Wow, what a year we had in 2021, and what a way to round it out. Christmas this year was spent with both sides of the family, and I don't think it could have been any better. It's such a beautiful time of year, and I think each year it grows more beautiful as we age and understand the true meaning of the season more and more. The gift of Christ our Savior, who died for our sins, and gave us the gift of eternal life in Him.
"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." -Matthew 1:21
I love the pure joy on Riley's face as she waits for Santa to come, and gets up in the morning to see what he brought her. This year we asked her if she'd be happy no matter what he brought her, and she said, "I'll be happy even if it's not what I asked for, and if its little or big." And she was. "He" didn't bring her what she asked for, and yet she loved her gifts just the same. A lesson that I think many of us could take to heart and learn from.
I think how we spent our Christmas's this year helped us to not focus on the material gifts, but on the gifts that He has given us. We spent Christmas morning at our house with just the three of us, Riley opened her gifts, we had breakfast, then proceeded to enjoy some outside time as a family. We gave the cows their "gift" of cubes, and Jesse and Riley searched for treasures while metal detecting in our pasture. I got the pleasure of controlling the music, and we jammed to the Cedarmont Kid's Christmas album on Spotify.
Christmas afternoon was spent re-working a group of calves with Jesse's family, which went incredibly smooth and the weather was perfect (even the branding smoke when the right way...away from us!). Riley and her Uncle Lane were able to spend most of the afternoon soaking up the sun and each other's company until calves were done and it was time to head in and get supper ready. After supper Riley and Lane played Santa and delivered gifts, and we enjoyed the rest of the evening opening gifts and visiting.
Sunday, we spent the better part of the day with my family and were grateful to be inside. The weather was not near as pretty as it was on Christmas day, and the Kansas wind came back with a passion... It was an entertaining day filled with visiting, laughter, lunch, and the enjoyment of watching Riley open gifts.
As we head into a brand new year, my prayer is to grow in my faith, trust in God completely, and enjoy life to the fullest. That's a constant struggle I have, even after He continuously shows me that He is here and He has a plan for me. He has one for you, too. Are you ready to join Him and follow that plan? I pray that you can lean into Him and His love and grace, and step onto the path that He's laying for you, too.
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:13