peace of my mind

peace I leave you; my peace I give you… Jn.14:27


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Traditions

The days between Christmas and the New Year hold a mixture of bitter and sweet for me.  It seems the only time of year when our family life slows to a sleepy, cozy crawl.  I love the eased tone in the house. Game playing and movie watching. Popcorn for dinner and gatherings with friends.  It’s wonderful in all of those ways.

IMGP0225But then there is the putting it all away: the decorations, the gifts, and really the entire year.  Being the reflective mom that I am, that little cacophony on the couch there had me in tears for a little spell two days after Christmas.  How do the years go so fast when the days sometimes go so slow? When we get these out next year, the kids will all be another year older.  So will I.

Traditions have a funny way–I’m finding, of both marking and speeding time.  We pass from season to season, observing the memorials we have shared with our children.  We skip along from paper love notes, to the Easter season, to baseball and fireflies, to birthdays and school.  Add Christmas, and those few things just about encompass a year.  When first forming traditions, we  ask ourselves is this plain silly or even empty to sleep under the tree like I used to do when I was little, or to keep going to the Zoo Lights as we have since they were babies.  But year upon year, these rituals become part of them.  They become their traditions…things by which they will mark their lives. We observe them to help cement the years in their memories as time will surely continue to speed by.

Of course I could make my favorite blueberry jello salad to take to my parents’, but instead, I mention to my daughter–as I make Grandma Duck’s red and green Christmas jello salad, that I’ve been eating this every Christmas since before I was her age.  And it makes my dad mighty happy to see it that day. Strangely, I introduce my history to Amelia through Jello. It makes me want to evaluate what we honor and how we go about it…especially in light of Deuteronomy 6 and how we can continue to grow in sharing the Lord with our children in every season, every day.

IMGP0232The kids each have their own box of ornaments we’ve gathered since their births. Though it looks like chaos on the couch, it really is organized chaos: I suppose not unlike our lives.  Thinking of the handprint I made with Luke when he was 1. Remembering the picture of the 3 boys eating mitfulls of snow, and how they all helped make the ornaments that year for our families…painted popsicle stick frames. How excited I was to add pink booties to the tree…once…twice…three times.  I repair the ornament graveyard: Andrew’s Italian Pinnochio gets some model glue on his waist.  Jack’s nutcracker’s legs are found and mended.  All boxed up and ready to wholly greet them next December.

Added this year are tiny sweaters: six down, two to go.  A labor of love which began in May, but ran out of steam somewhere around September. Drew and Piper’s will be done as soon as I can muster the stomach to do two more (small needles require much persistence).  Little traditions which say, I love you.  They may not remember me sitting in the van knitting these months on end, but I hope when they look at them years from now, they will know their crazy mother loved them individually and wholly–not only as a collective but wholly– as themselves!

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This song was written (and performed below) by The Good Shepherd Band.  Our church’s band, The Everlasting Word Band, has been featuring it during our worship this Advent Season. I share it here in hopes that it will touch others’ hearts as it has mine this season.  So very thankful for that baby who came to conquer death and hell–and all my sin!

Merry Christmas!IMGP0111

From Adam’s rebellion to Moses’ good Law, death reigned the master of men;

With all of creation held under its claw, awaiting redemption from sin.

But when the Law thundered in earthquake and fire, weak as it was through our flesh

It could not help conquer our sinful desires, only tightened the noose ’round our neck.

Still God remembered His mercy in wrath and promised a way of escape:

A Lamb to be killed on the people’s behalf would trample the head of the snake.

But though we would offer our best to  the fire and rivers of blood would be spilt,

This could not help with our sinful desires, nor atone for the depth of our guilt.

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When the fullness of time had come God sent us His only Son,

Born of a woman born under law, So that He might a people redeem.

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With joy set before Him and love to display, He laid aside His great crown;

To share in our nature as creatures of clay, He emptied Himself and came down;

Lived like a servant without any home, carried our sorrows and griefs,

Was spit at, rejected, despised and alone, accursed, He hung on a tree.

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When the fullness of time had come God sent us His only Son,

Born of a woman, born under law, so that He might a people reddem.

No longer slaves, we were bought with a price

Adopted, delivered we’re sons now with Christ.

We stand in His righteousness dressed to His righteousness freed!

The words are powerful enough in themself but enhanced even more by the great music. May we know how great is our salvation this season!


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Hallmarks of December

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Our little fake tree, dripping with ornaments and lots of crazy color. I love it!

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Simple door hanging this year.  Thanks to my boys who keep me supplied with choice sticks.

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Peppermint puff “crackers” hidden around the house for an advent treat.

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Candy Cane Bath Salts for Mom2Mom. Lots of crafty goodness that day!

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Cranberry topiary.  Rubies on toothpicks.

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Lots of little sewing projects in the works. Little (and quick) is the operative word this year.  New, pretty needles add to the fun.

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Rainbow of glove options.

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Keepers girls making candles. We also had a cookie exchange and went caroling to the fire department. What special memories!

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Luke reading his great rendition of The Grinch.

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Boy Scout Christmas party outfitted with onlooking  little sibs.

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Caught a glimpse of these two out of the corner of my eye and had to take a picture. Growing too fast!

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Mia making corn husk dolls for Thanksgiving.

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Britty playing with them.

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Pile on: all except for Piper.

December is a busy and sweet month.  It’s hard to savor it with all of the busy.  Hoping these picts will help me remember some of the simple things we treasure.

Hope to post again before Christmas, but if not:

Merry Christmas!!