Where Did the Christmas Tree Come From?

As I am sitting here admiring my Christmas tree, I started thinking “where did the tradition of bringing a live tree in the house, wrapping electricity (in the beginning, candles) around it, and then stuffing paper under it?” So I did some digging.

It was actually pretty cool. According to History.com, the first notice of people bringing in an evergreen was with the vikings when they would want to bring some light into their homes during to the long winter season. But the first Christmas Tree was actually started in Germany and they were called Paradise Trees since the first ornaments were apples. Can anyone guess the connection? Yes, it was to the Garden of Eden. And from there the Christmas tree evolved, but didn’t make it to main stream until Queen Victoria encouraged her German husband to set up a tree like he did as a child. It was published in a newspaper and of course everyone wanted to get one. After that the production of ornaments started in Germany and once the light bulb was made the candles were replaced.

But the Christmas tree is a tradition that I love the most when it comes the less religious side of the season. I also know that many Christians don’t put up a tree due to the fact that those who celebrate the winter solstice also use an evergreen tree as a sign of fertility. Whether or not that is really used much anymore, they still will not put up a tree in their homes. They think it to be a pagan thing which I think is silly since it all depends on your perspective. I guess that would mean we should celebrate Easter either since the eggs and bunnies are a sign of fertility too. But I look beyond that and see memories to be made and the rising of my Savior.

So I just thought that was interesting about the Christmas tree. I know I love my tree and enjoy spending evenings just sitting under it with a cup of cocoa and my family.  It’s the perfect time to tell my daughter the true reason for the season. I get to tell her about how God sent His son to be born so that He could be the Savior of the world. It’s a time of hope and renewal and I love every moment of it.

Merry Christmas!

 

My Song For 2016

This song is my song for the year. It has helped me get up when I just wanted to lie down and give up, it has been a reminder that God is with me no matter how I might feel in that moment, and it has shown me that I can’t change anything. The only thing I can really do in this life is to look up and keep going forward. I think the song tells the rest of this perfectly and better than I could. Enjoy 🙂

 

(I am not being paid to post this video)

Exam Time – Practice What I’ve Learned

So this past weekend was my churches Christmas Women’s Event. It was awesome but there was an interesting story for me to get there. I have been doing a lot of study on stress and how to not let things get to me lately. I don’t know about you, but I am one that plans things out to the minute. I know exactly how long it takes me to get from point A to point B and how long something should take. So things go wrong, I get a little stressed out. Of course it was all out of my control so I don’t know why they bugged me so much. I guess I just like to have control so when it’s taken a way, I panic.

Well I have been really trying to fix that. I have been reading Joyce Meyer’s book Overload and she talks a lot just letting things go and rolling with life. Something I would like to think I do but I know I have a hard time with. Now, I am a very resourceful person and will figure out a solution to my change of plans or circumstance but the problem is I will concentrate all day on how the first plan went wrong. The thing is over and done with but I will stress myself out all day because I can’t let go about how my plan was better. Of course many times the new plan was actually better than my original plan, but I will still harbor about how my plans got ruined. Do I have anyone out there that can relate?

So, in Joyce’s book, she had some really great ideas on how to let things go and change patterns in your life to help with stress and coping with stress, and I have been using them. It’s actually quite amazing actually how you feel when you don’t try to control everything. Any way, let me tell you my story on how Satan decided yesterday was the perfect to give me an exam on what I have been learning.

Like I said, yesterday was the Christmas Event and I had been looking forward to this evening for weeks. I had my outfit all picked out and ready to go, I had things all out for my husband as he watched our daughter, and now I was just waiting to get ready to go. Morning of I woke up with this giant pimple on my chin. You know the type that if you keep messing with only gets bigger and bigger? Yeah, that was fun but I wasn’t going to worry about it and maybe it would be ready by the evening. Then the morning goes pretty smoothly as I took my husband to work and went grocery shopping. My daughter wanted to go to the gym but I  told her she needed to do quiet time first so she put herself down almost an hour early so we could go. Nothing to worry about right? A little pimple wasn’t going to ruin my day. Heck, during quiet time I actually got to write two chapters in my latest book I am writing!

