our main family holiday has always been thanksgiving and our extended family is never free for christmas so we really don't have many traditions this time of the year. but the beauty of this is that we have a whole lot of freedom to do things different every year! most christmas's we have friends join us but sometimes its just us and this year my family came all the way to memphis to spend a few days with me!! micah is currently deployed and jonathan is in italy so that means 10 people staying in my house! i'm really grateful to my roommates who allowed my fam to completely take over the house while they were off celebrating christmas with their families!
something new this year was stockings! we've never done stockings before but mama had a ton of old wool sweaters and decided to felt one for each of us and turn it into a stocking! so fun! my mantel wasn't quite big enough so we hung them from the stair case:) despite having so many chillens in the house, we are the slowest on christmas morning! usually we all sleep in a bit and then make breakfast (usually beignets!) and then mosey around to giving gifts. at dinner we all helped each other complete christmas madlibs and then read them outloud:) we've spent years fitting 12 people around a 6 person table so fitting 10 people at our table for 4 was no problem!
the weather has been incredible (currently 75 degrees) and we've spent a lot of our time outside but i love nothing more than the house being full! i think if we weren't used to so many people in tight quarters we would have gone crazy by now but thankfully we only start to think something is wrong when it's quiet! we've spent the last several days washing lots of dishes (no working dishwasher!), chasing each other around the playground, watching loads of psych re-runs, raking leaves, getting on each others nerves, hanging out, laughing over inside jokes and learning even more what grace really means. especially thankful for daddy who has helped me with some huge and not terribly easy projects around the house (when a house is 75 years old, one project quickly becomes 3!)
this semester has been incredibly difficult and exhausting for many reasons but one thing i'm increasingly aware of is the gift that my family is. remembering the really broken seasons that our family has been through as well as looking around and mourning for the many friends who don't have the support of family has made me so grateful. maybe i don't get to share much life with them now and maybe i'm not dependent on them for daily resources but they are the best encouragers, prayer warriors & adventurers i know and they are the first to point me back to Jesus or make me laugh.
during this advent season i've been reading about Jesus being the true and better adam, the true and better abraham, isaac and jacob. the true and better passover lamb. the true and better manna.
he became the ultimate sacrifice for us as he took our punishment on the cross. paying our sin debt and satisfying us more fully than any thing or any one else ever could. he completes and surpasses our needs and expectations while giving us the purest example of humility and faithfulness.
"for unto us a child is born, to us a son is given. and the government will be upon his shoulders. and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. he will reign on david's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. the zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."
even in my most broken moments, these are the truths i cling to and the promises that make me eager to start a new year!
merry christmas and happy new year y'all!