Tag Archives: Christmas

Make Space For the Season.

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The other day, I sat in mom and dad’s living room and began recalling my childhood Christmases. The subject came up when I told Anna about the time each of my parents thought the other was buying my presents. We call it “the Christmas my parents forgot me.” Their only child. Just one. Me. It’s actually one of my dad’s favorite Christmas stories to tell. Well, besides the one when dad asked me when I was little girl to tell him if the lights on the tree were working. “Now they are. Now they aren’t. Now they are. Now they aren’t.” I didn’t realize they were blinking lights. My mom, however, hates the story of forgetting me. She was a flight attendant then, and her schedule was crazy. But, dad and I have laughed about that Christmas so many times. I was older, and I got it. I wasn’t hurt or disappointed. But, I laughed. (And, I caught my dad later that day writing a check to stick inside my stocking.) I wasn’t disappointed, because everything I ever could have needed or wanted from my parents I received. I’m not talking about the things. I’m talking about the relationships. The love. The real stuff that doesn’t get old or break or fade.

After I told Anna that story, I began remembering all of my Christmases when I was a little girl. I remembered the Christmas morning I got Dolly Pops. I had wanted those for a solid year. I remember the Christmas where Ken and Barbie were sitting on their Barbie horses, and another Barbie was taking a dip in her pool that mom filled with water. I remembered the Christmas I opened up a my burgundy velvet blazer and navy blue tie. I guess I was channelling my inner Diane Keaton that year. I began to tell my parents and my own children that while I knew my Christmases weren’t “big” by most standards, they always felt big. Dad was pastoring a small church on a very modest income. They couldn’t do the big. But, I told them, “It always felt big. They were the best Christmases.”

I watched tears stream down my mom’s face. Did she not know that they always felt big and were so perfect to me? Did she not know that I never felt slighted growing up but, instead, only loved every part of what the season brought our family? The peace, the smiles, the joys, the laughs, the hugs, the thank-yous, the blinking lights?

Last night, I sat in my own living room with my two oldest children who are hardly children anymore. John Henry looks at me and says, “Mom, can you give my big presents to another kid this year or is that not an option?” Later Anna says, “Mom, last Christmas was great. Don’t get me wrong. Everyone loves presents. But, I don’t want so many gifts taking up our time together.” Then, in her hilarious Donald Trump voice she said, “I’m going to build a wall around the tree and gifts.” (Seriously, her Trump impression rivals only that of Alec Baldwin.)

“I want to make space between the gifts and this,” she said, stretching her arms toward John Henry and me. “There is nothing I need. I just want this.”

Did I not know that my kids simply loved every part of what the season brought our family? The peace, the joys, the laughs, the hugs, the thank-yous, the lights that do not blink? Not the things that get old or break or fade. The relationships. The love. The real stuff.

In all of your hectic shopping, your worry over if you have bought enough, done enough, given enough….Pause, stop, breathe. Your kids will have more than they need or want because of YOU. Because, you laugh in the kitchen together while making Chex-mix. Because, you put away your phones and look them in the eyes and listen to them. Because, you take a break from homework and laundry and cry together watching This Is Us. (Have mercy, that show is everything right now.) Because, they watch you say something encouraging to their dad. Because, they watch their dad bring their mom coffee. Because, they see stockings for John Henry’s dad and step-mom hung at my parents’ house. Because, they see what love looks like. How it walks, how it talks, how it moves, how it pauses, how it gives.

Make space between the gifts and this. Fill that space with everything you are. Fill that space absorbing everything your children are. That’s what a big Christmas looks like. Make space for the season. Make space for the real stuff that doesn’t break. But for the stuff that gets you through your hardest seasons. The stuff that assures you that God is always for you and will not fail you. The stuff that reminds you to always make space for forgiveness, for gratitude, and for loving well. The stuff that reminds you that YOU ARE ENOUGH and you are amazing and you are INSANELY loved. Make space for that stuff. Nothing else matters. It’s all about your relationships. I can assure you of that.

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Filed under gratitude, Kid Stuff, Life Experiences, Love, Motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

I Kind of Want to Break Out Rocky I-IV. But Not V.

Never Rocky V.

I did refrain from my awesome dance moves, while Anna Takle wasn’t about to give up her microphone. 

So, in honor of a new AI season, I give you my two favorite rock stars.

Those lyrics can be tricky.

These lyrics?  Even trickier. 

