Merry Christmas!

Another year. New experiences. Expanded knowledge. A baby granddaughter! Growing family. Curious challenges. Blessing upon blessing.

The conclusion of 2019 brings the same thoughts and questions as every other year end: Where did the year go? For who and what are we grateful? What have we learned this year?

Other years I may have asked myself those questions in passing but immediately distracted myself with other more urgent tasks, like baking cookies or buying a gift. This year I’m pondering.

Where did the year go? It went into work, family, relationships, reading, a little writing, travel, and fun. We forget to have fun sometimes, don’t we? Dan and I went to Austin and San Antonio right after Christmas last year to find some warmer weather and sunshine, which we did. We also took a trip to Washington DC and Kiawah Island in the spring. Fun!

Gratitude for our growing and forever fun family is at the top of our lists. We celebrated Mom and Dad’s 65th wedding anniversary this year by spending a beautiful weekend in Galena, IL. It was awesome, full of games and good food, and we are beyond thankful for our extended family!

Whole clan at the 65th anniversary cropped

 What did we learn in 2019? Some of what we learned was factual or conceptual, but the more important things we grasped were internal, spiritual and relational.

We never tire of learning about our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren as they grow, mature and develop. From the grandson who was practicing long division at the dinner table this week to the son who is working out his calling, and everything in between, we watch their progress with interest. Dan and I are still learning about ourselves too; it never ends.

It’s like considering the hues and shapes of the pieces of a massive jigsaw puzzle before placing them in. We try different pieces, search for the right one, and finally, with satisfaction, fit a piece in its spot. The final picture is beautiful beyond our imaginations.

Who fashioned the grand picture that we are all trying to put together? Who will inform us where we fit in? Why do some people immediately know their place in the puzzle and others struggle much of their lives to find out?

Jesus, the One whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, is the answer to all those questions.

He created the world, he was born, became incarnate, on that first Christmas to save the world, and he holds it all together to this day. Our human brains cannot fathom the artistry, originality and creativity of the final picture that Jesus created and entered to save. We can only see our pieces and maybe those around us.

I’ve known that for a while, but I am beginning to understand it at a deeper and more personal level.

Celebrate the beauty of the picture that Jesus is creating in and around you. Thank Him for being the artist and for giving you a part to contribute.

Wishing you God’s richest blessings, gratitude, and learning in 2020!

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:15-17

7 thoughts on “Merry Christmas!

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  1. That is an absolutely beautiful family picture, Judy! Thanks for sharing your reflections on 2019. Your metaphor of the jigsaw puzzle is interesting. Some pieces seem like they just don’t fit anywhere, or we search & search for the one missing piece in a certain section, thinking it must be a particular colour, and it actually doesn’t look like what we expected. I am grateful, like you, that Jesus is the centre and holds all the pieces (and us) together. All the best in 2020.

    1. Thank you, Jeannie, and you’re absolutely right about searching for pieces in jigsaw puzzles. We just did one, and I’d be looking for a piece, imagining what it would look like, until someone else would calmly put a piece that looked different in its place. I’m learning to let go of my expectations. Thank you for reading and commenting, Jeannie, and have a wonderful 2020!

  2. I always love reading your blog! I am also thinking back over the year as I moved to AZ and faced many challenges. What a year, but God always proved to be gracious and good thru it!

    1. Thanks Beth. One of the things I learned this year was that I can’t do all that I would like to do, which is why I haven’t posted in so long! Have a wonderful Christmas!

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