"make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,
so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."

--1 thessalonians 4: 11-12

Saturday, February 9, 2013

december 2012 & a year end summary

it is my goal to have our
christmas decorations up 
on the first of december.
as usual, i had an idea
come to me at the last minute...
you know, when everyone else
has been planning this for weeks:


instead of dollar store toys
and candy, we had an act of
service written down for each day,
in hopes of cultivating a spirit
of giving and gratitude in the 
midst of consumerism.

we called it "the giving tree".
the girls really seemed to enjoy it,
but the boys were a bit too young.

i set the giving tree up during the day and
 that night, we pulled out jason's grandparents'
old christmas records, decorated the tree, read some
christmas books and drank homemade hot cocoa.
there are always little squabbles between siblings,
but that night was seriously wonderful.

on the 6th of december, 
i attended my midwife's book signing. 
it was a joy to be there 
and i am so proud of her.
her book, Born to Deliver,
is an incredible story of redemption
and bringing beauty from ashes.
i wouldn't recommend it if i didn't mean that.
it's awesome. 
go read it.

we continued our yearly tradition
of driving around to look at christmas lights.
this year, jason and i had coffee from starbucks
and he bought the kids their own hot cocoa.
there's just something about that red cup!
they thought it was pretty awesome. =)

ali girl lost her first tooth
and cried once it was gone.
she refused to look in the mirror
because she was "afraid she wasn't pretty anymore".
it breaks my heart 
that kids worry about that so young. 
i think she's 
pretty darn cute either way,
and it is my prayer that she is seen 
not only for her outer beauty,
but for her inner beauty--
..."the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit."
1 peter 3:4

the girls and i spent
time preparing christmas gifts together.
they made chains and turned them into 
necklaces and rings

and i made scarves for their teachers and principal.

i also put together dish cloth sets for my mom, mother in law
and sisters in law and fingerless gloves for my sisters. 
i have since made a few dish cloths for myself
because it's such a quick project and i 
love having something to keep my mind and hands
busy, besides social networks!
 every year,
we each choose a new ornament
for the tree.
last year, we made them...
and it was kind of a bust.
don't ever by off brand 
sticky dots, mmkay? 
they don't work. 

so this year, 
we went to target instead...
which is always a good place
to go, if you ask me.
all sydney wanted was
a horse ornament, but
there were none to be found.
luckily for sydney,
she has a handy daddy
that is good at making 
things work--
they bought a horse figurine
from the feed store and jason
drilled a hook into it at home...

a horse ornament.
i have a feeling this
will always be an extra special
one to her...

the girls received a fish tank
as their "big" gift this year,
so jason snuck into their room
christmas eve night and set it up for them.


we had nice christmas with our families
and wrapped up the year with friends.


it was a really tough year.
i am thankful for this blog
and the fact that i wrote our story
down, because if i hadn't, i am
pretty sure i no longer would have
believed that we were led here by the lord.
we were so, so broke, so behind on bills
and crushed in spirit.
i asked jason one time if he thought
anyone believed us anymore or if they
thought we had been foolish.
i still don't know the answer to that question,
but truthfully, it doesn't matter.

in acts 21,
the lord told paul to go to jerusalem.
others came and warned him
--through the spirit, even--  
not to go because of what would 
happen, but he was obedient to the lord,
KNOWING he would be bound, saying he would
even die so that the lord's will would be done.

so you see, the focus is on obedience
 to the lord's will, not the opinion of others.
we had no idea what the year would hold.
we still aren't sure *why* 
we are doing what we are doing...
but it isn't necessarily for us to know,
at least right now.
we walk in faith, knowing that we are
here for a reason and search out the
heart and will of the lord for us.
we've had many, many opportunities
to have others into our home.
we have had many instances of tangible
ways the lord has provided.
we have a fuller, stronger testimony
that has blessed and encouraged others
to keep carrying on...
and that makes it worth it.
we aren't here for us.
we aren't here to be comfortable.
we are here for a reason
and though it brings trials
and suffering and tears,
there is beauty.
there is depth.
there is hope to carry on...
and the knowledge that this is only a season.
and for that, i am thankful.


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