“Noel”. The other night as we were closing the pharmacy, one of my technicians asked me what “Noel” meant. This professing Christ follower of 26 years was found embarrassingly stumped. Noel. While two of them waited for an answer, I quickly ran through in my mind the words of the carol, you guessed it, The First Noel, and still came up ignorant. Although too late, at my first opportunity, I Googled “noel” as fast as my fingers could punch the keys and this is what I found. Noel refers to “the Christmas celebration or a Christmas carol”. According to the beloved carol, the angels were announcing to a world that a “celebration” was in order. The Savior, OUR Savior, had been born! “Noel! Born is the king of Israel!” So “Noel” my dear family and sweet friends! We send these greetings as we begin the most spectacular celebration of the year. For those of you who are interested, here is our update.
Julia, who will be 7 in January: I love her affinity for a good book or story, her great affection for her “Daddy”, her desire to get the full experience in all she tries, and that, one day, she wants to move to the woods, build a log cabin and play her guitar. (Brighton insists that he would have to go with her because “girls can’t carry logs around on their backs”.) What I learned new about her is that she wants “abyss-like” darkness to sleep, likes to take her time, prefers the outdoors, and values deeply her friendships. My favorite thing about her right now is her adventurous personality which is expressed in her desire to try new things, some of which turn out fine and some of which cause her to end up in my lap.
Brighton, who just turned 5: I love his enthusiasm for life, his ego-centric prayers like, “Don’t let the mosquitoes get on my birthday cake.”, the intensity with which he plays T-ball and soccer, and that he still loves his blanket. What I learned new about Brighton are the ways his little planner brain manifests. It might be in placing his clothes on the floor for the next day in the shape of a “little boy” complete with underwear, or in making his lunch for school, or in asking, “What car will you pick me up in?” if we’ve asked him to leave something in the car he really likes, or the thing that at times drives me to pray, in his consistently asking, “What are we having for breakfast (lunch, dinner)?” Also, I was shocked to learn that he possesses a surgeon-like ability to play pick up sticks and that he has a knack for picking out baseball chants on his keyboard. My favorite thing about him right now is that he still wants to live at home after he gets married so he can talk and have coffee with me at night and I can tuck him in afterwards.
Jeff continues to enjoy his full time role with Tarrant Net (www.tarrantnet.org) and his work with a 3 year old church plant in Keller (www.visitacf.org). We are often reminded of Candleridge days as we see entire families changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am into my second year of home schooling and truly love it. My favorite part, besides getting to see the “I get it!” look, is that we have been able to read so many wonderful books. I am also getting to re-learn (learn?) history right along with the children. I enjoy my time with them but on some days I find myself longing for a nap in a dark, dark room, wishing for a full-time cook, pining for a strong cup of coffee, or seriously hunting for my well hidden dark chocolate. I get the coffee and chocolate more often than I get that nap which, after all things considered, is a toss up.
May your “Noel” be full of moments of worship and praise of the “Babe in poverty” whose “blood hath mankind bought”. “Noel! Born is the King of Israel!!”