11:38 AM

It's the first day of December and also unseasonably warm. Well, given our State, unseasonable may be stretching it a bit. In my opinion, it's HIGHLY unseasonable. And by that, I mean, anything that doesn't require a coat is way too warm. What can I say?  I am a winter girl!

In spite of that, we bought our Christmas tree and plan to decorate it today with as much enthusiasm as if it were dumping buckets of snow outside!

Kyle's back in the house for the first time in a week with no plans for really going anywhere for awhile. Yeah!! I have so missed my best friend.

Dorien has a double ear infection, a super snotty nose, a nasty cough and required a trip to the doctor Friday. And as much as I detest having to give him antibiotics, I am grateful that they seem to clear up infections that he otherwise battles for ages. Poor little guy has been sick on and off for a solid month. Well, he and the rest of us.

Which makes him even more clingy than usual. The positive side of that is that I get as much snuggling and cuddles as I could possibly want from my precious little boy. There have been so many moments in recent weeks when I've just gazed at his sleeping face, hearing him breathe, watching him sleep in utter relaxation as his arms and legs are draped over my torso (his favorite position to sleep in...) and been brought to tears. I am overwhelmed with how much it's possible to love these precious gifts. I feel blessed beyond measure and at the same time, ridiculously inadequate to be all they need me to be.

Which brings me to my knees before the Lord, asking that He supply me with the gentleness, wisdom, words, and discernment required to be the best mother possible to my three. 

 I realize more and more how much I need my Good Shepherd. I tend to stray off by myself and quickly become overwhelmed by predators such as fear, worry and anxiety.  As much as I don't like to think of myself as a sheep, I am. I may not be a follower of groups, but I'm far too quick to become consumed in things of my life and gradually wander from the side of my Shepherd.  I've also come to realize how much security and safety there is in His presence. 

It's only at His side that I am safe. Only there that I am able to relax and remember how faithfully He provides for me and my family.  Only there that  I am able to rest and enjoy my blessings.  To sleep without my mind racing with a thousand thoughts and plans and strategies and lists. "I will both lie down in peace and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

These are good things to dwell on as opposed to the frantic nature this month can easily assume. 
I love Christmas. I love looking out my window and seeing my neighbors put up their Christmas decorations. I love seeing people rake the leaves in their yards. I love thinking about making gifts and baking cookies or treats for my friends, loved ones and neighbors.  I love telling strangers Merry Christmas and seeing them smile genuinely at you.  

Most of all, I love that we have a reason at all to celebrate this month. The greatest birthday of all time.
My Savior. My Shepherd. My King.

I hope you find ways this weekend to get in the spirit of Christmas, even if you're also in short sleeves!

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