They'll All Be Home for Christmas

Guys. Five days to Christmas.


Five days.

FIVE DAYS!

I'm not excited at all. ;) Just kidding.

Last weekend, my sister-in-law, who is one of my bestest friends, came home from college for winter break! So excited to see her! Bekah and I have been friends long before she became my sister. This was her first year off at college, and I missed her so much! You don't realize how much you take your friends for granted until they live on the other side of the country.

My baby brother also came home last weekend. Happy he's home for the holiday. I actually haven't seen my brother, Sean, since last Christmas. He's in college, and instead of coming home last summer, he went on his first missionary trip to China! That's right! I know missionary folks. :) Anyways, shortly after Christmas he is going on a missionary trip to Mexico, and then back to China this summer. Sean has always been one busy guy!

Then this past Thursday, Sean picked up my baby sister Christine from college. So happy to see her. My baby sister is one of my heroes. This past June, she had open heart surgery. She's only nineteen. She was born with a heart condition, and underwent heart surgery as a baby. Thank God, she didn't need another surgery until this year.

God's hand was upon her. My sister is a strong young woman. Christine was released from the hospital four days after the surgery, and another week or so after that, she quit taking pain medication.

Next up is my brother-in-law and his family. They will be arriving next week with their two sons for Christmas.

(Side note: Man, all I got is nephews! We really need a little girl in the family. Baby girl clothes are the cutest! My husband and I are at the stage in our marriage where we are being asked about kids a lot. Asked, or on the receiving end of "subtle" hints from the future grandparents.)

Here's what we got my nephews for Christmas.


Yeah. This is happening. ;)

The other nine guns are so the adults can play with the kids defend themselves. Sam insisted on picking out his own nerf gun. He likes it because it looks like it's being held together by duck tape. Bekah and I have been eyeing the bow and arrow nerf guns. We are all looking forward to their visit, and it's going to make for a busy, nerf-filled Christmas! :)

This is my nativity scene.


I love this nativity scene. It's made from olive wood from olive trees from Israel. How cool is that? Anyways. Our cat, Angel, likes it a lot too. She's taken up rubbing her face on baby Jesus.

Observe.


I have to pick out the chunks of gray fur that surround the wise men every couple of days.

So I was writing a kid blog for Snack Pack for Kidz, and I was thinking about Mary, mother of Jesus. Man, she was cool! Right? Really think about this. Most historians believe Mary to be around 14 years old when she had Jesus. Can you imagine finding out at 14 that you have to have a baby, and by the way, he's the Son of God?

Crazy.

I don't know about you, but I would have flipped a lid.

But what does Mary do?

"And Mary said, 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.'" Luke 1:46-47

Her immediate response was to rejoice! She thanked God! Her soul magnified him! She could have been worried about being a mommy, or what people would think of a 14-year-old, unmarried girl having a baby. Instead she choose to thank God and rejoice in Him.

I want to be like Mary!

This young woman was, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest examples of faith we could ever see. She didn't question God on the topic. Once she got over the shock of being a virgin mother, she accepted God's will for her life.

And in a bizarre twist, praised God.

I think this Christmas, we should remember to be more like Mary. This girl was not given an easy task, but she accepted it with such dignity and poise. She was happy to do it! We all should be happy to do the tasks God has give us. Goodness, we should even rejoice and thank God for them!

Well, guys. This is the last time we are going to talk this year... I always feel a little nostalgic at the end of the year. What big things happened in my life this past year?  What things am I hoping for in the coming year? How has God moved in my life? Will this finally be the year Friends comes to Netflix. You know...important questions like that. I can tell you one thing for certain: I so look forward to the year to come, and I can't wait for all the fun stuff I have in store for you guys!  This is only the beginning...

I hope you all have a blessed, happy, and merry Christmas! Thanks for hanging out with me today! I will see you all January 1st!

Next year. ;)

Merry Christmas!

V. Joy Palmer