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This year has been full of many first for Joshua & I. It's hard to believe that a new year will begin in only two short days. We enjoyed our first Christmas together with family, friends, & Daisy. The celebration began early in December with fun parties, play practices, the Christmas play, and Candlelight service. We celebrated Christmas in our home on the Monday before Christmas. Joshua began be reading the Christmas story and we thanked God for His goodness and for sending his only Son to save us. Then we exchanged gifts. Joshua had gotten me a beautiful Sleeping Beauty snow globe! It even plays the love song from the movie!
Then on Wednesday evening we traveled up to Goldsboro and spent the night with my parents. We enjoyed getting up not too early to see Maye for a few minutes before she went to work on Christmas Eve, and drop off some presents under her tree for the next day. Then off to New Bern to celebrate with Memaw and Granddaddy! It was lots of fun visiting with them and Aunt Lynn, John, and Heather.
That evening after a delicious meal prepared by Memaw and Becca, we all gathered in the family room around the Christmas tree. I love our tradition of singing carols, Daddy reading the Christmas story and giving a devotion, and sharing testimonies of God's goodness this past year. What a blessing to have a worship service with the ones you love. After the last testimony we pray, and then open gifts. Joshua and I received many more gifts than we deserve. Isn't that a picture of grace? A couple hours after cleaning up all the wrapping paper, we opened stockings. This used to be a Christmas morning tradition, but instead of everyone getting up really early we went on with the tradition that evening. I just love watching Memaw and Granddaddy open their stockings! They are too sweet! Granddaddy loves to guess what each wrapped little gift is, and Memaw is just so excited.
On Christmas morning, Joshua and I headed for LaGrange to see Maye, Maranatha, and Elijah. Maye cooked one of her famous breakfast pizzas! I just love that whole wheat crust. Um, um, good! I know we were all just about to pop after breakfast...except maybe Maranatha who had chocolate for her meal.
After breakfast, we gathered in the living room around the Christmas tree to open presents. There was a mountain of gifts under the Christmas tree. We each had a pile of gifts to open. It was so sweet to see how personal each gift was. You could defiinitely tell thought had been put into each one. Again we saw a picture of grace by receiving much more than we deserve.
Around ten we went over to Aunt Jangie's house to let Maye give her the gifts and visit with her children and grandchildren. Please, keep Aunt Jangie in your prayers as she is still grieving the loss of her son Mickey. Maye gave her several personalized gifts with pictures of her and Mickey on them and you could see the tears in her eyes. What a sweet gift.
At lunch time, we headed over to Grandma Goff's house where thirty or more children and their parents and grandparents gathered to celebrate Christmas. We had a good time catching up with relatives and talking with Aunt Sharon, Uncle Gregg, Shauna, and Grandma. We headed back to Maye's an hour or so later and visited with her a bit more, then rearanged the gifts in the car so we could get home comfortably.
After saying our goodbyes we traveled a little ways to Pikeville to have one last celebration with Daddy, Momma, and Becca. We enjoyed a good dinner with them, then exchanged our gifts with them. Again recieving much more than we deserve...grace. What a good time we had playing Clue after the cleaning had been completed. Joshua and his detective skills pulled through as he solved the murder mystery! That's my man! What a fun filled way to spend Christmas. We really enjoyed our first Christmas together and look foward to many many more if the the Lord tarries.
May His grace sustain you, his peace calm you, his love engulf you, and his joy fill you this year.