17 December 2011

What I'm thinking this Christmas season...

 Here we are, mid-December and for us, on the eve of a family trip heading up to Northern California, to a place called Angels Camp for almost a week.  I find more and more that December is a special month for me, maybe more now because I have my own family and I can appreciate more things than I have before. I do love Autumn but the onset of Winter's chill is beginning to do just as much for me as Autumn does. In fact, I started this blog three years ago, in November 2008 with my first eight entries and yet the very next month of December I posted a whopping thirty seven entries! Cider and Faun was definitely birthed from colder months, of storybook magic and coziness.
 November and December and all the days leading up to have been magnificent in so many ways. We been attending Mars Hill OC now since the spring and have been incredibly blessed by it's teachings and people. We are experiencing community and even more, personal renewal and awakening. Our thoughts have grown and have been more centered on His gospel and His kingdom. It has been amazing experiencing the possibility of life more abundantly with purpose and ambition all for His glory.
 We have been through some pretty remarkable situations this year, including finding out that we are expecting our second child and Rick being diagnosed with Melanoma, an aggressive cancer in his finger. I didn't share much during these days of feeling both blessed and sadness due to the overwhelming emotions they brought (along with overwhelming sickness the pregnancy brought to the table in those early months). Now, I feel as if all that almost didn't happen since I am in my seventh month and just dealing with general pregnancy tiredness and roly-poly-ness and Rick being rid of a cancer that could have been deadly (his right middle finger was halfway amputated to remove the cancer. By God's grace alone, the cancer did not spread any where but stayed stationary in that one spot. He didn't even need any additional treatment after the surgery).
 I feel that things are heading upward and onward and though I know the valleys will come again, I am confident in my God's goodness and grace to always carry us through. I am thankful for what has been revealed to us and what continues to be revealed. I am especially thankful, during this time of Christmas, for our little family to be having an Advent devotional, Rediscovering the Christmas Season. It has been such a blessing to learn things all over again, even to see things anew and really put the focus back on what this entire season is really about. I love that we are learning to see how Jesus really is at the center of all things, how it is all about Him. What better time to rediscover that than the Christmas season, amidst all of the consumerism?! I am thankful that He is fixing, healing, strengthening and preparing our hearts for the rest of our lives and that we have the awesome opportunity to bring our children into such a wonderful way of living!
 Since so much has transpired, it has been a bit more difficult getting the time to do some activities and crafts. Being inspired by the Advent Devotional and our decorations at church, I've really wanted to do some crafts/decorations for us as well, being intentional about the true spirit of the season. I haven't done much but a small yarn wreath but though we are halfway done with December, I still want to put up something for Advent and the four weeks until Christmas (  some great ideas I've gathered onto Pinterest).
 He is doing things anew, He is opening hearts and minds and I am grateful for it all. I look forward to gathering the strength He gives especially as we anticipate the arrival of our new little one in the late winter/early spring. I am also excited for the Doctrine for Kids series my daughter will begin learning at church  this January. It's so neat to see what God is doing and He just doesn't move and teach adults but He loves all the little children too and desires for them to know Him as well.
 I feel like I just pretty much crammed the bullet points all into one post but it's been awhile and I wanted to share what has been going on. It's been a beautiful thing, establishing new relationships and strengthen old ones, having community and living life together. Building our marriage and seeing in what ways to share the Gospel with our daughter even when that means acknowledging our own sinfulness (another great devotional helping out with that is Parenting by Design Daily).  I've been blessed in both sickness and health and I know there is so much more to come. I am thankful for His faithfulness not just to me, but to my family and my extended family in His kingdom.

I'm off now to pack and get ready for heading out in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow so until next time (if I don't come back 'here' before!) have a very Merry Christmas and be blessed!!!!


Drucilla Pettibone said...

it's always so wonderful to hear your words. you are so eloquent and your honesty and love always comes through. i wish you and your family many more joys this holiday. thank you for your friendship and being such a generous spirit in this online world. merry christmas!!! xxooo

Violet Folklore said...

Oh, so good to catch up with you Andrea! I didn't know that was happening with Rick. Goodness, so glad it turned out okay!

I love seeing that sweet little baby bump and I look very much forward to the "baby is here" post!

I hope you and your family have a beautiful Christmas and safe travels. xoxo.

Children of Eve said...

Lovely post, have a wonderful Christmas.

andrea littlebighead said...

thank you so very much @drucilla! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

andrea littlebighead said...

Thanks @violetfolklore! it has been a crazy ride but we are so blessed by it all. soon our little one will be here and i can't wait to post those pics up! have a great holiday season!

andrea littlebighead said...

@childrenofeve, thank you so very much and have a wonderful Christmas as well!

Heather said...

What a full year you've had! I'm wishing you quiet restfulness for these last three months of your pregnancy, and a beautiful spring to enjoy your little one.
So happy for you all and all your growth. Its so important to feel connected and centered. The happiest of holidays to you!~