Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Wonder of It All

Dear Friends  & family,

The long awaited day is almost here!  Around our house, the anticipation of christmas is so thick and the magic so real that I wish this feeling could last the whole year through.  we talk it, breathe it, sing it, and, very simply, just plain love it.  The wonder of it all has captured the KID'S  little imaginations like nothing else.

All that said, it has been so easy to get so sucked into christmas...the gifts, the lists, the letters, the programs, the decorations...that I have to stop and remember who all this is truly for.  My wish this christmas is to anticipate Christ just as we have anticipated christmas.  I want to talk Christ, breathe Christ, sing Christ and, very simply, just plain love Christ.  I want the wonder of him to capture my heart like nothing else comes close to doing. 

We pray that your family can set apart Christ as king in your lives this christmas season and the whole year through:  Talk about that first christmas night, breathe      in his grace, sing praises to him and, very simply, just plain love him.  He is the reason for the season ; the one and only reason.

Merry christmas,

The smith's 2011

Treasuring It Up - Day 8

My 2011 Christmas Treasures

Day 8: The Toddler Proof Tree

No, you are not in a's hardly that.  Instead, you are looking at our family Christmas tree encased inside a metal baby superyard.   As unappealing as this massive barrier is, it is absolutley necessary if we'd like to box up our ornaments in one piece at the end of the season.  Yeah, I know it's boring and we could put the ornaments 3 foot up.  But, that wouldn't stop my little ones from just pulling up a chair.  So, for now, the superyard does the trick.  The tree can still be admired by little eyes; just not touched by little hands.  And, it's a constant reminder that precious little souls live here and that's just the way we like it :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Treasuring It Up - Day 7

My 2011 Christmas Treasures

Day 7:  Christmas luncheon with the Women's Ministry team -- a group of the most wise, wildest about Jesus, women I know.  For eight years I have sat at their feet, gleaning every nugget of wisdom I can from them.  So many times I have felt terribly unworthy of being amongst these ladies.  But, God has continued to appoint me to this ministry that I love so much.  Our dinner question, "Why Do You Love Jesus?," and the ten different reasons that were shared reflect how all our hearts beat for the same tell just why and how much we love Him and, even better, to help you discover the mad, passionate love He has for YOU.

Regrettably, I did not take a picture of these ladies all polished in our Christmas best.  But, I have the next best thing:

{See, I told you they were wild!}

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Bet You Didn't Know That

Did you know?

There were actually only 2 wisemen


the donkey and cattle had no hay to eat


there was a werewolf among them

the night when Jesus was born?

I bet you didn't know that.

Once again, life with toddlers, even at Christmastime, is always interesting.  I'm not sure which little one felt the need to include the werewolf but I think he makes a nice addition to the nativity. 

As for the third wiseman, the hay and the camel?  I'm sure I'll find them sometime this spring when I least expect it.

Treasuring It Up - Day 6

My 2011 Christmas Treasures

Day 6:  My Little Ballerina

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Treasuring It Up - Days 1 thru 5

"Mary kept all these things to herself,
holding them dear, deep within herself." 
Luke 2:19  (The Message)

My 2011 Christmas Treasures:

Day 1:  Having the entire inside and outside of the house already decorated since before Thanksgiving.  We have never been this on top of it before and it is so relaxing; like we get to squeeze every drop out of Christmas this year.

Day 2:  Lots to treasure up today...Eli's face when I showed him the Grinch shirt that I had bought for him.  Singing and dancing with Micah and Eli to the entire Chipmunks Christmas CD.  Micah is CRAZY about those furry guys!  And, snuggling up on the couch with the kids and watching Charlie Brown's "Happiness is a Warm Blanket" together.

Day 3:  After reading the nativity story, Jacob asked me, "So, how did they get babies out when Jesus was born anyway?  Back then, they couldn't cut open the mommy's belly like they did yours.  So, just how did they get Jesus out??"  Ummm..... 

Day 4:  Seeing Jacob up on stage, in his wheelchair, singing his little heart out in his children's Christmas program at church.  That was the ONE thing he said he really wanted to do before he even had surgery.  We promised him he would, although we did not know whether or not he'd feel up to the spotlight when the time came.  But, he sat up there, unashamed of his wheels, and we were so proud of him for it.

Day 5:  Receiving our first Christmas cards in the mail.  I heart Christmas cards so much!  My daily December trip to the mailbox is perhaps one of my favorite holiday activities.

28 Gifts

The God who placed every single star in the sky and who measured the waters in the hollow of his hand has lovingly tended to every single detail of our lives.  There is not one area of our lives that He has not arranged so perfectly during this season.  If we took pictures of the everyday moments of Jacob's recovery, this is what you'd see:

Photo One:
The many who have rang our doorbell with hot meals in hand. The early evening chaos has been completely avoided. Family dinners are a highlight once again.

