this year brought a familiar ease to it with it being the 2nd Christmas shared in our home. memories upon memories, it's something only time creates. backwards glances show God's grace abounding.. His love so very complete. i've found myself thinking back occasionally, but only long enough to recognize Who our God is, and to catch a glimpse of how He moves. then i'm drawn right back to the present, and cannot help but try to process this fast paced thing called time. so many older and wiser ones attempted to make it known..warning that it has a way of speeding up and slipping through our grasp. i am, thankfully, increasingly aware.
and so, this Christmas i watched and noticed more, treasuring heart carvings of memories i want to keep..the small nuances that make us who we are.
it was a quiet, slow start of the day. Christmas lights lit, a fire in the wood stove. once they were all awake, all 4 boys wrapped up in new blankets on the couch and bean bag chair. i watched as one tried on some new clothes..with much hilarity, and the ensuing laughter to tears from his brothers. i noticed the joy on each of their faces as they exchanged their gifts for each other..once again, it being one of their favorite parts of Christmas morning. brothers attentive to each other as they opened gifts, one at a time..loud approvals resounding. "oh yeah! that's dope! those are sweet!" the quiet attention while David read the account of Jesus' birth..how each of us soaked in the story, familiar words made new to us once again. and I didn't miss the fact that David was the first of ours to read on Christmas morning...then, a boy in first grade. now, in his final year of high school. i thought of how this year brings changes, with him leaving for college..and how his growing through these changes will make things a little different next Christmas. i do love him so, and cannot wait to know the man God is molding him into. while our oldest is on the launching pad, our youngest still has a child-like wonder..an excited anticipation encompassed him still this year, him even mentioning a slight tummy ache on Christmas Eve. i'm not certain how many more years that feeling will still exist for him, but for now it made me remember how it felt to be a child. when a Christmas village scene came to life in my mind, and i could picture myself living in one of those well lit, decorated Victorian houses or sledding down the cottony snow hill.
there was joking, much laughter, a reoccurring Indian accent, some wrestling and cuddling. grandad and grandmom reminisced and shared tidbits of wisdom from lives well-lived. garlic dip, rye bread and cookies, bacon with breakfast, and the 18 year-old tradition of Chinese food for dinner. some new clothes were worn and new games played. some naps were taken and lots of coffee was dranken 😂. overall, Christmas 2016 was memorable not because of anything grand, but because we were together. love abounds in this house of ours.. not because of who we are, but because of the One Who lives in us.