Monday, January 2, 2017

Christmas Moments

Christmas sometimes speeds right by and before I know it I am dropped into a new year and wishing I could rewind and capture some photo moments.  So, that is exactly what I am going to do. :-)  A little rewind and share a few family moments with you from Christmas.

This year we did not go back to Oregon or have extended family here, so even though we missed them all, we made special memories with just our little brood.  Johnny & Julie have been here, from Washington, for a couple weeks over Christmas and we are loving time together.
 We had a quiet Christmas and a simpler Christmas than years before. People touched our lives in deep ways that I would be unable to explain on my blog but let me just say, rewards are waiting for some dear ones in heaven. I have pulled out a few photo memories . . .

One thing that we did that we have not done before, was cook the Christmas meal together. There was this sweet sense of accomplishment among the kids in knowing that this was food that they had prepared.

On Christmas day, after eating, we did something new.  Simeon decided that we were going to go on a Polar Express Train ride for Christmas this year - in our SUV. :-)  The "train" ride would be complete with hot chocolate, pajamas and popcorn.  My husband dressed-up in a conductor suit and held a lantern welcoming the kids on board.

We gave the kids golden tickets for access onto the "train" and John boomed out "All Aboard!!"  Thus, the beginning of our adventure riding the train, drinking hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music, taking cookies to the four different fire stations in our small town and viewing Christmas lights.  So fun!!  The kids loved it and it was a great memory for all.  By the time we made it home on Christmas night, Johnny was fast asleep curled up with pillows and blankets in his "train seat".

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, 'I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."   ~ John 8:12

During the Christmas season, God usually gives me a Christmas word or focus. This year, it was a prayer that I had been praying the months prior over my region, "God, please bring everything hidden into the light" (Luke 8:17 and Ephesians 5:13). We live in a place called, Hidden Valley.   When I would pray LIGHT it was as if Holy Spirit would land on that word.   When I pondered what exactly this LIGHT was that was exposing hidden places I realized I had been praying JESUS into my region.  John 8 & 9 speak of Jesus being the Light of the world.  I began to have an excitement and expectancy for my region.  An expectancy that things that were "hidden" would not just be found out (lawlessness, injustice, etc.) but that there was this incredible LIGHT being released into dark places and bringing order and justice.

"Through Him (Jesus) all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.  In Him was life and that life was the LIGHT of all mankind.  The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."  ~ John 1:3-5

When I am praying, "In Jesus name, everything hidden come into the Light!"  I was thinking, drug dealers being exposed by Border Patrol, child abusers being found out, wife beaters and murders (recently there was a murder on my road) coming to justice,
conviction for sin, provision for neglect and lack, etc.  All this is good, but even greater are things being exposed, found out, justice being brought AND JESUS shining His LIGHT into those places.  When Jesus shows up, peoples lives are changed, reconciled, healed, forgiven, etc.

"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever . . . He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him."  ~ Daniel 2:20 & 22

 So, I would begin to pray that everything hidden in my region, in my life and other places, would come into the LIGHT this Christmas.  I was really praying that hidden places would come into Love, salvation, healing, deliverance, freedom, hope . . . Jesus!  Come Lord Jesus, Come!
"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned."   ~ Isaiah 9:2