on the way back from harlan after celebrating thanksgiving and christmas with the mathiasen family, we stopped at a tree farm south of home and cut an eight-foot balsam, got it baled and tied on the roof of the jeep, and headed for forest city. it now stands quietly and fragrantly in the corner of the living room, strung with white lights and a host of ornaments from years past, most of which have some memory attached to them from their particular year of our lives. mare thinks it looks a little hodgepodge somehow. and i agree, but i also think it looks a little like how our lives have been. scattered with all kinds of experiences and situations, all kinds of people and moments. and it all adds up to the storyline of our lives. you who are reading this and many others have been and continue to be a part of that storyline. and as such, you help to add to the depth and richness of the hodge-podge of our lives.
for some reason, this hodgepodge style of storyline is how it plays out for us. people come in and our of our lives. sometimes for brief moments. sometimes for season after season. although hodgepodge is not always used as a positive descriptor, i think there is something deeper going on in our lives. something with more purpose and beauty than just a quick glance perceives. i believe that God orchestrates it somehow…in some way. mare and i, jonathan and maggie, are grateful for the ways that you have added to the richness, the depth, the joy in our lives. and we wish you the most bless’d of Christmases this year. we wish you a new year full of adventures and new discoveries. discovering or rediscovering the Christ child, who once showed up in a stable outside of bethlehem. may you see see him in ever surprising places and ways in the coming days, in the coming year…
“What keeps the wild hope of Christmas alive year after year in a world notorious for dashing all hopes is the haunting dream that the child who was born that day may yet be born again even in us and our own snowbound, snow-blind longing for him.” – Frederick Buechner