Monday, December 19, 2011

The Real Reason for the Season

So, this Christmas has been crazy. (Really, really, really, crazy!) It actually started to get crazy back in August and has grown into what we have now. Jonathan's brother Taylor had been pretty sick for awhile and it got to the point where he was in the hospital for a few days and too sick to go to work. Then fast forward to September and Jonathan's other brother Adam was getting married (to a wonderful girl by the way) and Taylor was back in the hospital and still unable to work. Fast forward to October and Adam finds out he has cancer after being married for only three weeks. He ends up moving back into his parent's house and his wife is all the way in Idaho finishing up school. (Thankfully she was able to finish up sooner than initially thought and joined Adam in California.) Fast forward some more and now it has gotten to the point that Taylor and his family are also moving into his parent's house. That's 9 people in a 4 bedroom house. (That's a lot of people!) So, plans were made to build two bedrooms in the garage. One for Adam and his wife and the other for Taylor's sweet little girl. Work on getting the garage prepared started the day after Thanksgiving. There was a lot of hard work going on in there. Let's not forget that while all of this was developing, life was still going on. There was work to go to, homework to do, bills to pay along with Halloween, Thanksgiving all in the mix too...

Fast forward to today and now we have one less room to build (thank goodness) because Adam and Christina moved to Davis. There is still plenty of work to do, but it is getting done. Jonathan and I got our first Christmas tree a week ago and thanks to my nephews coming over on Monday, we now have some ornaments on it. The only thing that makes our home look really festive is the ornaments that I hung in our dinning room/kitchen. Keeping our home organized and clean has taken a back seat to everything else that's been going on.

There has been so much happening these past few months. Not much has gone according to anyone's plan, but everything keeps working out. People keep telling me that the first married Christmas is such a wonderful and memorable one. I know that mine will be, but it won't be for the same reasons that most people have. Instead of spending my time shopping for that perfect gift or having a relaxing night decorating with Jonathan, I've been blessed to do something so much better. I get to serve my family.

I grew up in family where we were taught to serve others and I remember that wonderful feeling you get after helping someone else. Over the years, I feel like I forgot just how important it is to serve others, especially my family. I would participate in organized service activities, but I didn't look for opportunities to help those around me.
These past few months of service have reopened my eyes to the importance of service and all the blessings I am giving and receiving. Last week I did some yard work at my parent's house. My mom really needed the leaves to be raked. That is one of my least favorite jobs to do! (I hate touching soggy leaves.) Instead of complaining like I would have done, I just grabbed a pair of gloves and got to work. It was so wonderful to show my mom the work I had done for her, especially because she has done and still does so much for me.

Christmas time is not about the presents or the decorations, it's about the birth of the baby who was going to grow into the man that would give the world the most amazing service that could ever be imagined. Jesus Christ suffered for my sins as well as yours so that we can be clean and worthy to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. He allowed this to happen because he loves each and everyone of us. There is no gift in the entire world that can even compete with that.

So, my goal for this Christmas is to keep that in mind and not fret over the little things and instead focus on taking care of my family.

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