Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

12.23.13

This year was another laid back Thanksgiving at our house. Not as relaxed as last year (when we had a 4 week old baby) when I made turkey lunch meat sandwiches and some homemade cranberry sauce for Brian and me and called it a night.   This year Brian grilled bone-in chicken and I made green beans amandine, mashed potatoes & gravy, some delicious (and very inexpensive) rolls from Trader Joe’s, and we had a few snacks of havarti cheese with dill, colby cheese cubes,  grapes, and pita chips while we waited.  We topped off the lovely meal with a big ole pie with real whipped cream for dessert.  Brian’s siblings, Dan, Leslie, and her boyfriend, KB (Bryan),  and their daughter, Alexis, joined us in the afternoon. The guys watched football and the girls played with the babies. The weather was decent (not too cold) so, we played outside after we ate. The babies played in the leaves- which was pretty cute. Brady pushed Alexis in his little car (like he was in the “strongest man of the world” contest) with his little belly hanging over his pants – lol. It’s funny to see how different they are. Alexis portrays such girly traits while Brady is such a boy and loves to get his hands dirty (and also eat the dirt).

All in all, we have so much to be thankful for this year (as always). It was nice to have a low key celebration in our home with family a few days before Brian headed off to Midland for 2 weeks to start his new job with Sidewinder Drilling.  Here are some photos from the day.storyboard001a storyboard002 storyboard003 storyboard004 storyboard005 storyboard006 storyboard007 storyboard008 storyboard009 storyboard010 storyboard011 storyboard012 storyboard013 storyboard014 storyboard015 storyboard016 storyboard017 storyboard018 storyboard019 storyboard020 storyboard021 storyboard022 storyboard023 storyboard024 storyboard025 storyboard026a storyboard027a storyboard028 storyboard029 storyboard030 storyboard031 storyboard032 storyboard033 storyboard034 storyboard035 storyboard036 storyboard037 storyboard038 storyboard039 storyboard040 storyboard041 storyboard042 storyboard043 storyboard044 storyboard045 storyboard046 storyboard047 storyboard048 storyboard050 storyboard053 storyboard054 storyboard055 storyboard056 storyboard057 storyboard058 storyboard059 storyboard060 storyboard061 storyboard062 storyboard063

 

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01.06.12

This Christmas began in “2011 style” meaning that only the unexpected would happen. We were driving down dark back country highways with no moonlight, laughing and talking about an M83 song that we both liked. Brian told me to download it (on the new iPhone 4s he gave me 2 days prior) so, I excitedly pulled up iTunes on my shiny new iPhone. I was just about to hit play when brian slammed on the breaks and my heart stopped.  (Flash back to 6 months ago on Memorial day – us getting hit by an 18-wheeler.) I looked up from my phone as Brian was ferociously pumping the breaks of his big GMC truck about 1/2 a second before a truck headed towards us turning across our lane crashed into the front of our truck. Everything went quiet except for the sound of crushing metal. I blacked out for a couple seconds. After everything had calmed down and I could take a breathe, it all just came flooding back into my brain. I remember the sound of Brian trying to avoid the impact, pumping the breaks, the impact from the other truck on the front/driver’s side, going down into a ditch to our right, coming back out of the ditch, ending up in a muddy field. Thankfully we could move. George ended up at the dashboard, practically in the cup holders. Presents and dirt from a plant I was going to give to my mom was everywhere in the cab of the truck. It all happend in less than 5 seconds.

The next thing I remember is turning around to assess the damage/accident/where the heck we ended up and seeing the at-fault guy jack knife his Ford truck and trailer, correct it, and speed off with chunks of his truck missing. Oh, if you could have heard me yelling out of shock/confusion. Brian had to shove his driver side door open & took off running towards him. By this time there were about 4 cars surrounding the wreck. Ok, good. Someone will stop to help us as a witness. Nope. NO ONE stopped to help us. WHO DOES THAT?! 2 days before Christmas and you witness an extremely violent hit & run wreck and NO ONE stops to help?! I couldn’t help  it. I immediately burst into tears. Sure, I was grateful we just bypassed a telephone pole by a mere 2 feet at 70 mph. I was grateful we weren’t badly injured (just a few scrapes and bruises & a sore back). I was grateful our sweet dog, George, was ok.  I was grateful for our big metal truck that probably saved our lives (for the second time). But everything in me was beyond frustrated that only 6 months ago we went through a big mess of a wreck, no truck for almost 2 months, dealing with all the ridiculous insurance crap, countless chiropractor doctor visits, the tension between Brian and I regarding all that mess. We had a nicely repaired perfectly good truck back for 4 months before this. Less than 2 months ago we paid off the truck by the Grace of God. Now this?! What could God possibly want us to learn from this… we just went through it?! I tried to block out these selfish “human” thoughts, but I couldn’t help it. Brian heard me crying and came running. “Honey, we’re ok… we’re ok… that’s all that matters, we’re ok.” I just covered my face and cried as he tried to console me. George was practically trying to curl up in my lap at the same time.

