Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas is More

Since moving into our new home, the kids an I haven't been able to leave. We're snowed in. Our street is a perfect sledding hill- a thick sheet of ice. So there are things that I can't get done. I still need to get things from our storage unit. We haven't been able to return to my husband's parents' home. So there are things still there that we don't have.

One of the things there is a small Christmas tree. In our storage unit are Christmas decorations and our stockings.

There are eight days until Christmas.

I was a little discouraged as Norah was asking, "Mom, can we make cookies for Santa now?!" And I have to reply, "No. Mommy doesn't have the things I need to make cookies." (We keep telling her that Santa isn't real, but just something fun to pretend. But she just is really into him this year!)

Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, our home is converted into a Chistmasy state and stays that way until the new year. But this year. I have nothing up. There's no tree. There are no Christmas lights (my husband always makes our home look beautiful). There aren't any stockings or nativity scene.

But then I took stock. Christmas is more than tinsel, and lights. It is more than presents under a sparkling Christmas tree and cookies fresh from the oven.

More than 2000 years ago Emmanuel was born. God made flesh was came into a fallen world to save it from the sin it was enslaved by. The babe grew up, sinless and perfect, and willingly gave himself up on a cross. Our Saviour was born to die for those who believe.

That's what makes Christmas.

Side Note: I was able to concoct a Christmas treat from Devil's Food Cake and Chocolate Fudge Frosting. I just baked two 9" round cakes, and mixed about 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract into the frosting to make a Chocolate Peppermint Cake. Norah and I sprinkled Christmas sprinkles on it and powdered sugar ("snow") to look more festive. That was fun and a blessing.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Right now I am sitting at home without my husband in the house. He is out. He is out at work. That hasn't happened in about 3 months. It doesn't pay much, and we can't live on it. And it is temporary, but it is work.

So I'm a little weirded out that my love is out in the world, since I am not used to it. I am blessed to have the opportunity to get used to it, though!

I've been thinking about two words:
Sustained: to give support or relief to, and
Sufficient: enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end.

With the help of Merriam-Webster Online, I have these definitions. A verse and a song keep coming to mind that are weighty with these words:
I Corinthians 12:9,
"...'My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.'
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
by Someone I Don't Know
I'm sustained, O Lord.
When your light surrounds me the world goes away.
I'm sustained, O Lord.
My heart knows your love like it flows through my veins.
Such peace and contentment I've found in your grace,
I can't think why I've ever complained.
You love me.
What more could I want?
I'm sustained.
I'm satisfied by your love so completely.
How could I search for the praises of man?
There's nothing I need that you haven't provided.
'Cause no one can offer me peace like You can.
Jesus, your love is enough.
Sufficient for me.
All I have needed, You've given for free.
Your love is enough.
I don't need man's applause.
I know what I'm worth. I remember the cross.
I'm sustained, O Lord.
When your light surrounds me the world goes away.
I'm sustained, O Lord.
My heart knows your love like it flows through my veins.
Such peace and contentment I've found in your grace,
I can't think why I've ever complained.
You love me.
What more could I want?
I'm sustained.
Our family has the distinct privilege of being sustained. We are weak. We don't have answers. But we are being held up by Eternal Father. His grace is enough- an abundance give to us, really! This is a season when we remember the miracle of Christ's birth. We recognize that Christ gave up the glories of heaven to be man, and live a sinless life so that he could take our place on the cross. Such grace, the angels cannot even fathom! We have not had to tap into the equity that we got from the sale of our house in Grand Junction, and prayerfully, we won't have to. But for now, we have just enough to survive. Like the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, we are sustained.
Today, Casey is working. Maybe that will be just enough to survive December. Maybe that's what he will need to get into another job. Maybe.... well, only the Lord knows. We'll just have to wait.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Super Why

This morning I was watching a little of the programming on PBS with my children. On the line-up is Super Why. The show is about four characters that turn into sort of "super heroes" to solve problems. The show is really a great learning tool, introducing children to reading, writing, and letter sounds. It's one that I'm glad my children like.

The plot lines of Super Why are generally the same. We enter Storybook Village with "Wyatt" (who turns into Super Why, with the power to READ!), and we encounter a problem. Wyatt calls all the Super Readers to action to solve the problem. Using a storybook, they find Super Letters to find the answer to the problem.

Before getting into solving mode, the Readers gather together and ask the children viewing, "What do we do when we have a problem? We look in a book!"

It never really dawned on me before- the profundity of that statement- at least for Christians. What do we do when we have a problem? Where do we look for a solution? We look in THE Book. Our own ideas, our own wisdom, our own friends or family don't have the answers. God's Word does.

At a time when we have a lot of things to figure out and decisions to make that will hopefully be the right ones, I know that my husband and I need to depend on the Good Book for the solutions to the problems that face us. It is the only true wisdom that can guide us, and show us truth.

That's the everyday grace I see today. I live in a land that still allows me to own a Bible. I can read the very words of God Most High and know the wisdom that can only come from Him. Let me not forget the value of reading that Book.