I have had an amazing week.
I have had an extra surge of energy, amazing amounts of patience, and have been embarrassing my kids with my awesome dance moves. In other words, I've been really happy.
Maybe it's all the christmas cookies.
And the wrapping of presents for my kids.
And the christmas music.
And the fact that it's been in the 50's the last few days.
We decorated the tree. I did the top part and the kids did the bottom. And then at nap time I re-distributed the bottom half onto the rest of the tree to even it up a bit. ;-) This tree is super pokey! We cut it down, like we do every year, but this year we really got a lethal one. One poke from a needle and I've got tears in my eyes! Also, remember the naked tree two years ago that dropped all its needles in the house a full week before christmas? Fortunately, our tree isn't naked yet, but let's just say that we could have a repeat on our hands.
Poor little Oliver rolled unassumingly underneath the tree yesterday and got his arm stuck in one of the branches when he tried to pull down an ornament. Poor kid not only got poked like crazy, but he also got a shower of pine needles in his face! Seriously, christmas trees are the worst. But they look so pretty! But they're so much work and ridiculous besides! Still pretty. An environmental tragedy. And yet still so pretty.
A trunk of my high school and college belongings arrived in my house last week. This is what happens when you move over ten times in 18 years. Your stuff is all in trunks being stored who knows where. Anyway, this particular trunk was home to about five journals. Yes, I used to do that religiously. Before I had kids, since obviously I have so much time to write for hours and hours about my feelings now. Eric got his hands on them and pretty soon we were both flipping through four years of my personal history. You know what the best part was? In every single journal, from 2005 onward, Eric was the main character. You know what else? I was in love with him by December of my freshman year of college, exactly nine years ago. Eighteen-years-old and completely in love with my new best friend. I'm so thankful to have shared nine years of history with him!
Speaking of Eric (urban farmer extraordinaire), he thinks our goat Jane is pregnant. Which means she could be having triplets in February. But we don't actually know for sure, because we messed up a little with the whole breeding thing this year since it's our first time. And we can't feel the babies moving yet...if there are any. Let's just say we are learning a lot. Haaaa.
Two of my kiddos are down with fevers today, accompanied by rattling coughs and fountain noses of green. It's a great excuse to drink hot chocolate and watch movies all afternoon. cough cough **every day** cough cough. Can we be better by Christmas please?
Do you know one of the greatest things about having little kids? I get to read The Jesus Storybook Bible over and over and over. And it never gets old. Best children's Bible EVER. And you know what else is great? It ministers to me every day. In reading it every day, I have been really trying to instill in my kids that God's love is unconditional. That no matter what you do, God will always love you just as much. Because He loves you for who you are, because He created you and He delights in you. I want my kids to know that no matter what choices they make, or their birth parents make, or whatever may happen in the future, that God will always be pursuing them and loving them. Because it is not about being good or even being kind that will win God's favor. We've already won his favor, just by being alive!
So even if we choose to walk away from God, we can never ever walk away from His love for us. Because He will continue to love us no matter what.
That is grace.
So as I preach the gospel to my kids, I'm also preaching it to myself. That God delights in me because He made me. And I am enough. Because I am His.
I am thankful that my life is God's. (And that I get to explain to my kids that Jesus isn't actually a tiny person living inside each of their hearts and that no, there are no doors or windows in there...who even told them this anyway?). And whatever my kids decide, whether to walk with God or without Him, may they always know His incredible, unwavering, unconditional love He has for them. Simply because of who they are.