December 20, 2012

how to receive the good news

We slipped into the back row and waited for the music to begin.

As the banjo, cello, and guitar strummed their melodious sonnets of Christmas joy, a slow smile spread across Grant's face and he began to rock in sync with the music; his body keeping the rhythm like a ticking metronome.


When the first song ended, Grant clapped enthusiastically and bellowed his normal sounds of glee. A few people turned around in their seats to see who was expressing such loud accolades, but then knowing smiles embraced their faces as they settled back and relaxed to the next song.

All was OK.

No one was frustrated with the boy who boisterously exclaimed his joyous approval.

No one was annoyed with the boy who was... different.

Because here, all are welcomed.

The good news is for all who will listen. I marvel that God chose lowly shepherds to be the first to hear of Jesus' humble arrival... and then those simple men were serenaded by a sky filled with a heavenly host. Can you imagine being one of those shepherds as they rushed to see the Messiah?

I looked at my oldest son, who was again rocking to the music, and thought, May we all rejoice as freely and loudly as Grant when we hear the good news!
"And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them." Luke 2:20  

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For a couple weeks we enjoyed 70 degree weather in North Carolina - in December. Believe me, the boys took full advantage of the warm weather.

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This year we were diligent about incorporating some family traditions into the weeks leading up to Christmas: reading portions from the advent scriptures, decorating cookies, attending a couple Christmas events, making homemade ornaments and driving around to look at Christmas lights.

One special event I think we'll keep (occasionally) year-round is family movie night.

I'm pretty sure the boys thought life couldn't get any better than this... eating in the living room, staying up past bedtime, and watching TV as a family.

During the movie Wesley was content to slowly munch on his popcorn while lounging with Daddy.

Grant consumed his popcorn in 15 seconds and resumed his position on the trampoline.

He spent most of the movie looking like this. :)

I love my boys.
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While we have been experiencing a warm streak here in the Carolinas, we've also had our share of rainy, gloomy weather. What a perfect excuse to break out the soft Christmas music, put a simmer pot on the stove, and cozy up with my boys.

Here is my favorite simmer pot recipe:

  3 sprigs evergreen or a handful of pine needles
  2 cinnamon sticks
  2 tablespoons whole cloves
  2 pieces (or more) orange rind 

Fill a saucepan with approximately 2 to 3 cups of water.
Bring to a boil.

Add the ingredients.

Boil for a couple minutes.  
Turn down the heat to simmer all day.
Add more water as needed.


Click here for more simmer pot recipes.

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May you have a joy-filled Christmas!

Charlie Brown Christmas


1 comment

  1. Thanks for posting this. Sam is now enjoying music and it is so wonderful to see him smile, clap and ask for more when the song ends. Christmas time offers so much wonderful music for all and especially Sam who for the first time is interested in Christmas. As I went to his school's Christmas performance Wed, I could not help but think of all the kids who were killed last week in Newtown and who were not able to perform for their parents. Truly heartbreaking. Makes me so grateful for every moment I have with Sam. Blessings to you Karen. Happy Holidays.


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