Tuesday, December 25, 2012


I am in the midst of the nap time routine when I hear a familiar roar coming up the road. Any other time of year, I am less than eager for what our sweet mail lady, Mary leaves. However, December brings a new excitement for the one o'clock hour as I run to the box to find it overflowing with beautiful cards that proclaim the good news that the holidays are a'comin.

There are countless things to enjoy about the Christmas season but cards have got to be one of my absolute favorites. As the sender, it is a chance for reflection, a way to sum up the year. It is also a chance for connection, a way to say even if life gets so busy that we don't get to talk, you are in our hearts and on our minds. For these reasons, I enjoy putting time into the process. There is always the search for the right picture and some years require a more detailed letter about the events of the past year.

When I saw the template for this year's card, I immediately knew it was the one. I continued to search but couldn't help but come back to the simply stated “Blessed” photo card. A year ago, I was on my fifth out of six chemotherapy treatments and just coming out of my chemo “hangover” to enjoy Christmas morning with our kids and both sets of parents. I was blessed then as I am today, a year later, feeling healthy and, quite honestly, the strongest I have felt in all my 35 years. 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those that love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 is written on the back of the card. I was reminded of the verse one day as I sat questioning The Lord on why certain things had turned out the way they did. God had certainly shown me His Goodness in the depths of my journey through breast cancer so why had I already forgotten this truth in that moment? I was reminded yet again that sometimes we need to be standing on the mountaintop looking back to see how His Good is being worked out.

As the receiver of cards, it is also a time of reflection, an opportunity to pause and thank The Lord for all the beautiful people that fill our lives. For this reason, I have a special tree that hangs in our kitchen to display all the wonderful greetings. Every time we gather to eat as a family, the kids' attention is drawn to the tree hanging next to us. Sweet smiling faces posed as a family or enjoying a fun vacation, illustrations of the nativity, written descriptions of our Savior--to me it all represents God's Grace and I am prompted to whisper a Christmas thank you.

Thank you for being one of those beautiful people that fill our lives and Merry Christmas from the Hamiltons!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


This week my boy turned five. Why does “5” seem like such a big year. Is it just the start of school? Is it because of the shift in independence that I hear about? Perhaps it is the evolution from an animated-themed birthday party to all things football?

I am certain it has something to do with Kindergarten, independence and seeing him share the common ground of sports with his daddy. But for me I think it so huge because it is all about trust. (Let's be real, every day of parenting is about trust). As he starts to venture out from the shelter of this momma's wing, I have to trust that what we have spent the first four years pouring into him will yield the best possible return. I have to trust that he can respond without a glance toward mommy and daddy when he is asked a question. And when given choices, he will make decisions based on what he knows to be right and good. I have to trust that when he steps into that elementary school, his little life is in the hands of the One who holds all power and the ultimate victory.

It seems easy enough to say but where does this kind of trust come from? I wish I could say I have it within but the truth is…trusting in matters regarding those you love more than your own life can only come from looking toward the One who loves us all more than Himself. Doesn't it all-trust, loving our kids and Christmas for that matter all come back to the truth of John 3:16?

“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so thatwhoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” (John 3:16 AMP)