what every kid wants to do at Christmas---go look at lights and watch their parents kiss. well done @atlbotanical ✨🌿💜
anyone else out there recovering from christmas? i think a lot of us feel this way after a few days of extra parties, presents, plans and ... okay, i admit, cookies. we’ve been so lazy at our house this weekend. i’ve managed not much more than a good book and a jigsaw puzzle. even the dog has crashed. yesterday, when a friend texted and asked how we were doing, i answered, “i think i’m still recovering from christmas.” but after sending my reply i realized just how ridiculous my words. we don’t need to recover from christmas. christmas is recovery. christmas is, in fact, The Great Recovery. the silent night, the first noel, the joy to the world ... all of it because the Holy Babe came to recover us. to reclaim us. to renew and refresh our weary-world selves. He came to recover ... our brokenness. our battles. our bruises. to reassure us of our Hope in Him. but, let’s face it, because we are some pretty messy people, we sometimes make a mess of even something so beautiful as the christmas message. we make it something it isn’t. we make it too busy, too bright, too bonkers. and then we realize in some of those moments we have left the baby Jesus away in his manger. so far away. tucked somewhere behind our to-do lists and our today plans. but Jesus knew this was how it would be. He knew even before He was born in that simple stable He’d become the most important recovery mission ever. He came to recover. And He continues to cover us in His love and grace each and every day. as we walk into this new year, we have great hope knowing that no matter how much a mess we make things—holidays or normal days—God sent His precious Son to make things right. reclaimed. redeemed. and yes, completely and confidently recovered. #joytotheworld
I remember as a little girl using these cookie cutters in my grandma's kitchen. This week the kids and I used them in mine. It's been a lot of years and miles since rolling out sugar cookie dough with Grandma Vernick in her Cleveland Ohio kitchen, but so fun to pull these out this time of year and remember. My grandma and I shared a love for so many of the same things: knitting, the piano, books ... and, yes, baking (except she was way better). In our fast paced 21st century it is hard to take time for these simple pleasures. We purchase our cookies at stores, listen to our books on Audible, our music on Spotify, and knitting? Seriously? Why when we can just order something right off of amazon! Call me sappy and sentimental, but this day after Christmas when we are thinking about everything we did and didn't get to this holiday ... I'm reminded how important it is to take time for the simple things. My Grandma taught me that. ♥️
Merry Christmas from our family to yours! 🌲🐾♥️🐾🌲The dog pjs seemed a fitting theme this year!
The night was not so silent, but the morning sure is! 8 am and all is (still) calm and bright ... because we now have old(er) kids. 🙌🏻#theywontbeupforhours Merry Christmas!🎄
Christmas Eve movie time. ♥️
The McNatt Christmas Eve gingerbread house competition! Our new son-in-law decided to bring his own interpretation to the gingerbread house tradition. Mars House.
Christ the Savior is born. ✨
Sunday's sermon was on PEACE and it caused me to get up on this Christmas Eve morning and look for the PEACE word on our Christmas tree.• I had to laugh when I spotted it hanging right there by the bacon. (bacon hanging on the tree?🤷🏼♀️). Made me think about all of us --no matter who we are or where we are or what we are going through ... if asked, we'd probably all agree on PEACE being a pretty important word. We look for it. And sometimes it eludes us.• We spend our time searching and hoping we will land on the right thing at the right time and it will give us the right feeling of peace. But PEACE isn't a feeling or a philosophy. It's not found on a mountaintop moment or even in the most serene of sunsets. Sure, those things are peaceful. Full of peace. For a time. For a bit. For awhile. But those experiences are no better than my peace word hanging there by the bacon---something we stumble upon and maybe even find satisfaction in, but certainly not sustaining. Something for a season, but not a complete solution. It is nothing more than the world's best version of peace--A peace that will shatter at the felling of our tree. (Because, I assure you, trees do fall). A peace that will end in pieces. Because as most of us find out in our searches, there just, flat out, is no peace in the world's suggestions of peace. They don't hold. They can't hold. Real peace. True peace. The only peace is not found in a perfect day or in a program or in a place or even in a life of purpose ... it is found in a person --Jesus. When the trees fall and the flames fly and the mountains crumble and our lives come crashing apart (because they will) ... Jesus promises peace. Even then. Especially then. • We will spend a lot of time in the next couple of days staring at our Christmas trees ... my prayer is that whether we have peace hanging on them (by the bacon) or not, we will see Jesus in this season and see Jesus as the only solution for our PEACE. In His words: PEACE I leave with you; my PEACE I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27♥️