Brian called the police as I called my mom (who lived only 5-10 miles away from the wreck).  Brian returns to the car with the best gift. The guy’s license plate was practically shaved off in the impact. Finally, a break!!  Thank the good Lord, the cop that was dispatched to us caught the guy who hit us! Turns out the guy was drunk.

Over a course of a year, the Lord has plucked things from my life I think to pull me closer to Him. I’ve never thought of myself as a really materialistic or worldly person, but I’ve learned the hard way that I do rely on and put my hope in the creation and not the creator. He is placing me in the middle of certain circumstances to show me that HE is in control. HE is my hope, my protector, my savior. Circumstances will never change that.   He’s taken some of my worst fears and placed me smack dab in the middle of them to show me that I CAN go through difficult trials if I lean on Him. People and things will always disappoint. The Lord will not. His timing and provisions are ridiculously better than I could ever imagine. It’s just a daily battle to remind myself of this. I’m slowly learning.

Anyway, here’s a quick snap of the aftermath of Wreck #2 of 2011.  These photos don’t do it justice.  This truck is seriously one tough piece of metal. For such a violent wreck, we expected the truck to be completely crushed. Thanks, GMC. There’s also a photo of the path a couple days later with the ditches filled from 2 days of rain. Crazy that we went exactly in between that telephone pole & wooden sign. I don’t like to think about all the “what ifs”…if we were in a smaller car, if Brian had turned the wheel 1 degree more, if the ditch had been dry dirt instead of soft mud to soften the impact, etc… We are very blessed.

Wreck #2 in 2011

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Wreck #2 path

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12.04.08

To follow up with my most recent blog entry discussing Hank Hanegraaff’s “Heart of Christmas” 25 day devotional… I wanted to share today’s (Dec. 4) entry. I remember learning (then obviously forgetting) why it is that we celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25 (because apparently that’s not Christ’s exact birthday), etc… and this devotional spells it out.  The text below can be a bit difficult to soak up immediately (with all the “historical jargon”) so re-read it a time or two- it’s definitely worth it!

Pulled from Hank’s blog:

Let me point your attention to one of these devotionals. It’s the December 4th entry entitled, A Pagan Festival? The Scripture reading is from Colossians 2:16-17, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” I say in the devotional,

As we continue our journey to the heart of Christmas, let’s pause for a moment to consider a common concern raised each year regarding the validity of celebrating Christ’s coming­­­—namely that when Christmas was originally instituted, December 25th was a pagan festival commemorating the birthday of a false god.

In response we should first acknowledge that this is substantially true. As noted by Dr. Paul Maier, eminent professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, “The Romans of the time not only celebrated their Saturnalia festival at the close of December, but they also thought that December 25 marked the date of the winter solstice (instead of December 21), when they observed the pagan feast of Sol Invictus, the Unconquerable Sun, which was just in the act of turning about to aim northward once again.”

While this is indeed a historical fact, what if frequently overlooked is the reason the early Christian church chose December 25th as their day of celebration. The purpose was not to Christianize a time of pagan revelry, but to establish a rival celebration. As such, Christmas (Christ Mass) was designed as a spiritually edifying holiday (holy day) on which to proclaim the supremacy of the Son of God over the superstitions concerning such gods as Saturn, the god of agriculture and Sol Invictus, the unconquerable sun god.

While the world has but forgotten the Greco-Roman gods of antiquity, they are annually reminded that two thousand years ago Christ, the hope of humanity, invaded time and space. But as Christians we perceive an ever greater reality. Each year as we celebrate the First Advent of Christ we are simultaneously reminded of the Second Advent in which the old order of things will pass away and Christ our Lord will put all things to right. As the prophet Zechariah put it, “Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the LORD. ‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.” (2:10-11).

If you cannot celebrate this, pray tell, what can you celebrate?

So, should we celebrate Christmas on December 25th? The answer is a resounding yes we should, we’ve taken a pagan festival and we have made Christ the prince of that day. There is an additional reading from Acts 17; and questions that take the information and impress it on your mind and then there are those wonderful carols. In this case for December 4th, it’s Angels From the Realms of Glory.

So often in our churches, we get pap and dribble and we never really focus on the words
Angels, from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth,
Ye, who sang creation’s story; now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
Come and worship, Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the new born King.

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