Not Just a Keeper (and more)

Our feet crunch through the snow-dusted grass. The boys chase each other between rows of evergreens as Rachel wanders peacefully through the green, lying down occasionally to get the full effect of the setting and rest a bit. This is a favorite annual outing for our family—the Christmas tree hunt!

Some years we find ourselves trudging through knee-deep snowdrifts, other years navigating treacherous ice fields, and still others trampling the deadened grasses. However, there are two things that always remain the same from year to year: The quest to find that elusive perfect tree and our failure to do just that.

It’s not for lack of trying that we come up short. We scour every row of trees on the farm. Shouts of “I’ve found it!” and “Over here!” followed by “Never mind” or “It’s perfect … except for …” echo off the boughs.Zachary with evergreen

We are certain the next tree will be the one … and the next … and the next. Eventually, though, we conclude the perfect one is not to be found—yet!—and vote on a couple of keepers.

How thankful I am that there is no need to hunt for the perfect Savior like we do our Christmas trees. In fact, we didn’t need to search for Him at all. For more than 2,000 years, He has dwelt among us—living in us—choosing to find us instead! He is anything but elusive.

During this Christmas season, I pray you will not feel tempted to settle for a “keeper” but will allow the presence of our perfect Savior to permeate your lives, experiencing the inexplicable joy and love of fellowship with the King.

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20, ESV).

This Christmas season I am so thankful for

186. Our perfect, ever-present Savior.

187. The annual family Christmas tree hunt.

188. An overnight away with a friend.

189. The wide array of Christmas music.

190. Joey’s first band concert (fun to see his improvement).

191. Not having to cook supper tonight.

192. Kind words.

193. A day spent with my mom and sister. The time flew!

194. The mystery of God’s actions in our lives.

195. Sharing the joy and meaning of Christmas through caroling.

196. Awesome, inspiring high school Christmas concert (Daniel played his trumpet solos beautifully; both boys were great in their choir and band roles).

197. Yummy cake balls—especially red velvet ones!

198. Attending a fun Christmas concert with Mom and Rachel. Three generations just hanging out.

199. Decorating the barn with the family.

200. Fresh haircuts.

201. Steaming soup on a chilly evening.

202. Little acts of kindness like cake balls in my mailbox and text messages sharing love.

203. Eggnog

204. Lights dimmed and candles burning.

205. David Phelps’ music (some of the most moving music I’ve ever heard). David Phelps begins singing around 1:25 on this video, but the beginning is also inspiring.

206. That Christmas is not just about receiving gifts and spending time with family. This holiday represents something much deeper and more mysterious and powerful: It is a celebration of the God of all creation choosing to humble Himself to walk among men, bringing Love itself to us.

View my entire list of One Thousand (or more) Gifts, and join me in recording the gems of life.

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

One comment on “Not Just a Keeper (and more)
  1. Jamie says:

    Wow, that music video was amazing! Thanks for sharing your family tradition, too. I love being able to make those kind of traditions in our home as well. It gives us something to look forward to every year!

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