Change of plans

Don't you love Christmas? I do. I love preparing for over-nighters, dinner guests, and surprise visits. I love decorating, wrapping presents, and helping my husband with the meals. He bought smoked turkey and made an outstanding cheesecake.

This year we planned to have fourteen people at our house for Christmas. We bought food and spiffed up the house. We knew who would be sleeping in each of our beds and sleeper sofas - with kids on the floor.

Christmas is usually fun. But this year we had a tripple whammy.

My mom's cousin, on the mend from cancer, died of pneumonia during the holidays. After that, my grandma, 89 years old, passed away. A few days later, my mom's uncle died.

On December 26th, my family and I put our hats on and went to honor my grandma at the funeral. She was known for wearing hats in church and on many special occasions. Other than baseball caps, hats aren't generally worn in my hometown, so we stood out in church, as she sometimes did. She was used to getting compliments about her hats. We got a few, too, in the reception hall that day. She always said, "A woman should wear a hat."

We didn't have any guests spend the night at our house this Christmas. We took all our presents and food to my mom's on Christmas day. Even at her house, we had every bed and sofa filled, with kids on the floor.

We will drive from Texas to Arkansas for my great-uncle's funeral and then to Kansas to bury my grandma. It's a sad trip, but we'll be surrounded by loved ones.

When plans change, it's good to have God's love in the family.

Thank You, God, for Your peace.

Making Memories

Here it is... my birthday week.

This year I'm celebrating the birthday of Jesus - and my birthday - and twenty-five years with my husband.

He asked me out for our first date on my birthday twenty-five years ago, and somehow, we've been happily together ever since. We've been through our ups and downs and stayed together in ministry and in parenting. We've had our stressful moments and blissful moments. Through it all, love has been the bond.

Milestone moments are great times to remember who you once were and thank God for personal growth. Hopefully, as we get older, we get wiser. God gives us His wisdom, and then He gives us a family to keep us from thinking we're wiser than we really are.

I thank God for my family. They keep me laughing. I can't take myself too seriously because of them.

This week is my play time. The work gets done, but it's not really work when you're having so much fun. I'm hosting my family at my house this Christmas, and that by itself will liven up things.

The writing is on PAUSE this week - and maybe next week, too. It makes sense to cherish kids when they're small and family when they're here. I'm anticipating my joyful return to writing. But, for now, I'm seizing the moment and making memories.