It’s the week before Christmas!
How did this happen, time going so fast?
A year ago we were just leaving Colorado,
seven months ago our first son was born;
this year ~ WHERE has it gone?
Is it having three children that makes time nearly a blur?
I don’t like a life that feels busy.
I like it full, in a positive sense of the word, but not busy.
I like time to sit, to enjoy, to rest, to refresh, to create.
Lately it seems that we’ve been on a race against time,
and that I do not like.
Today, however, we slowed.
Unfortunately, it was the two little ladies of the cottage who awoke with fevers.
Too bad it was that which made us slow, but slow we did.
Sitting on the sofa reading books, watching Little House movies.
Drinking tea and hot chocolate.
Cuddling precious little children, because I can.
I love to watch life through the eyes of my children.
And Christmas ~ that added sparkle in their eyes,
the laugh that easily bubbles from their mouths,
the innocence, the wonder, the enjoyment of living.
From the a.m.a.z.i.n.g. gingerbread house party my neighbor Lauren did for a bunch of kids,
to digging in the depths of boxes hauled from the attic,
to singing songs
to the excitement of the gifts…
There is that precious innocence,
that feeling that all is right with the world.
It’s how it should be.
[mailing cards is a family affair. ♥]
I love to see it, to be reminded of the innocence of children.
Because this year, more than ever before, I’m aware of how all is not right with the world.
There is so much hurt, so much pain, so much brokenness.
There is my friend Ruth, who is spending Christmas with Jesus for real this year, and every day hereafter.
For her, there is absolutely nothing better. But for her family, her husband, her children, even as friends, it’s a loss so deep.
To walk life without her? How do we do it?
There is the school shooting last week, the loss of so many innocent lives, so brutal.
And they were only children, still only babies.
I cry when I think of it, I cry reading the news.
Because I have a kindergartner. How absolutely unbearable to lose a child in such a way.
And even in my own little world, there is the reality of pain, of woundedness,
of how imperfect life is, how imperfect I am.
I still love to look at Christmas through the eyes of my children ~
remembering the magical feel of Christmas.
[the most beautiful gingerbread party ever, given by Lauren!]
[zoe and olivia’s houses]
But this year? Maybe I’m realizing more than ever WHY there needed to be a Christmas.
I see more of the world how it really is.
Jesus came not because of a magical feeling,
not because this was an innocent world,
not because there was no hurt or pain.
He came because there was pain,
because there needed to be healing,
because there needed to be forgiveness of sins.
He came because His Redemption was desperately needed in this world.
There was simply no other answer, but a Savior.
So maybe I’m not feeling the “magical Christmas” of a starry-eyed child.
But I do have a heart filled with gratitude to Jesus.
That He didn’t leave us alone in depravity, in pain, in sin.
But He came to rescue us, to help us, to enable us to truly live.
What a Jesus!
I read a quote soon before my friend died that I’ve thought of often since then.
It’s not just about how life feels: it’s about the bigger reality.
“Any alleged Christianity which fails to express itself in gaity,
at some point, is clearly spurious.
The Christian is joyful not because he is blind to the injustice and suffering,
but because he is convinced that these, in the light of Divine Sovereignty,
are never ultimate.
Though he can be sad, and is often perplexed, he is never really worried.
The well-known humor of a Christian is not a way of denying the tears,
but rather a way of affirming something which is deeper than the tears.”
I LOVE THAT!
And I am strengthened in my God, even in the midst of a wounded world.
This is not the end of the story!
We’ve brought a little of the outdoors inside again this year.
I have a box or two that I bring down from the attic when I want to decorate,
a few ornaments, bows, the nativity set.
But it’s mostly greenery that I love to put around.
It smells just divine, and it makes the house so cozy.
If it weren’t that the pine and cedar start shedding needles by January I’d never want to take them down!
So, if you like, welcome to the Cottage at Christmas.
It’s simple, it’s what we like.
The pictures are just kinda snapshot quality, I guess.
I was having terrible troubles with my lighting and camera combination! :)
pinecones with snow spray = i have snow in south georgia!! :)
twine-wrapped bottles = nothing new.
modge-podge doily bottle = inspiration hit :)
The Front Door and Dining Room.
The Girls Room.
The Music Room.
The Master Bath.
The Master Bedroom.
The Living Room.
This room is not coming together for me like I would wish.
Red drapes or white ones?
White slip covers or the natural sofas?
Color pillows or neutral?
Today I sit and enjoy it as it is. :)
I needed wanted a big chalkboard for the living room, but didn’t have one, didn’t want to buy one.
A trip out to Husband’s shed, several coats of paint on very rough plywood and voila!
And I must be real.
Those pictures of everything in place? That’s true.
It does look like that sometimes.
And at the very same moment, we can have spots like this:
It’s real life! :)
To all of you who take the time to stop by this little corner of blogland ~
thank you for reading and your encouragement through this past year!
I have been blessed so many times by you!