Friday, December 25, 2009


I love getting all the Christmas Cards in the mail. It is so fun to see the families of friends old and new. Mailing out cards always seems to be a huge check off my list, but I am always so glad I did. The Christmas just before Brock died in January, I was so thankful that I had included a picture of all of us as a family. So many people told me that they kept our card on their refrigerator all year long so they would remember to pray for us. It was so encouraging to me when I would walk into someone's home and see it still July! Last year was really difficult to even think about doing cards again. I thought there would not be anything I would like because I didn't like that Brock was not there to be in the picture. Then there was also the thought of people receiving our card who did not know about his death. That made me sad. But with a sweet friend's help, we created a card that I liked and felt at peace about sending out. Then, this year we had another big Christmas card year again with the announcement of Lila Jane's birth.

Our generous friends/photographers, Ken and Jamie with Worley Arts, came over to take pictures when Lila Jane was two weeks old. We took most of the pictures in front of a fireplace in our home. We included Buddy (Brock's teddy bear with the Big Brother t-shirt) in our family photo for an acknowledement of Brock. I had seen an idea on Becky Higgins' blog that I wanted to use for the front of our card. Jamie and Ken were so great and helped me create the photo with Lila Jane's feet.

My sweet and talented friend Megan of Ella Bella Photo Cards then took the beautiful photos and created a tri-fold card for our announcement/Christmas card. When I was choosing the photos to include on the card, I decided I wanted to use one of each of the boys. In thinking about including Brock, I remembered a photo I took 3 years ago of him in front of another fireplace in our home. When my eyes landed on the stored photo, I cried as I thought, "Lord, what grace, as you knew when I snapped that photo of him that it would "match" the ones we took this year." I loved the card Megan created. I felt so different mailing them out this year as I thought of the people who did not know we had been blessed with a little girl. I want to share the card with you. Like I said, it was tri-fold, so there are 6 panels. Scroll down to see them all:

It has been strange to think about what a different place I am in this Christmas season. Having Christmas without Brock did not get any easier...just harder in a different way. He would be 4, the perfect Christmas age. Man, I missed him today!

Having Lila Jane was so special. She was the best gift for all of us; we all got a baby doll for Christmas. From the time I learned of her pregnancy, I began praying for me to be able to stand with hands wide open to receive God's blessing. As I would find myself worrying during my pregnancy, it was as if my fingers would begin to close my open hands. Every question, concern, and doubt left me with clinched fists. I literally had to 'pry' my fingers to keep my hands open before the Lord. He began to teach me a lot about what it means to truly receive. I kept coming across that my prayer time with the Lord. The day after Lila Jane's birth, this was an excerpt from my devotion book, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young: Written as if Jesus is speaking...

"This is a time of abundance in your life.....Sometimes My children hesitate to receive My good gifts with open hands. Feelings of false guilt creep in, telling them they don't deserve to be so richly blessed. This is nonsence thinking, because no one deserves anything from Me. My kingdon is not about earning and deserving; it's about believing and receiving.
When a child of Mine balks at accepting My gifts, I am deeply grieved. When you receive My abundant blessings with a grateful heart, I rejoice. My pleasure in giving and your pleasure in receiving low together in joyous harmony."

I have been in a season of receiving. If you think about it, Christmas is all about receiving. I know, I know...we've been trained that it is about giving. BUT it is ultimately about receiving the gift that God gave to us that first Christmas. When we receive a gift that we love, we are grateful. We study to find out all about it. We investigate it. We want to know everything about it.

How did you receive God's gift this Christmas? Or have you EVER received His gift?

Are your hands wide open?

1 comment:

Henley on the Horn said...

We LOVED your card. Precious. Hugs!! And kiss that sweet baby girl for us!