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Dec 24, 2012 - Raw Thoughts    No Comments

On the Eve

 Christmas Eve at Rachel's Home, 2012

I don’t think I’ve ever done a Christmas Eve post before… earlier this evening I had the pleasure of sitting down and reading my favorite annual Christmas card. Yep, you heard that right – pleasure. You know all those letters you get with way too many details about kids of relatives you barely know? Or worse yet, a neighbor you rarely even say hi to? Well, this one is different. I had the joy of visiting the Wolnski family home/lodge tucked away in the woods outside Birmingham, Alabama back in AprilWolnski Family Christmas Letter 2012 2011. This is a family friend of Mason’s… long story. Anyway – they are a unique and incredibly blessed family with eight children. Their mom, Grace, writes a beautiful booklet-style letter  brimming with gorgeous photos of each of her kids. The woman is incredibly insightful, wise, and observant of the personal growth taking place in each of her children’s lives. And every year my family can’t wait to get her little update in the mail, even though we’ve never met them (not really). There’s just something different about them. Something very genuine. Grace notices the smallest details as well as the larger picture… and is always thankful for it all. It makes me want to be a part of their family, or to have my own amazing family of eight kids one day. I don’t know. But I’m amazed, inspired… in awe? Of a family I barely know? Yep.

Our Christmas tree with snowflakes hanging from the ceiling.

I absolutely adore my own family, no question. There’s just something so powerful about reading an adoring momma’s thoughts and impressions about her family’s life, growings, beginnings, struggles, overcomings… and told so honestly and yet so beautifully. I would love to get the chance to meet them all, to sit down with Grace and get to know her. And MaryGrace for that matter, an amazingly talented painter, calligrapher, and beauty of a person – the one person linking my family to theirs through a friendship with Mason.

But in the meantime… I find myself just… inspired. And thankful. I am beginning to believe gratefulness is contagious. Infectious. It brings hope. Kindles new perspective. Warms us up with goodness that just is good at its core, not fluffy substance-less ideas or notions of hope or gratitude. A grateful heart puts weight behind those over-used and over-commercialized words and concepts.

What am I grateful for? Yesterday. We all have busy lives, and even though Mason and I both live in Nashville… it is rare all of our schedules align to get home to NC at the same time. Christmas is great for that. We went on a short road trip to see my Uncle and our cousins. And my grandpa (who lives in MO) went with us! It was such a great day. Such a joy to see my Uncle’s new home, team up fora family frisbee golf expedition, share a warm meal, and teach the boys some of my basketball moves from back in the day. They are my family, and I love them all.

Christmas Visit  to see my Uncle

What am I grateful for? Today. Going to throw some (non-golf) frisbee at a nearby soccer field on a cold and calm Christmas Eve – all 4 of us. Chasing the frisbee around like crazy because it had a mind of its own, but still having a blast despite the sting of cold air in our lungs. And spontaneously going to buy fancy cheese… because my brother loves cheese and because my parents love my brother. Coming home and sitting all together listening to Mason play our piano as he and Dad had some fun finagling some mics for an experimental recording. Every experiment of his is beautiful. My family is so cool.

What am I grateful for? The most generous parents in the world who have sown so many seeds of radical generosity and continual, unwavering love in my life. And the most generous God there could ever be. He created other glorious beings called angels. He made me. He chose to come as a baby and bring hope to mankind, fully God and fully man. Jesus showed the ultimate display of God’s unwavering love for us by dying for our sins… for yours… for mine. He rose. He is alive. And what I am most thankful for is God’s motivation behind all of these actions: to know me. To rescue, for sure. And for me to know Him. His desire for me is to be known by the King – to be drenched, inundated, and immersed in a sea of love. Father God is generous. He has an unending supply of loving things to say to you, and He will never tire of saying them. He longs to dream with you, for you to trust Him to create your dreams in a bigger way than you could have penned yourself. Oh Jesus. You are precious. Ask God for the impossible this Christmas. Ask Him for more of Himself, evident in your life, nearer to your side, speaking loving things into the lonely places of your heart, soaring with you.

With you.

Tiny Christmas Gnome

Thank you Wolnskis & thank you Grace for reminding me of the beauty of thankfulness. Thank you Lord for all that blossoms out of it. Thank you Jesus for a reason for ultimate gratefulness. Thank you Holy Spirit for your nearness as we partner with you to see clearly, love deeply, speak wisely, give generously, and grow with you in new ways & seasons.

Merry Christmas, y’all.