And, I have no good explanation as to why it looks like Christmas morning in my family room with all of the pillows, drums, and other paraphernalia lying around.  Except, Christmas was only a few mornings ago.  Or something. 

Whatev’.

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Filed under Kid Stuff, Randomness, Uncategorized

Don’t Make Noise. Make A Difference.

Why yes, of course, I missed you.  Did you miss me?  Taking the last week of the year to spend solely with my family just seemed like the right thing to do.  I’m glad I did.  But, I did miss talkin’ to y’all.

There are plenty of photos from this season I could post, but this one is my favorite.  It’s Anna Takle, day one, at my parents’ house, in search of gifts that read her name.  One day, I’m going to miss little bodies under a Christmas tree, shaking their presents with smiles planted across their face.  It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

But, I’d like to experience many wonderful times of this new year.  I heard my dad recently share on how many of us make New Year’s resolutions to work out, eat less – even though, it profits us little.  However, resolving to pursue Christ above all else, love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind profits us much.  I’m letting that be my New Year’s resolution. 

So often, we focus on things that bother us.  We let those things take up more space than our love for God.  How wrong is that?  A couple of days ago, Mark Batterson posted this on Twitter:

“quit criticizing and start creating.   don’t focus on what’s wrong.   do something right.   don’t make noise.   make a difference.”

Wow.  That’s what it’s all about.  The only way we are ever going to get to that point is to stop being so dang negative and start loving God.  Really loving God.  And, pursuing Him as relentlessly as Anna pursued her gifts. 

I bet we might just discover a few gifts, too. 

That’s my resolution. 

Yours?

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Filed under God Stuff, Kid Stuff, Love, Spiritual Journey

This Christmas.

I pray that the peace that comes from Christ will rule in your heart.  (Colossians 3:15)  Today and everyday.

Merry Christmas!

Love,

Kris, Dusty, John Henry, Anna (and baby Jett)

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Filed under God Stuff, prayer

Born Into His Destiny.

I have to keep this short and sweet, because I have a plethora of Christmas festivities yelling my name in anticipation. Like eating my mother-in-law’s lace cookies and taking a nap later. But I, at least, wanted to share something completely awesome my dad shared this past Sunday. Something I had never heard before about the birth of Christ.

You know the story. Jesus was born in a manger (Anna says this could also be called a barn. She’s brilliant, folks.) Nowhere around was the comfort of a sweet, plush blanket to cradle Him in. So, He was wrapped in a swaddling cloth. These swaddling cloths were not just random pieces of material.

They were burial clothes.

The burial clothes used during this time to wrap the bodies of those passed.

Coincidence?

Come on. This is God we’re talking about.

He so loved the world that He sent His son…..

He was born for the cross.
For you. For me.

He was born into His destiny.

And, I can never look at a nativity scene the same again.

I’m continually overwhelmed by a God who loves us so much.

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Filed under God Stuff

I Like The Hustle & Bustle, But I Need This More.

Hustle.

Bustle.

This Christmas party.

That Christmas party.

Christmas lists.

Christmas shopping.

Christmas travel.

So easy to get lost in it all.

So easy to lose its meaning.

Yesterday, I had one thought in my hustle and bustle:

I just want to put it all aside and throw myself down at the altar of Jesus Christ.
Experience His peace.
Delight in His joy.
Bathe in His love.

Just for a moment.

Maybe longer.

You?

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”  – Author Unknown

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Filed under God Stuff, life

Our Christmas.

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We’re not busy one single bit during the holiday season.  Right.  We do tend to make our rounds, but I love making those rounds.

Christmas morning, two little heads peeped in to see what the fat man in a red suit delivered.  Santa was unprepared Christmas Eve for the ten million stickers and parts that made the Barbie Party Cruise possible.  He, or SHE rather, was exhausted by the time she made her way back up the chimney.

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Oh, how I love those sleepy faces on Christmas morning.

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We enjoyed lunch with Bryan’s family {John Henry’s dad}.  We like to say that we put the FUN into dysfunctional.  Except, we don’t call it dysfunctional.  Just our normal.  And, we like our normal.

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Above is Bryan’s dad.  Look at sweet Paw-Paw lovin’ on both my children. 

I am asked so often how we do what we do.  In other words, how our blended family dines together, laughs together, does life together.  Simplest answer?

LOVE.

Our Christmas.  Well, it was special.  And yours?

 

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Filed under Kid Stuff, life, Love