Fall was hard for our family this year. I found us all becoming anxious. You see, last year first thing Thanksgiving morning, we almost lost our 6 year old baby girl. You can read about our experience in PICU with #6. We literally felt as if we had looked into the eyes of death. It was definitely an experience we never want to go through again. This year needed to be different. We needed time to take in what we are all really and truly thankful for. I didn’t join in the facebook pre-Thanksgiving days of thanks, so now I’m going to list some things our family is thankful for.
1. Thank-Hanukkah This Thanksgiving was also Hanukkah. Hanukkah is the Jewish Feast of Dedication. Y’shua Jesus observed the Feast of Dedication in John 4:22-30. We are not Jewish, so we don’t “do” things the same way they do. Each year since we gave up Christmas, we have celebrated Hanukkah a little differently. It’s been fun to develop new traditions and learn together. I’ve had a few questions this year I thought I’d answer real quick.
- Why do you celebrate Hanukkah? ~ Because Jesus did & because it is a great way to learn and remember an important part of History.
- When do you celebrate Jesus’ Birthday? ~ During the time of Feast of Tabernacles. This is the proper time of year for His birth, when He came to “Tabernacle” (tent camp) with us. We keep Nativity scenes out all year long. We do not keep the wise men in the same vicinity with the rest of the set because the wise men wouldn’t have come till over a year later, probably about the time of the Feast of Dedication.
- Why take Christ out of Christmas? ~ Because He was never there. Christmas historically has nothing to do with the Lord of the Bible. When we learned the history, even our children were sickened to the point of never wanting to do it again. So, when you greet me with the traditional “Merry Christmas” – please don’t be offended if I answer “May the LORD bless you this Holiday season!”
- What’s wrong with having a Christmas Tree? ~ We have taken Jeremiah 10 to heart and decided a decorated tree in the house is too similar, so we’d rather err on the side of Scripture and just not have it. We do put greenery and winter decorations around the house, so it doesn’t look completely un-American around here. The family still enjoys decorating for the seasons; all four seasons.
2. Our Family I don’t want to name everyone off. Suffice it to say, we all made it through another year. We were able to have Paul’s dad home for yet another Thanksgiving. Each year with him is an unexpected blessing. He was diagnosed with cancer and stroke more than ten years ago. He is an amazing part of our family. My parents are also involved in our family, which hasn’t always been the case. We’ve had miraculous healing from anger, bitterness, & misunderstandings.
3. Miraculous Provisions This year has been the hardest year for us financially, ever. I really thought we would not be in business by summer. God presented one miracle after another. We have found hardships to be an opportunity for God to do amazing things in our lives. These hardships are still extremely difficult, especially when we see needs like braces, glasses, tires, fuel pumps, and washing machines.
4. Friends We are learning through the years who our real friends are. Those people who have stuck by us through the years. Those who are only a part of our lives for a short time, but are remembered with special fondness. We also have some new friends who we know will be spending eternity with us and our LORD. Friends are special.
I’m also thankful for our internet community. I never thought I’d benefit from something as elusive as “social media.” It still doesn’t seem quite real to me sometimes. The support and encouragement I’ve received online is phenomenal. The information shared has been invaluable. Our readers and followers are such an encouragement. Thank you all! May the LORD bless you abundantly this season and the whole year through!