Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday night thoughts in December..

Well it sure hasn't been the season for blogging for me! It's not for a lack of activity to record, thoughts to scribble out, or whatever. Time constraints might have a bit to do with it, but mainly the desire to blog hasn't been there at the right time.  Strangely, I frequently compose words or synthesize thoughts I'd like to remember late at night as I'm pulling the blankets up over me or driving in the car from one place to the next. It seems, though, that the issues I face right now, things that seem to be a big part of my life at the moment, are simply best kept off a public blog. I don't mind sharing what some would consider personal, but since the personal typically involves other people, I must tread carefully. Ha! Maybe I should take up a blog on cooking or the adventures of living in a fixer home. That might be safer.

But we've been well around here. Life keeps blasting ahead full steam even if this little journal doesn't reflect it. There have been celebrations, get-togethers, a black eye, a gashed brow, and baking too. And as always, dreaming, praying, hoping, waiting.

(Olivia making gingerbread men... A Christmas time essential)
(Lemon cookies for our church's ladies event. They were not as pretty as the rolled out version I usually make of pretty little snowflakes, but these were speedier.)
(Oranges are coming into season again. I keep eying our neighbor's clementine tree and hope for some citrus trees of our own.)
(Jon's helpers. He says he only messes with a real Christmas tree each year because he loves me. Thanks, Babe. Love you too.)
We finally decorated our tree last night. I realize it's a little late, but it took me a while to get into the mood. Having recently moved and with many boxes yet to unpack, I was not eager for more things to sort through and organize. Plus, there's the problem of the hideous peach tile that runs through most of the house! Having a good amount of red Christmas decorations, I envisioned the peach and the red mixing and resembling the color of innards. I think I just might take out a can a spray paint and make a few adjustments to some of my decorations. Our tree skirt won't work either, so I think I'll improvise with some burlap.

Here's a glimpse of the tile. A couple days ago I decided to throw all the kids' shoes into the washer and here they were still drying the next morning.
I know. You're jealous. Between the peach tile (also described as "shrimp") and the blue kitchen counter tile, it's safe to say I have some decorative obstacles to overcome.

Today we had a crew of tree trimmers take care of some long neglected trees in our yard. As a family we've begun to tackle the yard, but this job was a little beyond our available time and expertise (although Jon did think he might have liked to give it a try). For safety and practical reasons, it was best for two of our trees to be trimmed way back. Now we have more light for grass and other plants, significantly few leaves in the pool, and a dramatically increased view of the ocean. I'm also pleasantly surprised by the sunlight streaming into my bedroom. Presently the trees look strange at best, but soon they will sprout new life and look, well, less naked.

The Coral Tree
The Silver Oak
My kids were super motivated to get through their school work because I let them sit out and watch for a few minutes between each subject. By noon, when school work was complete, we had covered more material than usual and spent a good amount of time watching the work in progress. It's amazing what a little motivation can do.
After...

Fun times. But I pause and remember it's the Christmas season. People in my circles have been talking a lot about traditions, and exchanging ideas on how to stay Christ-centered amidst the busyness. I think we struggle so much with this concept because we are captivated by worldly traditions and expectations during this month. We are not captivated with Christ.

I've been forced in a sense to give more thought to this, or at least to consider the subject of traditions in our home from a different angle. I've noticed that in pursuing Christ-centered traditions, we often turn to symbolism. Symbolic ornaments, for instance, or a birthday cake for Jesus, or advent this or that which become routine or obligatory. And we do it because it makes us feel Christian.

The Old Testament ceremonies were full of symbolism. God knew symbolism had a special purpose for His people because it pointed to Christ. But then Christ came and put an end to the symbolic and gave us Himself. Symbolism is gone and we now have the personal. We have relationship with Christ.

But many people rejected this when Jesus lived on earth. Many reject it now. And those of us who have Christ still so easily turn to what we can see and control and feel good about.

I wonder how to make the switch in a very noticeable way here in our home. Surely that begins with me and my own real, personal, and living relationship with Christ.

One other quick thought before I sign off...
Jesus said, "And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these brothers, you did it to me.'" If you want to celebrate and express your thankfulness to Christ this season, applying this verse might be better than baking a "birthday cake for Jesus." This is how we can give gifts to the One who deserves our all.


~Katherine

2 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree with you more, Katherine. It's so easy to fall into the feeling and joys of traditions and elevate that above all else. Thank you for posting this- it was encouraging and a great reminder.

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  2. Your wisdom and your talents amaze me...what a treasure this blog is and will be for your family. Thank you for being so 'real'.

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