“Behold what manner of love the Father has lavished upon us! That we can become the children of God! And that is who we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him ” I John 3:1
I love the Christmas season as we remember to prepare for Christ’s second coming as well as taking joy and delight in remembering His first coming to fulfill so many of God’s promises. The challenges we have are temporary even though sometimes it seems like it is taking an awfully long time to come up with a solution to the challenges!
One thing our family has learned to do over the years it to put outings and breaks on our calendar regardelss of the current challenge we are facing. Taking a break helps us refocus and have the mental and physical space to access whats going on and what are steps each one of us needs to take. Many times, rest is the first order of business and eating healty food as well as seeking the support of friends who can pray with us and for us. Sometimes friends have experience or suggestions that help us stay on the best path as we keep on moving in the direction of doing the next right thing. Rest, fun and cultivation a good sense of humor, help fuel resilence and flexiblity. We have often found that in the midst of our pain and disappoinment, we can move from misery to ministry as we keep the focus on God as our Provider.
A family tradition is to go to Cannon Beach Conference Center for Thanksgiving. Walks and talks on the beach, good food, an excellent speaker, Ron Cline, who reminds us that “our battle is not against flesh and blood” and importance of putting on the belt of Gods truth is of absolute importance! www.cbcc.net has an audio library of speakers from the past many years. Lots of good wisdom there!
This year we also had planned for our annual “Perfect Christmas Tree Hunt” to be on December 7 .We had a busy couple of days cleaning out the area for the tree to go and reaaranging things in our house and getting rid of more stuff. SInce I have been sick for the past four months, perhaps it is not too surprising that a lot of things have not been done. I hired some extra help and we made some good progress. Another lesson I have learned is the value of asking for help and scheduling help. In the best of times, it is more fun to have friends to work with and a new set of eyes often sees solutions that I miss if I keep pushing forward in my own strength.
We attended a local annual Ladies Christmas Tea. The ambiance of the church as they decorated carefully and provided an assortment of savory and sweet treats while intermitantly shopping at the silent auction, set the stage for conversations with friends and acquaintances life’s busyness has pushed away. I love the singing and the personal stories shared by the guest speaker each year. This year, we had a few extra friends come and enjoy the evening with us.
The Stonewater Ranch Youth Dynamics Christmas Party was a delightful time meeting Clairesse’s co-workers, playing games, making “sleighs” out of candy canes and other christmas shaped candies, a baked potato potluck and a white elephant gift exchange. We continued the evening with a trivia game and a Ticket to Ride boatd game. Sunday morning, we enjoyed Jeffs famous Paleo panckes, packed up and had a short walk in the snow prior to heading back over the mountain to prepare for Jeff’s second cateract surgery.
We continue to apply the principle of looking for the good things in the midst of life challenges. More to come later