Our Christmas this year was spent quietly at home. My parents weren't able to come as they were, like us, down with the flu. Although, being sick isn't our idea of the perfect way to spend any day - much less Christmas - it turned out to be a lovely celebration and sweet family time.
As the new year approaches, we are finally kicking this terrible illness. Although our camping plans are out of the question for New Years Eve - cold temperatures and getting over the flu doesn't go so well together - we will enjoy another (fairly) quiet evening celebrating together.
As 2013 draws near I'm thankful for this down time to reflect on the past, to enjoy the memories each special Christmas ornament on our tree represents, like the tiny sea shells we've gathered at our favorite family beach spot, and the sand dollars we've collected. I smile at the memory of finding shells on our honeymoon in Costa Rica, and then turning them into icicles with our firstborn son when he was a toddler.
That toddler is now 11 years old and we've added 2 more boys to the family. Each year we add some kind of new ornaments to the tree - salt dough ornaments the boys paint themselves, this year the small nests to which we added the eggs and birds to represent the time we spend together exploring creation. The years fly by all too quickly, our boys are growing up fast, and I know it won't be long before I'm looking at the tree ornaments and remembering the time when they were "only" 11, 7 and 8 years old.
I've been praying for the families in Newport. I cannot imagine how different, and heartbreaking their Christmas was from ours. Praying for them reminds me to be thankful for every moment, even when we are sick or struggling. My main focus for the new year is to savor each day, to savor the moments that make up the day.
I want to remember the bigger picture by focusing on the little things - teaching our children to honor the time God has given us by appreciating the time we have together.
I'm thankful for what we have, thankful for the time to enjoy it. Teaching the boys to appreciate God's blessings, to find the gifts in the little things - is one of the most important lessons we can share with them. We have to be "in the moment" to do that, prepared to look closely and soak in the details.
Every moment in our lives quickly becomes a memory. I want to work harder to be truly present in those moments. I cannot slow the passing of time, or keep my boys young, but I can savor each moment along the way and celebrate each day with them - celebrate the little things which make up the bigger picture.
As we are physically recovering from our illness, our celebration of the New Year will include family time - playing with the new basket ball goal, cooking some special treats, and taking a walk in the Myakka Forest, soaking up a bit of sunshine as we discuss what goals the boys have in mind for 2013. Later - there will be sparklers - and we have a tradition of watching the ball drop, unlike the one at midnight, ours drops about 6 p.m. and looks a little something like this:
Happy New Year Y'all - Savor the moment!
#1000 Gifts and counting:
*the little moments *special ornaments gathered over the years *hot chocolate *family traditions *sunset *camera to capture the moment *family favorite foods *games we love *health returning *quiet time of reflection
Linking with: SoliDeGloria Bigger Picture Miscellany Monday Better Mom Modest Mom God Bumps Welcome Home The Wellspring #ifellowship Seeds of Faith - Thought Provoking Thursday - Hear it on Sunday Gratituesday Soli Deo Gloria From My Mountain View Titus 2's Days Raising Mighty Arrows -
Good Morning Girls - 1000Gifts Thankful Thurs Kids in the Word Thursday Quick Tip