Saturday, December 26, 2009

CHRISTmas among the chaos....

Mikaela and Nana

Megan, Rod, Mikaela, Melissa


Mikaela, Eli, Mercie

Sawyer, Bryton
Anytime our crew gets together, it is quite entertaining to say the least. Our "crew" consists of Jimbo and myself, our 3 daughters, 2 sons-in-law and 5 grandchildren whose ages are 7,4, almost 3, almost 2 and 9 months. The combination of all the above makes for something that I lovingly call "JOYFUL CHAOS". Ha!
There are generally several different conversations or discussions going on at the same time. Voice levels are usually louder than what the term 'inside voice' dictates. You can count on at least one child fussing. One child crying. Another child screaming - either in anger or pain... Most of the time as a direct result of the actions of another cousin.
Someone is always hungry. Or thirsty. Or needs to go to the bathroom. Mercie and Sawyer compete for diaper changes.
Mikaela is the nurturer of the bunch and trys to keep the peace between Bryton and Eli, who seem to tie up at least once every get together. They do love each other, but the 'boy' in them really comes out when they are together...
There are usually 2 grandkids competing for Nana's lap or Papa's arms. The presence of 1 child in either place automatically signals time for a stampede of the other children to do the same. Inside voices rarely follow when this event takes place..
But there is one thing that is always present, even amidst the seeming chaos. There is one thing that will always prevail and that is LOVE. Love for family. Love for each other. Love for our Savior.
As we all gathered in the living room around the Christmas tree, Megan began to read the account of Jesus' birth from Luke. As she read, Mikaela, Eli and Bryton acted out the events of that special night. It was so precious and it really helped them to fully grasp what took place and to really understand why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.
The presents that were piled under God's tree (as Bryton calls it), were most certainly not the focus of our celebration yesterday. In fact, the presents were the very last thing we did. And although we did enjoy opening our gifts, we made sure that Jesus was at the center of all we did.
As the gifts began to be unwrapped, it looked like it was snowing wrapping paper and ribbon. Paper was flying, children were laughing. Everyone was oohing and aaahing. "I love it!", "thank you!" and "it's perfect!" could be heard all around the room by kids and grown-ups alike.  Faces lit up with joy. Smiles abounded and hearts were touched.
The room gradually grew quiet. The commotion ceased and the tree was empty of presents. In about 30 minutes time, it was seemingly over. The gifts had all been given. Hopes and expectations had presumably been met. Needs and wants were certainly taken care of. 

For all intents and purposes,  that part of Christmas was over. The part that we so painstakingly prepared for. The part that we agonized and fretted over. The part where we 'spent more than we needed to'.  The giving and receiving was over. Or was it?  Perhaps giving and receiving can take on new meaning for the coming year. How about giving more of ourselves and receiving more of God?
We may not have accomplished that last year, but now it's time for us to focus on how we will do this year different. How will we make 2010 better than 2009? How will we change our attitudes. Our actions. Our intentions.
It is time to assess any damage done in 2009 and make a game plan to recoop losses for the next year. It is time to focus on making 2010  a year that counts.
A year of sacrifice.
A year of Joy.
A year of hope and miracles.
A year of knowing Him better.
A year of hearing Him speak. Obeying His commands.
A year of walking the walk.
A real Jesus year.
We need to celebrate the birth of Jesus every day of our lives. His birth is where it all began. He came so He could die, so that we could live.
Jesus - He is the reason for not only the season.
But for Life.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)


Tammy said...

Christmas day went by so fast but I'm thankful for the memories.

You always challenge me in my walk with God. Yes, 2010 is going to be more of Him and less of me!

love and hugs~Tammy

Yolanda said...

Peace after the storm of chaos, I can just see you drinking it in sweet one. Love ya!

valerie said...

You have a lovely family Beth. I can just hear the laughter and chaos. :) Many times through the years that's the exact way it's been in our family. Enjoy these times. Our kids are all grown and right now there are no little ones. (I know there will be again in the future) This year was so different for us because the bad weather kept all of our family from being together at one time like we normally do. It was different, but it was fine. God had plans for a lot of folks in Oklahoma to just settle down and relax....we were forced to with interstates closed etc.
I agree with all you said at the end of your post.
That's my prayer for myself....that I will grow closer and closer to my God in the coming new year.
He's so faithful and good to me. I can't wait to see what all He has in store for me this year.
I get to meet you in person next month, for one. :)
Glad you and your family had a wonderful gathering.

Nana Jul said...

Dear Beth,
Oh you so hit on what we talked about in the kitchen as the guys were digging out the driveway full of drifted snow. My girls actually wanted to Boycott Santa...But our talk was how to put Jesus in the center of all we do. We will join you in getting to know more intimately The one and only, and walking more closely with Him! Thank you for your faithfulness and your challenge!

Anonymous said...

"we need to celebrate the birth of Jesus every day of the year.."

Powerful. Thank you for that reminder.

Happy New Year!

angelonwheels said...

Lovely Post! The choas and noise level remind me of my family! Thank you for the challnge!


You and I are on the same wave length again, Beth. I just posted pictures of my grandbabies too! I was focused on them being that next generation that will hear and know our Jesus!

I loved the end of your post the best - where you listed the kind of year we would desire 2010 to be. A REAL JESUS YEAR!!! Yes - and nothing BUT JESUS!

I also loved Bryton's analysis of the tree as "God's Tree"! Perfect!

Love, Stephanie

Nancy M. said...

I'm so glad you were able to spend time with your family like that! It's awesome to be together, even with all the screaming and crying, there is rejoicing!

sonja said...


You just said it all here! It is the heart of what each one of us desires. 2010... may it be our best year of growth in Jesus, learning to know Him better every day!

Love you, that was a real gift, I'll be back to re-read it.

Lauren said...

this is such a great post!! I loved feeling like I was right there in the midst of the chaos! :) What fun!

Thank you for the challenge for 2010 ... this week is reflection time for me. :)

elizabeth said...

What a beautiful post! I loved seeing and hearing about your family and grandkids (we just have one granddaughter right now, so probably much quieter at our house!). And you ended on such a perfect note. I'm not really one to make resolutions, but I do take time after Christmas every year to refocus myself. I so yearn to have more of Him and less of me in 2010.

I'm glad I found your blog from Valerie's!

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

What a wonderful post Beth. Your family sounds like so much fun. I'm sure you enjoyed every single request from your grandbabies. My lap holds no grandchildren yet...but boy howdy, when that day comes!

Praying 2010 is a year of peace, growth, and abundant joy in His presence for you and your beautiful family.

Nancy said...

It sounds like you had a very wonderful Christmas. I love that the children acted out the story.

Joan Carr said...

So very well expressed.

Edie said...

Amen to that Beth! I've been thinking and praying a lot about what He has in store for 2010. I'm hoping to put much more focus on Him. Not only my focus but helping others to do the same.

Rich blessings to you for the new year!