Our Christmas was wonderful and we still have one more to go! We had a great time with my hubby's mom and step dad on Wednesday and we enjoyed all day on Christmas Eve with my family, and then we left at 730 am to head to Wisconsin Dells just us 5 for a waterpark vacation! We had THEE best time! The boys were in heaven and seriously so good the whole time!! And they all slept great and through the night and they all napped too! More than we could have asked for!
Lane was so big doing ALL the big slides and all by himself! I was so proud of him! He was so brave!
Luke was loving it all so much but his favorite was the big wave pool....that knocked him down one million times and he still got up with a smile every single time! Such a go getter that one!
And Lyric was so chill! He LOVED the water and never fussed one bit! The first day he literally just seemed in this euphoric state of not knowing what to do...almost mesmerized. But by day two he was a splashing, happy, go getter himself!
And of course the enchantment of the place being decked out for the holiday, the amazing restaurant we went to that served your food on a train, and the uninterrupted time was AHHHMMAZZING!!
Unfortunatly Day three got canceled because the night of Day 2 I got the flu! And it was awful! I knew that I would feel so much better just being at home and not being achy and miserable in the hotel and I surely didn't want to risk one of them getting sick while we were there especially since we had to check out the next day at 11am....so we packed up and headed for home that night. I was BEYOND bummed we had to leave...I was so looking forward to a great breakfast and then one more 1/2 day at the water park buuuuttt I am thankful for all the moments that we had there this weekend....it felt like time was standing still and I loved that!
Christmas is so special for so many reasons...but the biggest reason....
His name is Jesus, Immanuel, God With Us.
I get the extreme honor to do announcements at our church and before I begin I have the opportunity to pray with our congregation right after praise and worship ends. I am completely floored every time I get to stand up and do that because ME
imperfect, falls short daily, needs serious help,
of all people...ME? Well thank God it's not of me when I get that opportunity and I have HIS words and not my own in that moment because LORD knows (literally) that it would not be good if it was not OF Him!
I always spend time preparing my heart a few days before asking Him what needs to be said...sometimes it is more clear than others. One Sunday morning specifically I sat through most of praise and worship writing down all these things that I felt on my heart I needed to say and said nothing of what I had prepared to pray about and sure enough after service a guy came up to me and said "that prayer was wonderful and just what I needed to hear." SEE all GOD! How would I have known that? Well on Christmas Eve morning even though I had thought for a few days and jotted down a few things I literally woke up thinking of these words...He is the Wonderful Counselor, Lord of Life, Lord of ALL, He is the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Holy One.
Remember Amy Grant? Well she made a song about those words once and wouldn't you know THAT morning when I went to the gym IT came on my Pandora Christian station which randomly was playing holiday songs every second or third song for the past few weeks! I was shocked because I had kind of forgotten about that song. I mean who plays Amy Grant anymore? I have listened to Klove and The Message station a lot this season for Christmas songs and never heard it. Anyways I was overwhelmed with His presence and just had to take a second to let that soak in.
GOD. WITH. US.
Like how can I possibly process that? But folks HE IS WITH US!
May that spur you on today as you quite possibly face some challenges. I know that so many of you are hurting right now. Life is hard and messy and the struggle is real.
Jesus knows all about brokenness. This is why He came. To fix the broken things.
To comfort the one who feels alone.
To offer acceptance and unconditional love to those who feels rejected.
To give grace to the mama who feels like a failure.
To bring peace to the person who struggles with fear.
To be hope for those who suffer physically and mentally.
To bring light and life to a world that often feels heavy and dark.
And Jesus didn’t come just to BE with us, He came to transform us – to sanctify us and make us look more like Him.
I recently read a blog with this amazing quote from Elisabeth Elliot,
“The pathway to holiness is located right where you are. In those circumstances, in those relationships, in that tiredness, in that challenge. The grace of God to make you holy is right there.”
This holiness begins with a surrendered heart. Hold everything before Jesus with open hands. Trust Him to meet every need.
Refuse to let circumstances and feelings dictate your faith.
Declare like Mary, “I am the Lord’s servant, let it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)
This is joy.
THAT is Christmas.
This is my vow for 2016....in all circumstances that the grace of God is making me Holy right here. Our church does a campus wide 21 day fast (of your own personal choice) in January each year. Last year was our first year fasting (with the church) and my hubs and I fasted from "sweets/desserts". I think I have pin pointed what fast I'll be doing this year (it starts in one week!) and what I will definitely be seeking is that contentment like that quote said (along with some other things.)
Just being all that I am RIGHT. HERE. Not always looking forward to the what will, what should, what if, but the right now and what He has for me now. I'm sure I'll be blogging through my fast as a good reminder of all I learn while I am on it!
Oh and speaking of blogging...since we got an amazing new lap top I am hoping to be back to blogging regularly!! I sure have missed the convenience and quick typing of a lap top!! :)