{small things} finding things to rejoice over

There’s no doubt that this is one of the busiest times of year, but it is usually a good time of reflection for me as well! There are so many beautiful traditions, so many family memories, so much Christian meaning…it all contrasts the craze that our consumerist culture emphasizes around the holiday season. While I will be the first to say that I have been very busy the last few weeks, I’m really trying to stay focused on keeping it the right kind of busy!

The sermon this morning was all about quiet joy and finding things to rejoice over and be thankful for. Small things has been naturally becoming an every other week series. What have been your small things over the past couple weeks? How do you keep perspective when it’s the busiest time of the year?

first christmas tree.jpg

Our Christmas Tree – J and I weren’t quite sure what we were gonna do about a tree this year for a number of reasons. We have been feeling a little ‘tight’ as far as space goes in our apartment lately. Then throw in a dog who chews any (and e.v.e.r.y.) thing and it could be a recipe for disaster. However, Thanksgiving break came along with some holiday spirit and we found ourselves going back and forth at the nursery over which tree to bring home. We’ve only lost one generic bulb so far to our little patience maker, so we’re doing good!

Baking – One of my favorite Christmas time memories is when Mom would pick a baking day and we’d have hours in the kitchen together frosting sugar cookies, making homemade PB cups, and our Polish Krumkakes. It’s one of our family traditions that I hope to keep alive since it’s hard for all of us kids to get home at the same time nowadays. Last Friday I took the afternoon off to do some Christmas shopping, wrapping, and baking. This year I went with Christmas Crack (very tasty), these things I don’t even know what to call but they are a combination of ritz crackers with melted rolos dipped in white almond bark, and chocolate dipped PB cookies.

family sunday

Early Family Christmas – My sister and brother in law came up last weekend for an extended visit since they won’t be able to make it home for Christmas. It was almost better than coming up for Christmas since all of our family was still together, there were no obligations for anything, and we spent our time freely. We also got to celebrate my other sister’s birthday with the whole fam!

paddlenorth.jpg

Reading – Over the last couple weeks I made the time to read through the book Paddlenorth. It’s Jennifer Kingsley’s account of her and five others’ trip canoeing through the ‘Arctic Wild.’ It was a great story that also tells the history of the first explorers in that area. I’ve also been diving in The Alchemist this weekend and am hoping to finish that tonight!

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