Photo Two:
My two best friends have come to stay, to help out, to encourage and to remind me how dearly loved I am for me just being plain old me; not anyone's nurse, nor mommy, nor wife. Just me; a girl I sometimes wonder what she has to offer, if anything, without those other hats on.

Photo Three:
Other dear friends have brought their children by to sit with Jacob, play a game, bring him a construction paper card or just to share a smile.  That is the best therapy for any little boy.

Photo Four:
My husband, aka Super Dad, has proven over and over again that his family comes first, even on days where I fail to pat him on the back.

Photo Five:
The joy and excitement of Christmas. The Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas songs we dance to and the 5 musical Christmas toys going off simultaneously in the living room. Clear lights hanging everywhere inside and outside the house. The music.  The crafts. The presents. The baby. The manger.

Photo Six:
My blog and the ability to share our story. The people it has touched. The people who have touched ME through it. The people I am praying for continually who don't even know it. There are a half dozen of you whom I am asking God to reveal Himself to through your circumstances. I pray His peace over you. I pray for an intimate, undeniable moment with you. I pray that you will know Him better because you have professed this very desire to Jason or myself. While the original purpose of my blog was to be able to reflect, record and always remember, a greater purpose has emerged.  My pastor said it best today:  "Experiencing God's glory is one thing. Sharing it with someone is another; it makes the joy complete."  My joy is complete when I hear how the Lord has used my circumstances to speak to you.

Photo Seven:
The ability to have undivided time with my oldest. Last January, I wrote a very personal blog that I did not publish. In it, I was feeling that the two years of back to back babies and the busyness that they brought into our world had created a distance between Jacob and I. The five years that he was the center of our world was long gone. My arms were now full of two littles ones, leaving no place for him. I pleaded for the Lord to redeem the years that the locusts had eaten in our relationship. This time is that redemption. This time is ours. Tomorrow, although I have somehow managed to pile up another "to do" list, I am laying it down. This is the time for puzzles, and stories, and board games, and cuddling and getting into his world. Jacob and fun mom. Not Jacob vs busy mom.

I already know that come January 2, the day he will get released for physical therapy, I will be somewhat sad. Christmas will be over, my boy will be on his feet and busy once again, Jason will be back on the road and traveling with his work and this chapter will be over. New adventures in 2012 will await us. But, I've got 28 days still. 28 individual gifts; gifts that allow us the opportunities to redeem the time, restore our bodies, recognize His birth and reflect on all He is doing in our lives.

He's My Best Friend

When tucking Eli into bed tonight, we said the usual "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer.  Then, I asked him if he had any other special prayers.  He said, "Yeah....Dear Jesus, my Jacob broke his legs.  He's my best friend.  Please help him get his legs better.  Help him walk.  Amen."

Simple words from such a deep little heart.

A calmer Eli has emerged in the 19 days since we've been back. Maybe it's because all five of us have been under the same roof morning, noon and night for each one of these days. Everything that makes him feel secure is right here with no threat of leaving. Or, maybe it's because the Christmas season has captured his imagination, fascination and attention just like I knew it would. Or, maybe it's because he is taking his role of caretaker very seriously. You couldn't give this little guy a bigger job than asking him to help push bubba's wheelchair or sit in the bed and play Legos or Mario Kart with him. 


All 5 under one roof.

The Christmas season all around us.

Caring for his best friend.

The highest term of endearment that Eli understands is "best friends".  Some of his best friends are real and some are animated, but, the fact is:  if you're one of them, you are pretty special to him.  He protects and loves all his best friends with every inch of his 3 year old self.  When we told him about Jacob's legs, he asked if he could give Jacob some medicine to make him feel better. I said, "No, baby, but you can pray for Jacob."  He has prayed this very prayer night after night since then.  At least once a day, he'll ask, "Are Jacob's legs fixed?  Are his legs working?"  I always reply, "No, baby, but they're getting better." 

What a faithful brother, faithful best friend, he has proven to be.  Oh, the lessons I can learn from him.  I am a sister to 3, sister-in-law to 8 and a best friend to 2 but yet I don't practice that same commitment in praying for these people whom I am closest to.  If only my heart could be like his.

(I should add that, yes, even with two broken legs, Jacob still likes to sit Indian style. 
 And, yes, it drives us crazy!  The doctor said it was okay so what can we say??)

Eli Unscripted

Mommy:  Where is Jesus?
Eli:  The North Pole
Mommy:  No, silly.  Where does Jesus live?
Eli:  Tennessee
Mommy:  Where at in Tennessee?
Eli:  In my house
Mommy:  Where at in your house?
Eli:  In my room
Mommy:  Does he live in your heart?
Eli:  Yeah