Friday, November 16, 2012

Intentional Simplicity

Today Tony loaded 12 kitchen trash bags of clothes, toys, household items, etc. in the Explorer to donate to a local thrift store.  I'm sure you are wondering what on earth could we get rid of after loosing everything three months ago, right?  Well, we are approaching life differently these days.  If we won't wear it or use it, we don't need it.  Tonight as I type, the house is quiet.  Silent.  Tony was feeling under the weather tonight and went to bed early, with the kiddos.  As I sit here looking at the toys and shoes scattered around my feet, I can't help but Thank God for where our life is right now.  I'm so honored and blessed to get to be the mommy to the amazing kids I have, and wife to the man I don't deserve but so desperately need. 
I've been absent from the blog for a couple weeks.  Sorry about that.  Tonight I'll just catch you up from the last couple weeks and just open up my heart to where I've been and where I am at tonight.

The kids are doing great.  Tobin is a leader at school, and doing great with behavior these days.  He is so sweet to his sister all the time and constantly asks me if he can help me (with whatever I'm doing at the moment).  Our sweet Caroline got glasses a week ago.  She is a different child. I'm devoting a post solely on her glasses.  In fact, I have part of it written already.  I'm so thankful God gave me the urgency to get her eyes checked.

We spent last weekend with 50 teenagers at our Fall Retreat.  It was an amazing time of growing together in fellowship.  Tony taught the students how worship isn't just something we sing, but a lifestyle, lived out every moment of every day.  Tony and I are preparing ourselves for what God has next for us.  We aren't sure what that may be, but know God is preparing our hearts for another change.  Several people have contacted us, or prayed over us, and say that they feel a new anointing coming over us.  I'm not sure what that means, but we are trying to seek him more than ever, because that's what our purpose is.  My new motto is "For your Splendor, Lord".  It changes the actions and purpose of our day.  Change always kind of scared me before, but now I realize that if we could get through what happened 3 months ago, then any other sort of normal "change" might even be easy now.

With that being said, a new normal has finally set in around here.  Scentsy is taking off again with the Fall/Holiday selling season.  Seems like it's the perfect gift for someone who has everything else.   I'm pretty busy between my "stay at home mom" job, Scentsy, Church, and mentoring a handful of young women these days.  There are lots of babies being born in our neck of the woods, or about to be born.  I'm busy sewing and making projects for the new babes, all the while throwing together a new pillow or curtain to make it feel more "homey" around here.

Christmas has been on my mind a lot lately.  It seems to me that Christmas has come earlier than I ever remember it.  Maybe it's because of the commercials on TV.  Maybe it's just because I have no Christmas boxes to pull out this year.  I've gone through spurts of anger and sadness and honestly, bitterness.  I know it's not Christ-like or right to feel this way.  This is the main reason I haven't posted in a while.  God has had to deal with me about this.  I have said it before, and will probably say it again, "Writing is therapy to my soul".  So here I go, up on my Soap Box again tonight.  I apologize in advance! Ha!

Each year, I couldn't wait to finish the Thanksgiving meal, because then came the anticipation to celebrate our Savior's birth, and share His Joy with everyone!  Christmas was always done well in our home, or so I'd like to think.  We had the little people nativity set out for the kids to play with, a basket of Christmas books and DVD's, wreaths, garland, ornaments, and twinkle lights everywhere.  It gave me such Joy to get the Rubbermaid tubs of Christmas Decorations out of the attic (or barn) every year.  I loved putting some cubes of "Christmas Cottage" in my Scentsy Warmer and cutting fresh pine and cedar to make my holiday wreath and garland.  This year is obviously different.  It has come at a good time, honestly.  Overcoming the bitterness (of loosing all our Christmas memorabilia) wasn't easy.  I struggled with weeks on the thought of "how should we do Christmas now?"-- When we had to (or got the chance to) start over.  I've been praying a lot about it.  I've been meditating on Jeremiah 33:3  "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."  I've been praying for an answer.  I knew he would respond in his perfect time, and perfect way.  Then yesterday, I crumbled. 

A friend texted me in the morning and said, "Hey girl! Do you all have a Christmas tree? If you don't, we would like to bless your family this Christmas and get you a tree and lights plus some ornaments to go on it!"   I was shocked!  I hadn't written a blog on my heartache about Christmas yet.  I hadn't posted on Facebook or told my friends.  How could they have known?  I read it to Tony and tears were in his eyes with disbelief, as I was crying uncontrollably.  Only God could have known that achy desire of mine, and he cared about it! 

Psalm 37:4  Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. 
Psalm 20:4  May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

All this may seem silly to you.  I have some friends who don't get caught up in the "commercialized and materialistic" traditions of Christmas every year.  I think that is perfectly fine for them.  However, In our home we love to celebrate, unceasingly, our saviors birth.  We are praying about how/what to do in our home every year.  We have basically been blessed with the ability to "start over" with our traditions.  One thing I know.  We will have a Tree with lights.  We will live with simplicity this year, more than ever, and be intentional about everything we do.  I have already ordered our little people nativity set from Amazon.  Will Freddie, our "elf on the shelf" come see us this year?  Maybe so... but maybe as a sign to show my kids how to respond in Grace when he misbehaves, instead of a way to threaten my kids to be naughty or nice.  I'm not sure what role Santa will play in our home this year, but I still love the hope that he brings and message behind the first Santa.    I don't know what color ornaments or bows we will adorn our tree with, but I know that it will be with intention this year.  I also know that we will give more than we ever have.

What are your family's favorite Christmas traditions that you couldn't live without?  What could you change if you could start over? Anything at all?  I'd love to hear your suggestions. 


Kristyn said...

Oh girl....I'm not really sure how I wanted to respond to this blog. I feel so selfish....I feel so undeserving....My heart still aches for you all.

I know that you guys lost everything...but not having your Christmas things never even occurred to me. I have been very much in the simplify stage too. I feel like we have too much "stuff" and we just frankly don't need it. I keep telling my parents and Layne's parents to please not get the kids very many things for Christmas. They don't NEED them. We don't need the clutter. Layne and I don't need anything either. I just want Christmas to be a time where we go and spend time with each other. I want the kids to see and understand what the real meaning of Christmas is. I know that this Christmas will be very special for you guys. You will make some amazing memories and start traditions that will last forever. I continue to pray for you all. I love you guys dearly...even though we are so far away.

Kristi said...

That's good stuff Rach. Thanks for sharing! I love it when God gives us the desires of our hearts when no one else knows! Enjoy making new traditions! Love ya.

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