Holidays, my heart

Christmas Letter 2013


Last year was a crazy Christmas- full of travel and fun and stress and hard times. It didn’t feel like Christmas last year for even a day. Everything about it just seemed off somehow. It just wasn’t the Christmas I intended.

This year we have had a much better time preparing and getting the girls excited and reading the Christmas story and talking about what that means. The girls are soaking up the story of Jesus’ birth and often act out the nativity scene. Ryder is so hilarious because she is ALWAYS the inn-keeper and she points her little finger and gives a mighty, “THERE NO ROOM FOR YOU IN DIS INN!” She takes her role seriously.

There has been a lot of joy in our house and it has been welcomed this year. Not to say that times aren’t sometimes tough around here, because they are, but we are actually quite enjoying this Christmas season.

I just now got my Christmas cards in, and of course couldn’t get everyone one which always makes me so sad. I had a hard time picking out our card this year because I knew that this year more than any other I wanted to make sure we weren’t depicting a falsehood about us.

So out were the cards that had a big ol’ PEACE written on it because this house hasn’t always been peaceful in 2013. (I could go on and on about this.) But I landed on one that said, “So Much Joy” and thought, yep- that is the one.

Not that we are always joyful, but if I could describe both girls I would definitely include the world joyful.

Sweet Rory is getting more mature and growing out of the baby stage more and more each day and she is such a delight. Still strong willed, but astonishingly wonderful after so many HARD years. She is so smart and eager to learn. She spells several simple words (Rory, Ryder, Mom, Dad, Cat, Dog, Baby) and I can’t even get over how her mind absorbs such things like this. I am treasuring this season with her and so thankful we survived ages 2 and 3.

And then there is Ryder. Sweet, precious Ryder…. who has turned into your typical 2 year old that pitches fits and all that jazz. While still precious, she is giving me a run for my money and completely exhausting me. She’s still my little miracle girl and just when we think health issues are getting answered and calming down, a whole new slew of concerns raise their ugly heads. Such is life with Ryder, but we are forever thankful for this blessed child. We stand strong because the Bible states in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” So no matter what is coming our way with Ryder (or Rory or Andy or I) we know that God has dictated these circumstances with our best interest in mind far before we even existed.

It’s no secret (because I don’t want it to be- I want to be honest and real with all of you) that Andy and I have had a hard year. Nothing unbearable or earth shattering, but more of health issues/no sleep/having two mortgages/moving/etc have tapped away at both of us until we just were both weary at the same time. But God promises rest to the weary if we come to Him (Matthew 11:28) and we are finally entering a time of peace and rest. I am so thankful for every day with Andy. Even the hard days because I know those are the days that we survive and realize our marriage is always worth fighting for.

God’s grace has overwhelmed me this year, for I have not been my best. I have been, at times, negative and petty and selfish. But His grace has washed over me time and time again reviving me and reminding me that I am worth fighting for too.

So this year we have definitely had hard times, but oh how we have had joyful times. We are blessed far more than we deserve and I am so thankful for my biggest blessings- Andy, Rory and Ryder.

Thank you for reading the blog, I love you all so much!

I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas this year!

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