For Charlotte's birthday, we asked for an audio version of the Jesus Storybook Bible, and I've enjoyed listening to it as I work around the house. It contains Truth: stories from the Bible, all about God's secret rescue mission, sending His Son to us because He loves us. Sometimes we make His love so complicated, like a diet plan or a college rule book. God's love is simple. He loves us with a never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love.
This is technically Charlotte's second Christmas, but last year, she was brand new, and to be honest, the memory is a bit of a blur. This year Christmas began on Friday, with Matt and I exchanging gifts by candlelight, with baby kid crawling around, helping us shred wrapping paper.
On Christmas Day we saw both families, starting with the Nowak's early morning Christmas complete with Christmas vinyl, nuts that need nutcrackers, and mountains of presents to be unwrapped. After the Nowak's Christmas we went to our church for a Christmas service, where my Father preached Truth about God's Son Jesus Christ. After service we drove forty-five minutes over to my Grandparent's house, where my mom's whole family was waiting to celebrate Christmas with us. There was good food, clues on gifts, and sparkling cider in crystal goblets.
Maybe it's because Charlotte also just celebrated a birthday, but I'll admit I was unprepared for the amount of gifts she received. That baby is loved. She got mounds of good books, wooden toys, and stuffed friends. Also, cute clothes. She's a well-dressed beauty.
Among my favorite gifts this year are the Wild+Free subscription that Matt got me again, a laminator for future nature journaling, a hand-painted 2016 family portrait, a beautiful paint holder, some beeswax candles, a new bedroom rug, some lovely clothing that fits me, an iPad (!), and lots of books I get to read on our New Year's vacation!
It's easy around this time of year to get your eyes on the stuff and off of the people, so this year I encourage you to look around and see others! See your neighbor and your quiet relatives. Reach out to the people you know could use encouragement! Honestly, we could all use deeper relationships!