Christmas Memories

I was asked recently about theMangoTimes and how it can be considered a blog when I don't really log much time here. If you read back through the recent history, you will be reminded that our family is at the end of a very long house/property sale and eventual move.

We began the real estate process nearly 2 long years ago and after a stack of delays we were preparing to move the week before Christmas and in the middle of our second son's New Year's wedding.

Moving can be stressful enough, but over the past two years we mixed in a variety of other meaningful and stressful life events including graduations, college acceptance, two engagements, a car fire, a brother-in-law's cancer diagnosis/recovery, my own tumor removal, a wedding, a book publication, and the normal challenges that come with caring for our mighty one

So, I haven't blogged regularly. Give me some time to rediscover my funny bone and I'll be back at doing what I love to do.

That was a long intro to this post. As I said, we were preparing to move the week before Christmas, but you know how escrow can go, right? Unforeseen complications. Foot dragging. It doesn't really matter, but our move was pushed into January. After Christmas. After the Wedding.

That left us with a boxed-up house to celebrate Christmas and host a bunch of college-aged groomsmen coming to celebrate with our son Nate for his wedding! Except for a wreath on the front door, there was nothing on our two acre property that looked like Christmas. So, with all the decorations buried deep in moving boxes, I decided to simply set up our Christmas tree.

With only white lights on the tree, I printed out a tree topper that said: "Jesus is Our Hope, Joy, Peace, and Salvation." Then I challenged the family to write out their own verses that remind us about the true meaning of Christmas.

I gathered everyone around for a dinner the week before Christmas and handed out little strips of paper asking everyone in the family to write down their favorite memories from living in this house for the past 14 years. Pinterest holds nothing on a dad looking for some creativity in the midst of chaos.

Every time I walked past the tree, I would glance at one of the verses or memories. It was a very simple exercise, but a great chance for all of us to pause and reflect on what we loved about each other and our faith in God.

In order to prep for the move and make more floor space for groomsmen, the tree came down early this morning. More of the house gets packed this week. Nate and Jayne have the next few days to gear up for a celebration of their new life together. I have a stack of memories and verses to remind me of God's continued faithfulness to our family this year and every year. Merry Christmas friends. Let's make 2017 one to remember!

Quietly making noise,