Still Thankful About December

As Christmas approached, many most things on my ideal to do list in my head remained untouched. Day by day Christmas approached and some of the “important” things on my list got accomplished… but later than I would’ve wanted. Christmas tree was put up about two weeks before Christmas, but ornaments waited till Christmas Eve. Christmas pictures were taken, but many Christmas cards didn’t get mailed until after Christmas Day. I was left feeling unprepared for Christmas.

Taking the Christmas tree out.

Then I thought about the Christmas story.

Christ did not come as a baby exclusively to those who were “ready” for his birth. Yes, there were those who were prepared or expectantly waiting: Anna, Zacharaiah, the wise men, to name a few. But there were others who were not “ideally prepared” for the birth of the Messiah. These are just guesses, but: Mary probably would’ve liked the birth to have waited for a more “ideal” location. The shepherds probably weren’t expecting an angel to show up with the news of His birth. Those in Bethlehem didn’t even have a place prepared for this King, except for a manger… But Christ came. He came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

This gave me great hope. Perhaps it seems a small distinction, but an important shift in my view. I realized that what was ultimately important was as Joy to The World points out, that I “prepare Him room” in my heart. Yes, Christmas decor, gifts, and cards are nice. But they are meaningless without a heart prepared for Christ.

Even though it is now past Christmas as I write this, I would still like to take a moment to write down what I am thankful for in the month of December as a way of keeping my heart thankful and prepared for Christ.

I’m thankful for:

  • A fun game of “throw the ball in and out of the crib.”

He thought it was hysterical to keep throwing it out of the crib and let mom “try” to get it back in. Easily amused?

  • Gideon putting in a fake phone call to his Dad.
  • A two year old that can handle some spicy lamb curry, impressing his doting neighbor aunties.

This grown up boy can handle some spice!

  • Cool steps on the playground.

Have yet to find two identical playgrounds.

  • A toddler sized bulldozer in the mall.

Who cares who “Bob the Builder” is, the bulldozer is where it is at!

  • The cheap and tasty world of Satay.
  • Burnt carrots not meaning the end of the world.
  • Pictures that might have future potential?

Talk about a pose.

  • A church family that prioritizes the men of the church.
  • Frozen dinners making quick work of dinner.
  • An evening spent making reservation for a Bali getaway.
  • French toast hitting the spot.
  • A husband who is eager to serve me.
  • Daddy and toddler both being eager to go out on a bike together.
  • A ladies’ Christmas tea complete with tasty warm scones.
  • Great family photos taken by a friend.

I love the “palm-to-forehead” moment caught on camera. (Photo credits to Jason!)

  • A long nap. Just what mommy and toddler needed.
  • Getting something done before the deadline.
  • A cute basket case of a son.

Where is he?

  • Dried mangoes for a tasty treat.
  • Finding new uses for toys.

IKEA barn = parking garage.

  • Coming up with a feasible and fun Christmas gift idea.
  • Completing a handmade gift just in time to mail it off to its recipient.
  • Family time at the playground.

No, we did not ask him to give him a “pretend scared” expression.

This is the same kid who a few weeks before, hated this spinning contraption at the playground.

  • Lots of laughter in a white Elephant gift exchange.
  • Time after a church service to have fun.

There is no doubt: he loves the drums.

  • The Holy Spirit bringing a timely verse to mind in prayer.
  • A sweet Christmas Eve service.
  • Tree decorated and presents wrapped.

A quiet moment on Christmas Eve.

  • A toddler being content with and excited about a simple Christmas morning.

Pouring over his new Richard Scarry book.

  • Christmas dinner with our friends that have become our “Singapore family.”
  • Vacation where we don’t have to do dishes, laundry, or cleaning.
  • Enjoying the sand at the beach.

Mesmerized by the view of crashing waves and the feel of sand.

  • Great company and great smiles.

Hurray for vacation!

  • Bananagrams.
  • A breathtaking sunset.

Worth the countless steps we climbed to see the sunset.

  • A wooden duck with shoes entertaining us while we waited for lunch.

Hard not to smile with photography subjects as such!

  • Remembering to take a family picture in Bali.

Rice fields behind us.

  • Ending the “old year” and starting a new one with a friend.

One response to “Still Thankful About December

  1. Fun to read! Can’t believe how big he is getting!

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