Monday, January 4, 2010

Editor's Letter, January

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it…Enough Already!

I keep hearing that the “Christmas Snow Storm” was a record snowfall in one storm, in one day, and the record for Christmas Day. I also heard that this month has been the snowiest December on record. As I drive around and see all the drifts and piles of snow, I believe it! I think Tim, Cody, and Morgan, who have been busy scooping out the cattle feed bunks and making sure they have water and are bedded, would agree that we’ve had enough snow.

As Christmas Eve grew closer, I became disappointed with the realization that we probably wouldn’t make it to church that night. I’ve attended the same church since I was 16 years old, and Tim, Cody, Morgan and I all attend now. The Christmas Eve service, with the beautiful flowers and music, inspiring message, and candlelight singing of “Silent Night,” has always been one of our favorites. Celebrating that evening with family and church friends was a high point of the Christmas season.

As I thought about it more, however, this came to mind; Christmas is not about decorations, or songs, or even friends and family. It is about…a Baby…a Baby who would grow up to die for us in the ultimate expression of love. It is about …love. It is about Someone loving us enough to send His Son to earth, in the most unassuming way, with no flowers, no music (for the Baby in the manger), and probably, no family or friends present other than Mary and Joseph.

Perhaps, with the storm that kept so many of us at home, God was sending us a message to remember that the decorations, music, message, family, friends, and food are all part of the celebration…but even without those things (some of my friends were even out of electricity for a time), the main reason for the celebration--the Christ Child—was still present. And He will always be there, not just on Christmas, but every day, every hour, every minute, forever. And that is the best gift we will ever be given.

Thankfully, snow didn’t interfere with celebrating Morgan’s 16th birthday on December 28th! We all had fun thinking back to her birth. The baby (we didn’t know if we were having a girl or a boy) wasn’t due until the end of January, and we had (we thought) a good plan. Cody’s Gramma Burke would be on call to babysit Cody when the baby was born. My sister would fly in to stay with us for a few weeks after she was born, to help with both kids. Tim would be back from his annual trip to the Denver Stock Show before the birth.

Well, we had a plan…but God had His own plan. Morgan was born almost a month early. Gramma Burke was in Minnesota celebrating her own mother’s 90th birthday. Tim called her to announce the birth during the birthday party, and he could hear them all cheering at the news that there was another girl in the family. Aunt Becky’s plane was due that day…but came in hours after she’d been born (I was sure glad to have her help as I learned to manage two kids!). And Cody had to stay (very unhappily) with a brand new babysitter (she was the sister of a babysitter we’d had many times, so we knew she could handle it). And Morgan was born and baptized before Tim left for Denver!

Those years have flown, and Tim and I (and Cody) are blessed every day to have such a wonderful daughter (and sister, although he is sometimes reluctant to admit it). Happy Birthday, Morgan! And many more.

As I begin a new year (and a new decade!) I always wonder what it will bring. I have my own plans and goals, but I know God has His plans for me, too. As I go into 2010, I will be encouraged and guided by the following verses:

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

I pray for God’s guidance and blessings for you and your families in 2010!


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