Thursday, December 29, 2011

Looking Forward to the New Year

We ended up having a really nice Christmas holiday with extended family down in the Chicago suburbs. I have to say it was strange with no snow on the ground! We all gathered at my sister's house (my dad and step mom, my 3 sisters and their husbands, nieces and nephews, and some family friends who stopped by). It was fun seeing everyone's reactions to their new gifts, including the homemade ones from us. This year I made gift boxes for my sisters families that included a family calendar with photos from the year, two mason jar desserts of muffins and cookies and a homemade wreath ornament. Once my computer returns and I can upload pictures again, I will share a specific post with our homemade gifts. As I made the gifts, I took time to pray for each person I was giving them to. I think that was my favorite part about making them. At one point during our celebration, I stepped outside where my brother-in-law had a fire going in the fire pit on the patio. I soaked in some precious moments alone as I stood outside in front of the fire with the crisp air and the Christmas lights of the neighborhood all around me. As I looked up at the stars and thought about the true meaning of Christmas, my heart was filled with thanks for the amazing gift of God coming down to earth in human form, as a little baby.

We hope to do something special as a family to ring in the New Year. We have yet to finalize our plans. Every year we also set aside some time as a couple to reflect on the year that has passed and create a vision for the year to come. We go through our journals and talk about where we saw the Lord at work. We talk about the ways we have grown but also confess what areas we still need to surrender. It takes a lot of compassion and understanding to allow us to honestly share our feelings and this tradition has been an important part in growing our marriage relationship.  We are both excited for what the Lord will do in the coming year.

In looking forward to the new year, I also want to take some time to look back on the blog. I thought I'd share some of my favorite posts from the year:

Preparing for "Holy Leisure"

Random Things of Beauty (Sept.)

Our First Week of Preschool (Robots Unit)

Fixing Our Eyes on What is Unseen

Welcome to My Home

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season and I thank you for visiting!


tea said...

Your Christmas sounds lovely. I hope you have a great time bringing in the new year, and that the year itself will be a blessed one for you and your family! Love to you, Tracey! :)

Lovin' Life said...

Happy New Year Tracey!
Hope this year is one of the best!
Sounds like you had a great Christmas. Can't wait to see the gifts you made. The calendars are such a great idea!

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