it’s all running together now)
Dec. 3rd – TUTORED then attended the Red NECK version of the Nutcracker – If you have never done this it is AWESOME! For $12 a ticket, my oldest daughter, and three youngest ones all dressed up in blue jeans and went to the local Cinemark theater to see a live stream broadcast from Russia of the Russian Ballet performing The NUTCRACKER. Complete with our 3-D glasses, buttery popcorn, and large cokes, we had a front row seat and could see the sweat pouring off the brow of the ballerinas. SO COOL!
Dec. 4th – Beamed with joy during my son’s piano recital for his amazing students, class of 2012.
Dec. 5th – TUTORED then raced to our Church women’s Christmas party, which I was asked to lead a short devotional (when asked the day before my mind screamed NO! but my mouth said “SURE, I’ll do it!”
Dec. 6th – TUTORED, then Made 50 jars of soups, cookies, pancake mixes, muffins, and hot chocolate for all my kid’s teachers in our co-op and our friends.
Dec. 7th – Baked 8 dozen more Christmas cookies for a cookie swap I was invited too, (yes, I RSVP’d last month and felt like I should follow through)
Dec. 8th – 2pm Swapped cookies with 12 of my closest friends at a Christmas cookie exchange, where we laughed out loud and shared funny cookie baking stories.
7pm Joined my entire family as we watched in AWE, wiping away the tears, the First Baptist Houston’s Christmas Production, Celebration (now an annual tradition)
Dec. 9th – Watched my children perform in a Christmas Review at church, followed by a staff Christmas party
Dec. 10th – TUTORED a struggling high schoo ler.
Dec. 11th Handed out gifts to all the staff at our homeschool group and my kid’s teachers, then TUTORED that evening.
Dec. 12th – Took my girls to a Christmas party for their study group, then helped my nine month pregnant friend pull baby clothes from her attic. TUTORED after that
Dec. 13th – Dropped off my girls at another Christmas pageant they were performing in (this one I missed in order to TUTOR, yes the same student )
Dec. 14th – Drove downtown with my son at 5am and bought 100 pounds of produce for his produce stand, divided it up and handed it out to his customers, spent the rest of the day freezing all the leftover veggies.
Dec. 15th – 12 noon: Another Christmas party with my husband
2pm – Watched my daughter play violin in her Christmas recital, dinner with my parents
7pm – My family all participated in a Live Nativity
Dec. 16th – Football party at my home (my love gift to my husband and sons)
Tonight, the young girl I’ve been tutoring all month, told me that she just went to church with her family. She said she cried through the service, then asked me one piercing question, “How do you know if you are SAVED?” Wow, all this activity with my kids, interspersed with nightly tutoring sessions, and all along God was watering a little seed in her heart. She was drawn to the light of the Savior this Christmas. When I explained the gospel message to her, she told me she believed in Jesus’ death on the cross and that He rose from the dead to pay for sin, and felt as if God was entering her heart that morning in the church service. She called out to the Lord, and He saved her. Praise the Lord. He Saved HER, she was born again. She immediately asked me about baptism.
IT was a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!!!
ASK ME IF I HAVE BOUGHT A SINGLE CHRISTMAS GIFT?????? Somehow, buying gifts after experiencing these wonderful MOMENTS seems a little bit trite. Though I’m certain there will be something under the tree since we love giving and receiving gifts to one another. Yes, we are all exhausted, the house a mess, the laundry remains piled high, but our hearts are full, and the family memories abound.
Most important of all, the angels in heaven are rejoicing over a sinner who has come to Christ.
May God Bless your family and may you know the love of the Savior this Christmas and every day after.