I do love being swept up in the good spirit of Christmastime. The house is cozy in the evenings with the tree glowing and the candles and window lights flickering. Wrapping presents with different kids, having secrets...frosting several dozen cut-out cookies, and being surprised when they are completely gone when I return from shopping...the knowledge that my oldest son will be home soon, lounging his big self on the couch and gently teasing the little ones, his toughness not hiding his soft heart....knowing that baby Anya will soon meet all the ones who love her already, and will delight in every expression she makes, and kiss her little cheekies until her mama wants her back...the stockings are washed and hung, the box of treats that will fill them is overflowing. The tree is surrounded by presents already, and lots of those presents are already guessed, from the shape of the packages, which doesn't diminish the kids' excitement. Puppies will be here soon, and that alone is reason for rejoicing.
In all this, I know the most important thing is that I remain in a spirit of self-acknowledgement, that I have that constant connection with Jesus. He said, "follow me", and I will. So many rejoice in his birth, yet few really experience that peace and happiness that comes with truly walking in His footsteps. One thing I have been so thankful for lately is the work that is going on in my older kids. They work on their own salvations, and it is very evident in the way they deal with each other, they are learning how to humble themselves, how to get along, how to encourage each other on this walk of faith. It is enough to make my heart almost burst when I see two who struggle to get along, going beyond that and being good to each other. This is no small feat, to live in this house with so many who have different personalities and who are so strong-willed. Yet they are working on it, and it is good.
And in the midst of all this, I know that in a few days Paul will be home again, and I can't wait. When I met him, way way back in 1982, I was just a girl. I was not converted, I was a bad girl who lied to the bouncer at the bar where I met Paul, who was on his last day of Christmas break and was dragged out the door by his younger and more outgoing brother, since Paul had spent most of break in his room playing his guitar....I lied to get into that bar, because I was sixteen years old, and one had to be eighteen to get in. I had no I.D., so I told the guy at the door that I had left it home, and that my birthday was July tenth 1963, which was two years earlier than the actual date. He believed me. So there I was, just standing around with my cousin, looking around, and I saw him. Believe me when I say it was Love At First Sight. He was so cute. He had on a navy blue v-neck velour pullover, which he had probably gotten for Christmas. (I had size 7 jeans on, but that is beside the point:)) Anyway. I liked him right away. He was respectful and funny and so GOOD. To me, he was such a country boy, he had no desire to dress up or be stylish, he was just clean and neat and...just so cute. I honestly loved him right from the start. So it is as much as a surprise to me as it is to you that I love him even more now than I did then. It has just increased more and more through the years, even though we are very different. He is such an organized person, he gets things done with no procrastination. He is busy and capable and smart and can figure anything out. Anyway. I miss him terribly, yet I am SO thankful that we still have such love.
So, I have cleaned up my eating lately. I will spare the boring details, but I am back on track. I have lost a few pounds again, and would like to continue in that, of course. I read tons of blogs and articles about healthy lifestyles, and I believe that the low-carb, no grains except for some occasional oats, is the way to go. Lots of veggies, fewer fruits, meats, fats. No sweets, no junk food. And of course I read success stories, and also some lamentations about re-gain. Regain, or "the creep". After losing alot of weight, the metabolism seems to change, and even if one doesn't go back to the way one ate before, just adding a little junk back in here and there, causes that weight to creep back up. Not fair, but it happens. So then statistically, 95% of those who lose a substantial amount of weight gain it back. (that must be one of the most tragic sentences ever written). But. I am determined to be in the 5%. Bound and determined.
Anyway. I have sat here long enough, today I stay home and get things done around here. (Yesterday I did some shopping with my son Samuel, and oh my goodness, if you want to have fun, go shopping with Sam....)