Friday, December 26, 2008


It was 6:57 a.m. Christmas morning. My younger son was not only awake, but showered. My older son still slept. David had already been up for hours making his traditional cinnamon rolls and their fragrance was just beginning to fill the air. I made myself a toasty warm cup of chai and went in to the living room, which was lit only by the white lights on the tree and the glow of the fire in the fireplace. Wrapped gifts circled the tree and the stockings were heavy with loot. Christmas carols played softly on the radio as I curled up on the sofa, cradling my mug.

I knew deep in my soul that this moment would be my favorite moment of the day.

Slowly I sipped my chai, savoring. I wanted to stop time, or at least push the pause button, until I had experinced every thought and feeling that the morning had to offer. As I pondered what all of those packages might contain, I realized why this moment was so poignant. It represents where I am in life right now: in the throws of anticipation. No one knows for sure what the future holds, but our family appears to be on the verge of major change.

It is is likely...that this will be our last Christmas in this house. It is just a house. Just a house. And yet, it has been so much more: It has been a picture of grace; A lesson in beauty from ashes; A cozy incubator where little boys became young men; A joyful port in this journey called life.

But the ship is sailing, and we have been called aboard.

I feel as though I am standing at the bottom of the gangplank, suitcases in hand; but, in the quietness of Christmas morning, God is urging me to turn and take one last mental picture of this blessed place to fix it in my mind. To remember all that He has done for us during our years in Spangle. When we go to France we will leave the house, but we will take with us the memories of His faithfulness. We must pack those memories away safely because we will need them when (not if) there are rough seas ahead.

I so love to soar on the wings of anticipation of what might be that I can forget to wallow in appreciation for what has been. This morning I waded in to my own gratitude, and within minutes it overwhelmed me. Even now, there is a lump in my throat when I consider what God has given us in this place.



Floods (yes, plural!)

Birthday parties




Rider mowers


Snakes, crawdads, and mudpuppies

A long gravel driveway with a wagon wheel at the end

A post office two blocks away

Running on dirt roads

Coyote howls and Owl hoots

A mud room

Long drives home

The smell of wheat at harvest time

Chirping crickets

A giant rock in the yard

Big trees with birdhouses

Visiting cousins

Cousins stuck here due to icy roads

Beautiful sunsets

I am thankful.

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