It’s been a year of weariness for me in many ways, and I have been very comforted by the lyrics of O Holy Night during Advent and Christmas. Striking lines like “the weary world rejoices / for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn” are sung glibly because we hear them so often, but are still very meaningful. I love that the second verse talks about the King of Kings lying “thus in lowly manger / in all our trials born to be our friend” – Almighty God experiencing humility that he might be a friend and comforter in our trials! The last verse, beginning with “Truly He taught us to love one another,” is such a reminder of how the afflictions of this year have brought a new sense of reliance and companionship in my marriage, too. This has been one of the greatest blessings of the year.
For the 2010 holidays, we were very grateful to have a few short days with both sides of the family during Christmas. I have such a short amount of time off work each year and we have to calculate the vacation hours carefully to make the most of it. There’s always so much to decide between – beyond family visits, there is also the option for time with friends, projects on our house, and adventures with just the two of us! We had great weather for our eight-hour drive and enjoyed some long chats in the car on both ends of a very action-packed trip. Unfortunately we took almost no photos of our own, but my sister got a camera so we have lots of lovely pictures from that part of our trip. Here are a few highlights:
After this next one, my Grandma so politely said “Um, Beth… I think everyone else was trying to look good for this shot.”
Also, in that deer-in-the-woods sculpture (we all want it and tell Grandma to pass it on if she’s ever changing her decor), I just discovered a unicorn. Who puts a unicorn in the same scene with deer?
My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice