December in Pictures + A Christmas House

Merry Christmas week, friends!  We put up our decorations very early this year and still, it sneaks up on me every time.  I have all of our wrapping and baking to do, along with holiday groceries and preparations to leave town for New Year’s.  (These are merry activities, I have to remind myself!)

We have had a peaceful December with the Christmas lights glowing and the fireplace blazing every evening.  It’s not very cold here at all; it stays between 20 and 50 degrees and it has been sunny all week.  I still ride my bike on the trail every day!

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Aside from some pen pal kits for friends, we did not do any Christmas crafting this year; in fact, I have done almost no projects since moving!  Most of those things have been superseded by practical activities like math lessons, washing sheets for guests, and packing and unpacking.

I said that one of my goals for our time here in Kansas City was to see family, and we have been doing that very faithfully since arriving!  This too takes time and preparation.  There’s a season for everything.

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The girls and I did decorate of course (it seems to be a perpetual job, as Levi sees it as his mission to fervently undecorate) and I’ve been doing lots of baking.  Not cookies, but our daily bread: sourdough boules, muffins, yeast loaves and anything else we want.  (I was gifted a grain mill for an early Christmas gift.  My husband knows what a girl wants!)

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This year has tested everything, especially relationships, as it seems the whole world is polarized on one end of the political spectrum or other.  Not a person I know has been immune to it.  There’s no other time like the month of December to amplify every one of my inner wounds a thousand times.

Every day I wake up, I have to decide if I will be a peace maker and a light-bringer, or just a contributor to the din of strife and fear around me.   Well, I’m determined to be a peace maker and a light-bringer.  The best way I know how to do this is to hold the boundaries that really matter to me, communicating them in complete love.  Then, release all the unnecessary rest of it so that I can connect with those dearest to me.

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Do you know what’s better than being right?  Being free.  I heard one of my favorite preachers say this in June and it has been my mantra ever since. Boy, I have brought myself back from the brink of pride and anger with this phrase so many times.

I think 2020 has shown me how important it is for humans to feel safety in order to connect (both emotionally and physically).  We do not always have to be right or have the last word. Let’s be safe havens this Christmas, not only for the stranger and the foreigner, but to those dearest and closest to us.

Merry Christmas, and may the peace of God reign in your heart this year.

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