Instead, Let There Be Thanksgiving

12.20.2016

Last week it snowed for a hot minute and of course everyone freaked out. Oklahoma is famously confused about the weather. Two weeks ago R was frolicking about in the leaves, over the weekend we had snow, today it was in the upper 50s, and it's supposed to be highs in the 60s on Christmas Day, so basically I just don't know how to dress anymore.
December has been really busy for us, like it seems to be for a lot of people. We haven't even had that many parties to go to, so I'm not entirely sure what has been keeping us so busy, but I just feel like December has flown by. Two weekends ago we took R to North Pole City to pick out our Christmas ornament. Jordan and I have gone every December since we got married and chosen an ornament for our tree. I write the year on the back or bottom of the ornament so we can remember when we got them, and it's pretty much our only standing tradition. 

Last year was the first time to take R as a four-month-old, and let me tell you: carrying an infant in the Ergo is a whole different ballgame from chasing an infant around. That girl is crazy and into everything. It was hilarious and exhausting. I did manage to capture this family selfie.
R and I drove downtown one Saturday to meet a friend at the pop-up shops. Every December, local businesses host "pop-up shops" in these white domes they set up in the middle of downtown. They have music and there's a Christmas tree lot and food trucks and hot chocolate. It's one of my favorite things. R and my friend's daughter are about the same age, and the four of us sat and drank hot chocolate and ate mini donuts and it was so fun!

I've been trying to make an effort to hang out with people more. I am a social person who likes conversation (shocker, I know), and this year I've found myself craving in-person friendships beyond the texts and calls that pass back and forth between my very best friends who unfortunately live far away. It's also fun to see R actually starting to interact with other kids. A few days ago, I dropped her off at daycare and a little boy immediately ran up and said, "Hi, R---" and gave her a big smile and I nearly fell over. Cutest thing ever. Although I wonder what they think when all they get in return is a blank stare. We need to work on learning to say hello.
Jordan and I went on a date at the beginning of the month, our third since our anniversary in May. We have never been very good at dating, even before having a baby, but I do always enjoy when we get out for the evening. And then just this past weekend, we ended up going to see Rogue One at the last minute. Jordan's mom offered to watch R, and some other friends were already going, so we joined them and it was fun! I probably wouldn't be a Star Wars person, but I happen to be married to someone who loves them so I basically have no choice. It makes me happy to see him getting all geeked out about it, and trust me he geeked hard over the ending of this one.
There have also been some hard things too this month that have really been weighing on my heart, both on an international and national level. Closer to home, I have friends going through some really hard times with illnesses of family members, divorce, jobs, and a host of other things. And even on a more personal level, I've been struggling with a few things that have made it hard sometimes to feel very Christmasy. I'm sure some of you can relate. And yet, it's been such a good year too, with so much laughter and joy, and there are so many things to be thankful for.

And speaking of thankfulness, I think I found my verse for 2017. Someone mentioned it during a discussion at church on Sunday, and I immediately felt like it was one I wanted to memorize and try to live intentionally next year.

Ephesians 5:4 - "Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving."

There is a lot of foolish talk and crude joking on social media these days, and I don't want to have any part of that. And even more, I need and want to work on not having foolish talk in my own home regarding things I read or see online or things other people are doing. I know some people don't have a problem with this, but it's something I struggle with.

Instead, let there be thanksgiving.

For a quarter-inch of snow and mini donuts and Star Wars. For sunrises and sunsets. For conversations with good friends. And most of all, this Christmas, for Emmanuel, God with us. For grace upon grace, mercy without end.

Lamentations 3:22-24 - "For the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul. Therefore I will hope in him."

If I don't see you (virtually speaking, of course) until after Christmas, I hope you have a joyous one! 

*And here are a few posts I want to write for the end of the year/beginning of next year just so you know what's on my radar: Final book review roundup of 2016 / 2016 by the Numbers / Quick-start budgeting tips for 2017 / 2017 Goals / Things I'm excited about for pregnancy #2 / How to support working moms

19 comments:

  1. SO GOOD, Amanda. So good. Those verses really resonate with me, too. This year has sucked, but spiritually it has really woken me up in a lot of ways. I'm really working on being thankful and full of hope when things are bleak.

