Tuesday, December 27, 2011

When Doing More Doesn't Matter

At the Christmas Eve service
The holidays seem to bring so much stress to so many people.  Did you fall into that category this year?  I typically do, but was blessed with a different Christmas this year...and some lessons that will carry me into the New Year...

[excerpt below from my journal, Christmas Day 2011]

Manatees at Blue Springs
 Jesus, you have given me a wonderful husband.  Thank you!  I still can't believe how he doesn't have crazy expectations for me for the Christmas dinner....expectations of extravagant meals or gifts or decorations.  I felt like You had just opened up a wound...and poured a healing balm right into it....and I cried....he didn't understand [my tears]...to think, you've given me a husband who will allow me rest from all the Christmas expectations always placed on women.

Little Blue Herons
The same thing happened on Friday, when I had planned to work all day, preparing for Christmas....and he told me to go.... hang out with his family [at Blue Springs State Park].  And I did....all day....didn't get to the grocery, or
get the Christmas letters out, or clean the house....gasp.  And was I ready for Christmas?  

Yes.  I was humbled, to receive Grace from my husband, to receive the gift of Christ come to serve us, to renew us, to live in the hearts of those who are humble enough to receive Him.  Not those who are all shiny and put-together, and not really in need of Him....but those who, like me, are less than perfect, ready for the gift of Christmas, come as a child.  What a special way to spend my very first married Christmas.  I couldn't think of anything better...


Even when I did try to stop at the grocery to get 'just a little more' for our Christmas meal....it 'just so happened' that the doors to Wally-world were closing, and we would have to 'make do' with all the food we already had in our sweet little apartment...

And there was plenty....enough ham for an army, plenty of side dishes, a new recipe, and even some to share with Oma (my German grandma).... And gifts given of time together and memories made.  Earlier, we enjoyed the lovely Christmas services and then ended the weekend with family time at Downtown Disney, some oh-so-good Ghirardelli ice cream, as well as a trip to Willow Tree Cafe for some yummy German food.  We also had fun with Paul's nephew, playing with Loud Crow Interactive books, that are currently on sale.  (Cool books for this TV and video game generation!)

This berry cheesecake sundae was worth the wait!

I do hope your Christmas memories were special, and that you found a place in your schedule for all that matters.  I am so thankful for the Christmas God gave us together...and as I look towards a New Year, I can already see that relying on the strength of my God, and my husband,  (not my own efforts) will be the strength that carries me through...

Ephesians 2  (HCSB)  8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—9 not from works, so that no one can boast.



  1. Hey Ruth! It's good to "see" you again! I really love what you have written in your post. Our family really did try to have a more intentional Christmas this year too. Intent on focusing on Christ rather than secular traditions and unnecessary obligations that only led to stress in the past. Have a great New Year!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Amber! I'm glad you were able to have an intentional Christmas this year too! That is hard to do but so worthwhile. Hope to be getting over to your blog to 'catch up' with you again soon....


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