Day 138

Seven years ago, on our second Christmas together as a married couple we were miserable. Earlier in the month of December we discovered our marriage was failing.  I guess I kind of knew things weren’t great between us, but I had no idea how bad they really were, until that day.  I was only 20, we had no kids, and I felt like throwing in the towel. I spent a few nights at my parents house trying to figure out my plan.

I will never forget the morning I woke up and something inside me had changed. I no longer felt like throwing in the towel, I felt like fighting… fighting for our marriage. I went back to our tiny house on Brookside and told Josh how God had changed my heart. I forgave him and he forgave me and we started our new life together.

Before everything fell apart that December we talked about starting a new family tradition. We had our real Christmas tree that we got right after Thanksgiving, but we thought it we be fun to rescue another tree on Christmas Eve. To find a tree that no one picked, one with some deformities, one that was too skinny, or totally misshaped and rescue it. We would take it back to our house Christmas Eve night and decorate it. Give it a chance to fulfill it’s purpose. To be the Christmas tree it was cut down to be.

It was really hard to get into the Christmas spirit that year, but we decided to start the new tradition anyway. We went out on a cold and rainy Christmas Eve night looking for the perfect imperfect tree. We drove past an Ace Hardware and spotted the most pathetic tree you’ve ever seen. It was the only one left and it was laying on it’s flat slide getting soaked in the rain. We turned the car around, went back and rescued that tree. We brought it home, put it in our kitchen and strung bright blue lights around it and hung some mismatched ornaments on it. It turned out adorable.

We have kept the tradition alive every Christmas since then. Although I didn’t think about this the first year, I did the next year and all of the years after that. God rescued us that December like we rescued that little tree. We were not fulfilling the plans and purposes that God had for us.  We were unhappy and unfulfilled.  But when we decided to take ownership of our relationship with God, He took ownership of us. He brought us home, strung light around us and turned our lives into something beautiful.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.

I’m so thankful for our fresh start and the constant joy that has been present in our lives over the last 7 years.

  1. The tradition lives on.  Rescued a tree tonight!
  2. We have two perfect kids that love the rescue a tree tradition.
  3. We were lost, but now we’re found.
  4. Joy!
  5. Started my day with a nice hot shower.
  6. Home made, delicious cinnamon rolls thanks to my sweet friend Anna.
  7. 30 something years ago today my sweet friend Anna was born!  So thankful she’s my neighbor now and we get to do life together.
  8. 40 something years ago today my big sister Amy was born.
  9. Josh got an awesome fire going today.
  10. Gus & Papa got to go out for hot cocoa this morning.
  11. Watched Christmas movies all morning.
  12. Took an awesome nap on the couch by the fire.
  13. Tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch.
  14. Egg nog and Coke.
  15. Josh found a song called “Rejoice” we heard at the symphony last night.  It will forever be on our Christmas playlist.
  16. Tried Chicken Express for dinner.  It was tasty and the restaurant was really nice and clean inside.
  17. Nana & Papa made it back safely to Tulsa.
  18. One more sleep til Christmas!!
  19. Pajama exchange Christmas Eve tradition.
  20. Josh got me some very cute PJs and threw in the best pair of camp socks.
  21. Beau looks unreal cute in her own night gown.  It might be the cutest I’ve ever seen her.
  22. Gus loved his Spiderman PJs!
  23. Made cookies for Santa aka Dida.
  24. Filled all of the stockings tonight.
  25. All packed up for Tulsa and rounds 2 and 3 of Christmas next week!
  26. Hickory Farms Christmas set.
  27. It’s A Wonderful Life Movie Night.
  28. My children are nestled all snug in their beds!

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