To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Time to Spend the Evening Together

God has delivered me from going down to the pit, and I shall live to
 enjoy the light of life. ~Job 33:28

The kids are tucked away in their beds, fast asleep. This is always a welcome time for Ben and I...we finally get to spend some time together. We do different things but tonight is a night unlike any other. As I finish up wrapping gifts 

This is what Ben is doing
I don't know if you can tell but there
are waffles in the iron and pancakes
on the griddle!
Do I really need to say anymore?

A Time for Snow

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be
 whiter than snow. ~Psalm 51:7

We finally had our first snow of the season. Everyone is excited to be outside sledding...if you can call it that. It is more like sliding on leaves as there isn't enough snow to cover the ground but the kids are having a blast. I'm really excited about the possibility of a White Christmas. After that if we don't get another flake of snow that will be alright by me! We hope that you all have a Merry Christmas. Spending time with family, exchanging gifts, lots of food & singing, beautiful trees and lights. All these things are a wonderful part of the holiday season. But we would encourage you to take time during your celebrating to think about why it is we celebrate and what Christs birth signifies for you. For us, we remember that the babe in the manager, our Saviour, was born to die. It's such a special time of year and we trust that as we find our way into the New Year that each and every one of you would discover the peace from God that passes all understanding! 

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Time for Christmas Parties

As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a 
buckler to all those that trust in him. ~Psalm 18:30

Jan is on the left
Yesterday we had our Ladies Missionary Group Christmas Party. This is something we do each year and I think all the ladies really look forward to it. Each year I have to find someone who is willing to give a devotional. Not as easy a task as you might think, as many ladies don't feel comfortable serving in this way. This year my dear friend, Jan, came to me and told me she had something on her heart so if I hadn't found anyone else she'd be willing. This is a friend who has been such a blessing to me in the short amount of time I've known her. She is a lady who loves the Lord, studies his word, and is full of wisdom. She's also one of the most talented ladies I know! All the decorations you see were done by her and her mom...aren't these quilts amazing!?
Kathy arrives-another remarkable
woman in my life!
Her devotional was about "Being in God's Way". She highlighted 6 people who were around during the time of Jesus' birth and the blessing they would have missed out on had they not been willing to "be in God's way". When she spoke about the shepherds, I really started thinking. The angel of the Lord comes to the Shepherds who are tending their sheep and tells them that the Savior of the world is born and where they can find him. She pointed out to us that they didn't question whether or not they would lose their jobs if they left the flock and went to Bethlehem to see Jesus. They didn't hesitate about whether or not they should go. They knew that God had sent them the message from the angel for a reason and that they NEEDED to go see Jesus. It really made me stop and think about my own life. I really feel like I allow myself to be in "God's way" praying about His will being done in my life and being obedient to His word. But do I hesitate when I hear God asking me to do something that doesn't make sense to me? Am I willing to go, without hesitation or thought of what might happen, when God says, "go"? I can't say that I have an answer to this yet. It's still something that I need to pray about and allow God to show me in time. Both Ben and I are cautious people. We don't tend to make hasty decisions that lack thought. We're not impulsive when it comes to big things like jobs, major purchases or decisions regarding our kids. We take our time to think things out, weigh all options, pray, pray, pray and pray some more. While I believe this is a benefit to us and has prevented us from making big mistakes I also feel that maybe at times it has prevented God from doing even better things in our lives then He already has! My sister-in-law made a comment to me a little while back that really stuck with me. She said, "we expect our kids to obey right away, the first time yet do we do that with God?" And it's so true. I do expect my kids to obey right away, all the way and with a happy heart but do I do the same when it comes to MY Father and what he is asking me to do? There was so much in her devotional to think about and am so thankful she allowed God to use her in this way.
Sue taking Jackie's gift
Then we had our traditional Yankee Swap. This is always a fun time and it's so funny to see the ladies personalities come out when playing this game. We have one lady, Denise, (who couldn't be there last night) who just loves this game and will make it quite clear which gift she likes and make you feel really guilty if you even think of taking it from her, haha! You have some who are just content to keep what they chose and don't need the distraction of other options. You have some like me who don't feel bad at all, I mean, that IS the point of the game isn't it?? Then you have a dear kind soul, like Sue, who gets the number 1 and is allowed to go around after all the gifts are opened and choose whichever one she'd like. She knows what she likes but feels bad taking it away from the person so she kindly says, "will it break your heart if I take this from you?". Who could say yes to that? Well...Denise could!
Jan's beautiful creations!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Time for Traditions

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye 
have been taught...~2Thes.2:15

I love traditions. There is a sense of nostalgia about traditions that just gives me a good feeling when I think about them. I didn't really grow up with a lot of traditions. My husband, however, did and so since they mean so much to him we've adopted some of them for our own family and come up with a few of our own. I hope that when my kids are older some of these things that we're doing to make occasions special and memorable will stay with them.
Each Thanksgiving we spend with Ben's family we like to try and set aside a time to meditate on God's word and remember all that He has done for us and all we have to be thankful for. This year, we wanted something that would get the kids involved since some of them were old enough to participate. I found a tree made of card stock online and made some leaves. This would be our "Thankfulness Tree". Each of the kids decorated leaves and we all took one and wrote what we were thankful for this year. Then we went around and shared with everyone and put the leaf on the tree. I think everyone really enjoyed it and I believe this will become one of my families new Thanksgiving traditions. 

One of Ben's Christmas traditions is decorating sugar cookies. Each year his mom would make a bunch and they'd all ice them and decorate them together. I never did this until I married into the family. It's so much fun and the kids just love it. It was a little early to do it at Thanksgiving but we had most of the cousins and siblings together so I thought it would be a fun activity for "Black Friday". As you can see, everyone had a great time!
Then there's the Christmas tree! Growing up we were NOT allowed to help decorate the tree. But, we did have our own little tree in the basement that we were allowed to decorate ourselves with all the old and hand-made ornaments. When I've told this story to people who were allowed to help with the tree they often gasp and think what a horrible thing this was and how sad it must have made us. Really it didn't. We didn't know anything different plus we got the colored lights!!! Now as a grown-up I see where my mom was coming from. It is a tad bit annoying to have so many little hands around trying to touch everything, begging for colored lights (which now I hate!) and just not understanding the system! BUT...I also know how special these times are. The memories we make with them now will last a lifetime and them having memories of helping with the tree far outweighs any memory I'll have of the perfect looking tree. So, while I still can't bring myself to allow just any ornament on the tree, I do let them put the "acceptable" ones on wherever they want! Even if I have two of the exact same snowflakes right next to each other! This is progress for me folks! This year I only had the older two boys to help me as the younger ones are off making memories with Matante Tina, Uncle Adam & their cousins. I hope you and your families have traditions that make the holidays special for you. I'd love to hear what they are...who knows, I may like it so much that I'll start doing it myself! 
Despite the look on their faces, I think they had fun!