Encouragement, Family

Taking The Time: of family traditions and the circle of life

It’s such a busy time of year! There’s so much going on – fun stuff like cookie swaps and Christmas fairs and holiday gatherings! There’s food to make and places to go!

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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Really, Christmas is such a cozy, dreamy holiday! It’s my favorite time to reminisce on childhood days, spend time drinking hot chocolate and eating chocolate. My parents bought these delicious candy called Toffifee every single year! I’m sure I ate more than my share, although they were rationed!! 🙂

Christmas Eve evening, we’d always pick a big bowl or container from the kitchen cupboard and put it on the couch. Then after we were in bed, Mom and Dad would fill them with oranges, peanuts, some candy, and our Christmas gifts. After that we’d leave for my Grandparent’s place! We always spent Christmas in Manitoba with my grandparents and all our cousins, until my oldest sister got married. I remember going to my sister’s place for Christmas a few years too. I love Christmas traditions so much!

It’s a little sad that life changes so much and traditions fall through the cracks of children leaving home or getting married. Our family moved across Canada when I was thirteen, so that changed everything! But now, the cycle has started again, with Mom and Dad having their own children and grandchildren come home for Christmas! We’re blessed to be able to take our own daughter to Grandpa and Grandma’s house to play with her cousins! It’s a circle of life!

That was a peek into my reminiscent brain. So, in thinking of traditions and busyness, I just want to remember the important things this year! The important things like spending family time, having quality conversations, and remembering how suddenly life can change!!

On Saturday the 18th of November, a family’s lives changed dramatically! A mother of 13 children, 4 of whom still lived at home, had supper with her husband and told him she needed to rest a little. He went out to their barn, and she called him a while later but when he picked up, there was no answer. So he rushed inside and by the time he got ready to take her to the ER, she was almost gone. A sudden heart attack took her life that quickly.

I don’t know the family very well, but I do know she was a faithful godly woman who is now with Jesus. And yet, how their hearts must ache. Their family traditions are altered. Their circle of life is broken here on earth. They’ll have to lean on Jesus to comfort their souls.

I don’t want to be morbid here. But really, I don’t think about this maybe as often as I should. It brings perspective. It brings the realization that I am not as ‘in control’ of life as I like to think I am. It brings to mind the need to have such faith and confidence in the sovereignty of Almighty God, that I do not question His ways. They are past finding out.

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So in the hustle of this wonderful season, I want to remind all of us:

Take time to look into your child’s or mom’s or husband’s eyes, and let them know you love them!

Take time to breathe and sit down for hot chocolate with your husband.

Take time to pray for those who are grieving the loss of a mother, a child, a friend.

Take time to give generously to those who are less fortunate than you are, that beggar on the street corner or an orphan in Africa.

Take time to remember that our lives can change in an instant.

And make the most of the time we have to show love and kindness to everyone we meet

Merry Christmas!!!

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  1. Thanks for sharing this story. It always makes me so sad to hear stories of loss so close to Christmas. I know of a few already, and it has made me really cherish the time I have with my little ones and husband. Prayers for that family! Thank you for inspiring!

  2. Christmas time can be so busy! It’s so important to actually take the time to relax and remember why we celebrate. This year my mom made an advent with verses for each day and it’s helping me to remember the story of Jesus.

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