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  2. The pop-up shops sound so cute!! It is so much fun to see the little kids interacting with each other. That verse is completely resonating with me - thank you for posting it. :) Merry Christmas!

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  3. Merry Christmas, Amanda!
    I love your ornament tradition and all the "new" things R does this year- running around, making 'friends,', visiting festive pop-ups and shops with you!

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  4. Seriously, how did December fly by so quickly? It boggles my mind, and makes me really grateful that I bullet journal now, so I can look back on the month and see what I've actually been doing! You saw Rogue One!!!! Yay!!!!! Oh my, it was so good. My husband is way geekier about Star Wars than myself (he'll randomly quote the movies and I'll stare back blankly, because I've only seen each of them a few times), but I do like a good Star Wars film. And Rogue One was excellent, and the ending was amazing.

    Haha, the weather has been hilarious! I think I've worn my warm boots outside a total of 2 or 3 times, because to me, it's still flip flop weather for the most part! The light dusting of snow was nice, because it was really pretty without making the roads gross, and it put me in the mood for Christmas, which was fun :)

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  5. I also love Ephesians 4:29 and have been really trying to focus lately on being less negative and more grateful.
    My husband and I have never been good at "dating" either but this year we finally found a great babysitter and have been going out a couple times a month - It has been SO good for us.

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  6. I love that verse you shared. What a fun toddler R is! You guys are going to have a great Christmas.

    And now I'd like some mini-donuts and hot chocolate!

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  7. Love this! Thanks for reminding me of that verse!

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  8. Hope you have a merry Christmas! I think sometimes we expect the whole month to be nothing but one big joy fest just because of the season, but like any month of the year, December has its ups and downs, and that's okay. Here's hoping that you have lots of ups this week especially though!

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  9. I absolutely love this. I've been reminded a lot lately that it's really important, especially in a season that makes it so easy to focus on what we don't have vs. what we do have, to be thankful and grateful for all the blessings God has given us. And snow (not ice) in Oklahoma and mini donuts are always things to be thankful for!

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  10. Let there be thanksgiving. I LOVE IT! What a great perspective to take into the new year! I love your Christmas ornament tradition!

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  11. ah - so this is why you deleted your Twitter? I'm glad you can find a way to feel more in control of what you consume. (more mini donuts, as you say!)

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  12. Love that verse and why you chose it! It can be so easy to get sucked in to the negativity, but there is no room for negativity when there is thankfulness. Merry Christmas friend. Looking forward to your end of the year/beginning of 2017 posts! I have some similar posts in my drafts if I ever get around to finishing them! XO

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  13. I'm looking forward to reading your posts! I'm only writing two more posts this year- a Christmas Recap and a 2016 year in review. I'm in planning mode for 2017 and I can't wait! I have you to thank for inspiring me to do a reader survey and find my blogging mojo again. :)

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  14. Couldn't agree more with you on the chasing toddler thing. The Ergo was much easier ;) I love the verse you chose. What a great reminder! Hope things get a little better and enjoy Christmas!

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  15. We have some friends going through some terribly difficult things right now, too and it has reminded me to not take one single day, hour, second for granted. While this year was wonderful in so many ways, it was also challenging and I LOVE those verses you mentioned. "Great is your faithfulness" - such a simple statement but so incredibly overwhelming when you truly soak it in. God bless you and your family this Christmas season- looking forward to continually reading your blog! :)

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  16. That is such a good verse, and one I haven't stumbled across in a while--I'm going to write it down in a collection of my favorites for this season.

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  17. "Instead let there be Thanksgiving"... I love that! What a great thing to focus on for 2017.

    Also, we saw Rogue One as well and while Christopher really enjoyed it - I definitely didn't. I don't want to leave a spoiler here for anyone else who might see it, but I sooo did not like the way it ended!

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  18. I love your ornament tradition! We live about 2 hours from Bronner's (which is the world's largest Christmas store so they say) and it used to be our tradition to go there every year and get an ornament. Then we skipped it last year seeing as I was horribly pregnant and we had a baby that hated being in the vehicle. Then we skipped it again this year. Super bummed! Hopefully we can restart that fun tradition some day! Glad you had some date time with Jordan! We are terrible at dating too! I love your quote for 2017. There is so much to be thankful for and it's often hard to see that with the things we hear/see on the news/social media! Wishing you much love, happiness, and thanksgiving in the new year!

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