…..Tis the Season

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Tis the Season…

I’m still wrapping my mind around the fact that December is upon us.  I’m working on the not so quick transition between Thanksgiving and Christmas in our home.  As I put away the Fall, and dig through the many totes of Christmas decorations, I find myself nostalgic.  It happens every year.  Looking at the ornaments from Christmas past.  Crafts our kids made while growing…..  It really gives me a sense of length and width of the life we’ve lived thus far.  Now, we have kids moved out and moving on…  Life is so good.  Time is so fast.  I love that this time of year gives me the reminder to slow down, and always enjoy the moments we have.  images-1

imagesChristmas is something I never want to rush through.  This is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love it, because it is a holiday that is not about ourselves, and all about The One we celebrate.  It’s about and our family and friends.  It’s a about strangers and guests, it’s about giving and celebrating.  It’s about memories and traditions.

This time of year God came to us in the form of a baby.  Helpless.  The God of the Universe wrapped in cloths and put in a manger.  Imagine.  As I set up my Nativity, I think about how that night would’ve been for passer-byers, for the inn keeper, for Joseph, for Mary…knowing that the Son would be born among the sheep and cows.  In the hay.  Thus starts the season of giving. God gave, and so we pass on the Gift.  Christmas is Love in action.Unknown

Christmas in our family has always been so much more than the parties, the songs, the stories and the commercialism, it is about a baby.

Unknown-1One of our favorite traditions is putting our Baby into the manger on Eve.  Each year, as our children grew up, they took turns, as the Hubs read Luke 2:1-20, at putting Jesus into His place in the trough.  The story never changed and even though they knew it by heart, they vied for their place next to Dad and to know who would place Jesus in his baby manger.  Eagerly, each trying to remember who had the honor the year before, and who it passed to the current year.  It was always interesting to me, that even as older teens, they sat, with anticipation, listening to the Story.  Quiet, filled with expectancy.. as if it were the first time, hearing it…..and somehow, it always seemed that it was…..The story was always fresh, unique and awe-inspiring….just the way it should be.  It’s a fun story to share when people come into our home around the holiday, and ask, “where is your Jesus?” as they look at the bare manger.  I hope it’s these traditions that will continue to be passed on as our kids have their own families, but more-so I pray that they always pass on the Reason that is Christmas.  The Truth of that Baby.  The certainty of that night.  The perfection that was born in a manger as a gift from the Most High.  Emmanuel.  Nativity-Wallpaper-05

~The spirit of Christmas needs to superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world. -Stuart Briscoe

Day 28-Thanksgivng

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I am just thankful for this day.  thanksgiving-quotes5

As we gather around our tables with our family and friends may we remember what’s truly important;  relationships, love, laughter, appreciation, togetherness, those stolen moments when eyes sparkle with pure joy,  our freedom, our health, authenticity, eyes creasing as smiles appear,  loyalty, our faith.

As we prepared for our meal today cooking and baking, my hubs and I stopped mid-kitchen.  How many Thanksgivings have we hosted?  How many times have we prepared this meal together?  Music on, dancing around our kitchen, we laughed out loud remembering past mishaps, pies that didn’t set, recipes that didn’t turn out, the dreadful turkey mishap of 1996.  He looked at me and said, “Baby, it’s all about the stories and the journey we took to get here.” He continued, “When we are old, think of the laughter and merriment we will bring to our kids and grandkids when we recall all of this!”  Time…thats another thing I am thankful for.  It’s something to never be taken for granted.

Thanksgiving-QuoteMy heart swells with joy when my family and friends enter this home.  To bring them in from the brisk, fall air, into the warmth, to a table overflowing with feast, to football, and piano recitals, to playing games…to hear the exultation that is THANKSGIVING is luxury beyond compare to me.  There.  Is.  Noting.  Better.

May God richly bless each and every one of you this Thanksgiving.

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Day 26- Thankful For Home

Unknown-2We have moved a lot!  Since my hubs and I have been together, we have moved from California, to Idaho, to Minnesota and back to Idaho.  Whilst living in these various states, we have moved to different cities, and different homes.  Every one felt like home to us and our children.  It’s interesting to me when I run across people who for some reason are somewhat displaced.  Maybe waiting for a house to be built, and are in a “temp home”  maybe in between moving to a new city…and they say they cannot stand it, because it’s not home.

Greg and I have always had the feeling that Home is Where You Make It.  In all of our moving, every place felt like home…because, it was.  It was never the “dwelling” in which we were living.  It was the people, the family, the friends, the LOVE that made it our home.  I have told hubs that I could live in the plushest of mansions or the minimalist of huts, and it would be home as long as were were there together.  It’s true.  jolby-home-is-where-you-make-it-print-lg

Unknown-1You see, we learned years ago that our “things” are really only things.  Things on loan to us only for a short time.  Nothing we “own” is truly ours.  We know the Source for whom these things belong.  So for us, home is much more than our address and couches.

This week, we learned that our oldest is moving out of the state.  It was only a matter of time before this happened and we knew it.  Our middle is also moving out of the state.  In a few short weeks/months, we will have two children living in two different states.  We are so happy for them.  We knew to grow and to build careers that they wouldn’t stay here long.  So that leaves hubs and I wondering what to do?  Where to go?  We do not need this big house we are living in.  Our cub will graduate in 2.5 years…and then what?  Lot’s of praying is happening in the Nilges house right now.  Transitions will be happening.

UnknownIn talking to our older pups, they were astonished at the fact that we will be considering selling our house….we were met with “NO!” and “We want to bring our families here, eventually!”  “You cannot sell our home.”  Well, dear children, we are not selling our home.  I explained to them, that our house, this dwelling, is not what they think it is.  Coming home to anywhere that our family is, the love we share, the bond that is the NilgeFam5 is what true home is.  I had a friend say yesterday that “we have such a warm and loving home.”  I tend to think that has nothing to do with our address.

So today I am thankful for home.  A home full of love, affection, appreciation, family laughter, friendship, tenderness, messiness, affection, sensitivity, kindness, warmth, hospitality, favor, passion, snuggles, relationships, and appreciation.  I am thankful that we have been blessed with this house for now and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this home will be full of joy forever, wherever we are…even if it’s a tent, because the builder of this home is who makes it what is is.  A house of love, no matter demographics.  There is a difference between a house and home!

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~Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need. -Sarah Ban Breathnach