Thankful Thursday is hosted this month by Iris.
This has been an interesting week. Our snow has nearly melted from the warmer weather - I love not having snow, but upper Michigan economy depends upon it. No snow = no snowmobiles = no tourism. I swear half the town heads south every winter, so it is almost lonely here. We do have a casino within walking distance from my house. I loathe the thing and am praying for the day the Lord closes it. I expect I'll be praying for a long time, but I won't give up hope. Crime is not the sort of company for which I'm looking.
Christmas was interesting as well. Instead of staying home as we normally do, we went one state south to visit both sides of the family - all in two days! It was a whirlwind trip. While we were happy to see our families, we were not happy to drive so far down and then back in a short period of time. Amanda ate nothing but candy and was sick by the time I put her into her own bed. She now has a nasty cold that is lingering.
We opened our presents the eve before Christmas Eve. That was a little weird since we had always done so on Christmas morning. We had very little to spend this year and I think the children were a little dismayed to see what a difference that made in the amount and quality of gifts received. To that I say, "Too bad!" Christmas is truly about receiving one gift only: that of the Christ, the Savior of the world. The gift we are to share is found in Him - the good news that eternity with Him is received by faith. All other gifts pale in comparison.
We gave our oldest son a handmade quilt (the nicest gift by far), crafted from his old t-shirts - some from his police academy, some from places he's worked, and even a couple from the Big Ticket Festival where he volunteered as security help. We told him this a combination Christmas/graduation gift. It's something special that he plans to keep forever. My friend, Jenn, from Sunshine Autumn Quilts handmade the quilt. If you like this quilt, you can order a personalized one for yourself. They can be as small or as large as you like. Ask her about pricing on the different sizes.
(above photo courtesy of Sunshine of Autumn Quilts)
Above: I got Jeff a large print NKJV Bible.
This year, looking back, I see tough times and I see good times. I've seen friends who've given up on their marriages. I've seen other friends tough it out with the Lord's help. I've seen struggles with finances and I've seen easier times.
Life is hard. God never promised that it would be easy. He only promised to carry our burdens as we take up His. "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:30 (NIV)
May you all have a blessed New Year.