Tuesday, December 8, 2015

peace that passes understanding

 every year i put less and less christmas decorations up inside. and pat and the kids put MORE decorations up outside! they LOVE it, though! they worked together for HOURS to do all this.
 i really, really love lights. they are EVERYWHERE.
 my favorite is the kitchen....with lights all around the top.
we got to host a dinner party on friday night. i had so much fun figuring out the table and all the details. i love entertaining and wish i was able to do it more.
 this is the best december i've had in years. i have so much peace and joy. and so little stress. when i get a few minutes, i try to accomplish something (putting something in my amazon cart, or addressing a few christmas cards.) but i refuse to let the LIST take over my spirit.

i know that part of the reason for less stress is that pat and i were intentional going into this christmas with spending. we sat down at the beginning of january (right after christmas last year) and talked it through. made the budget for this year. and cut EVERYTHING back. BIGTIME. it's making me think through what i buy a LOT more...there is little to NO impulse buying because every dollar counts (if you know pat, you know this ;-)) i had no idea what a difference it would make in my day to day life for this month! the expectations have been laid. the kids know there will be a lot less. and we are ALL ok with it!

besides that, though, none of this peace makes sense. i should be stressed bigtime. things are going to be changing around here pretty significantly in the near future. and, beyond that, things have just been HARD and it's taking all i have to be the wife and mom i need to be. i'm not trying to be secretive (if you've been around here for ANY period of time, you know i'm open to a fault!) but i can't share more right now. but just know that God's peace is REAL. and it truly surpasses ALL understanding. i don't know why He's chosen to fill me with peace and joy this season and not others. but He has. and i'm so so thankful.
last year we didn't do acts of kindness. the couple years before that, we did. we are doing it again this year. here's why. sometime during the month of november, i asked the kids what their FAVORITE 2 things about december were. and 2 of the kids said they loved doing acts of kindness. so we are doing it. they are super simple...things like writing a letter to someone, or helping mom get ready for a dinner party, or eating rice for dinner and using the money to buy food for the food pantry at church. 
bailey is playing basketball this winter. and had the kickoff tournament last weekend. it.was.amazing. she.is.amazing. picture FULL conversations on the court, refusing to step in the paint because of the fear of getting the whistle blown on her for "3 seconds", and wearing every color of the rainbow. the.best.
 red cheeks after playing football outside with his dad. happy boy.
how is your christmas season? are you feeling peace? or not?
what's your favorite christmas season tradition?

1 comment:

Barbara Cassada said...

Courtney, we ALL need to cut back....and I am sure that in 2016, we, too, will be cutting back majorly on our expenditures, especially for Christmas!! After all....our attention should be on celebrating Jesus' birthday.....and recognizing how blessed we are to have God with us ALL of the TIME!!!!