Tag Archives: thanksgiving

He never stops giving

I was resting in bed tonight, head spinning with excitement knowing that our newly decorated tree and Christmas-a-fied house was on the other side of the bedroom door.

Finally I could stand it no more so I returned to the living room, opened all the windows, and now I sit facing the glow of tiny white lights while the rustle of palm leaves outside competes with the symphony of crickets (and a few guest appearances by the odd frog).

Gosh, I love this time of year.

Cliche? I don’t care. I love it. I so, so love it.

Today was a storm of a million emotions. Amidst the merriment of the holidays and the buzz that I get from the decorating kick-off, there’s so much going on in our little world right now that’s vying for headspace. Most of it good, but some uncomfortable.

At one point this afternoon I sat down for a few moments scrolling quickly through emails that I knew I’d not be responding to until later. But curious, I read a few anyway.

The first one I opened had some disappointing news. Understandable, and yet disappointing, deflating.

The second one was from a stranger. A woman who belongs to a people I’ve fallen in love with (PNG) who now lives in a place that I once called my own (USA).

We’ve been writing back and forth this last week and I teared up a few days ago when she told me her family thanked God for me and my family around their Thanksgiving table last week.

I don’t know her. But she knows Him.

And then today her email – the second email I opened – contained news so sweet and so personal and so unexpected I couldn’t control those big, hot tears, from rolling quickly down my cheeks.

You see, He is faithful. He really is so faithful.

And sometimes you think everything’s just fine and then grace comes in a million forms and you realize how much you really did need it after all.

I had grace in many different forms this week – friends arriving at my doorstep to mow our lawn and clean my floors, another bringing us dinner one night, another offering childcare, and now another (who’s face I can only imagine, and voice I do not know) with an offer so simple and lovely it makes me close my eyes and shake my head and whisper, “What did I do to deserve this kindness from a stranger? From anyone?”.

But it’s not a matter of “deserving” anything at all. I receive because they give. And they give because they want to. And they want to because they also know what it is to receive.

Because He never stops giving.

And that’s it – the way I want to start December and the preparation of my heart to celebrate – really celebrate Christ’s birth: I want to see Him around me, recognize Him as he weaves worlds together, hear Him through the noise, and breathe deeply of His of goodness.

I want to receive Him, all over again.

Thank you, dear grace-givers, for helping me to see Jesus. You represent Him so well.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How has someone’s kindness been grace in your life lately? 

 

Love,
A

p.s. Forgot to use the timer tonight. Definitely blew the five minutes… probably doubled it, but who knows, who cares.

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La-la-la-la-la (it’s another profound one, folks)

Oh, hi! It’s you.

I remembered about you. For a few days.

Then I forgot about you again.

Promptly.

I suppose new (renewed?) habits can be hard to find (again).

But now that I’m remembering again, let’s just say la-la-la-la-la, Happy Thanksgiving!

La-la-la-la-la Christmas is coming!

Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”

And you know what?

I agree. Wholeheartedly.

So, la-la-la-la-la I’m sorry I forgot about you! La-la-la-la-la, I might try a little harder.

La-la-la-la-la, but I’m making no promises this time!

La-la-la-la-la, I’m kinda excited about December!

La-la-la-la-la, it’s past my bedtime!

And in case  you’re grumpy today, I’ll leave you with another gem from everybody’s favorite elf that they love to hate or hate to love: “I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite.” (-Buddy)

The end.

STOP.

Q for you: Do you like singing? Wait, better question, do you like singing Christmas carols? #pleasesayyes 

Love,
A


The “perfect” holiday season

Thanksgiving is in a few days and I’m officially excited for Christmas.

Around here that means higher electricity bills (hello, AC!) and less clothes. It means more sweat and more swimming. It means uglier hair and more beautiful evening walks.

Every year we long for our holidays to be “the best ever” and it’s easy to make ourselves crazy with wanting our homes and tables and gifts and trees to look like something out of Martha Stewart. (And don’t get me wrong, I love prettiness all around.)

But I refuse to pursue “pretty” at the expense of “perfect”.

Because perfect holidays don’t come looking like a magazine spread.

Perfect holidays come when there is enough time and space and energy to enjoy the ones we love.

Sometimes that comes with a gorgeous party spread laid out around a pinterest-worthy centerpiece and other times that comes with a backyard BBQ and impromptu game of cricket while dining on picnic wear.

Either way, perfect is achievable. As long as we have the right idea of perfect. 

 

Q for you: Do you stress about having the “perfect” holidays?

 

Love,
A

 


A very magical, very normal moment of clarity

It was 8:30am and I still sat in bed with just my undies and a tank top on.

The curtains were drawn wide, the windows open – floor to ceiling luvers – tons of light pouring in. Slight breeze.

Chris Chabot played on the little stereo on our bedhead just next to a cup of fresh coffee.

Judah was next to me, giggling and chatting. Levi was climbing on and off the bed – playing with Judah, saying “watch mommy” as he showed me whatever impressive feat he was trying out next and intermittently giving spontaneous hugs and kisses to little brother.

I was still sleepy but I was so, so happy.

There wasn’t anything magical about those moments… not magical in the “wow” sense of the word at least. But magical in the it’s-beautiful-just-as-it-is-in-this-very-normal-moment sort of way.

“I’m so glad to be a stay-at-home-mom,” I thought to myself.

Lately I’ve been having lots of moments that are very much, um, how shall I say…? opposite to that.

But as babies have been getting healthier and I have been getting a little more sleep… the demands of my “job” haven’t seemed as draining as tehy sometimes do.

And this morning I was remembering what an incredible privilege I have to be home wiht my boys instead of in an office somewhere. As hard as 24/7 childcare can sometimes feel (and it’s so much more than “childcare” – yes, I know that), it’s also so wonderfully rich and rewarding… and fun.

As long as we can stop for little moments and remember to breathe deeply and appreciate it for what it is.

Which was Exactly what I was doing htis morning.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When is the last time you took a moment to be grateful for your job?

 

Love,
A

 

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