Then the fun began after she woke up. See, I needed to take a shower and such to go to the event and I thought we were going to gym so I didn’t take one during quiet time and wrote instead. MY daughter wakes up and suddenly she doesn’t want to go to the gym anymore. Well, she had no choice and, after a yelling tantrum in the car all the way there, she was running into the doors to go play. Normally I would have said “screw it” and gone home but I know at the gym I would get to be able to get in peace and have a long shower.

Once I drop my daughter off in child care, I go to the locker room. I find a locker and try it out since it’s one of those digital ones that the batteries always die in and it worked so I out my stuff in and got ready for my shower. I go to lock it and now the battery is dead. So here I am in the towel and I have to unpack this one and find another. I try two more lockers and the same thing happens. Now I have to say this time I didn’t react the best but I didn’t react harshly. I finally found a working locker and went to take my shower.

I literally had one minute of hot water, and it was slowest time of the day for gym which means no one was there! Where the heck did all the hot water go. So instead of having a nice long hot shower, I was stuck with a cold military one. Can you see where I am saying that it had been exam time because having all these things back to back just seemed too ironic. It seemed like when I failed to get stressed out or mad about thing, Satan just tried another.

Well it didn’t stop at the shower since I just turned the water off and went to put my clothes on. As I was out dressing, my cami somehow snapped across my face. I have never done it before and I honestly I can’t figure out how I did it all together, but I do know this – it hurt really badly. Now I am really catching on to Satan’s plan and the reasoning side is trying to make the choice of let it go and move on or get angry and the reactive side just wants to wants to scream and throw a fit at this point. But I stay with my plan and keep staying clam.

Sadly, the test wasn’t over. Hair and Makeup went wrong and then I literally couldn’t get my bag out of the locker. But, finally, I was dressed and ready to go get my daughter. I sign her out and the topper of the exam happened. I snagged my lace shirt on something completely invisible on the wall. I went over the spot over and over again and couldn’t find anything that could have snagged my shirt. Satan was having such a fit that I wasn’t falling for his games that he snagged my shirt. My reaction? “Oh well, you can see it unless I point it out and, if I try to fix it, I’ll just make it worse.

I could just picture Satan at that point. He was probably kicking a screaming because I had failed his test and I went on to have a lovely evening at the even with my friends and family. But you know what? I felt good because I failed and I knew that God was smiling because I am actually learning from what I am studying.

Now the next time I might completely fail, but in that moment I had victory.

In These Past 25 Years

So this year I had my birthday. Yay! And I am now 25 years old… Yay! I don’t feel that old really. I still feel like a spicy sixteen year old but I am not one anymore. I am a mom and wife. I have gotten a college degree. I am now a homeowner. There are so many changes that have happened for me in these past twenty five years. I have gone from a child to an adult.

I look forward to the next twenty five years for sure. Within that time now it’s crazy to think that my daughter will graduate high school, my husband will retire and I will be an empty nester. Talk about another huge shift in life from where I am now with a working husband, a toddler and a very busy home. But I don’t take any of it for granted since I know how fast everything can be taken away. In a blink of an eye my plans can change and be taken down a different road. So these next twenty five years, I just want to enjoy the journey.

Moving On After a Miscarriage

Hello to the reader who is looking for hope and joy in life during a time that is confusing and heartbreaking. I too have had the gut wrenching experiences of four miscarriages and each one was just as hard as the first. I get it. With out last baby we lost, we found out the pathology report from our baby and it wasn’t good news. We had been trying for a year with four miscarriages back to back to back to back. We had a hunch what the problem was but we didn’t want to admit it. It’s the type of news that has led us to make the choice that we are done trying for a baby. It’s heart-wrenching, but my husband and I are at peace with it. So, until my husband can be seen, we are now trying to move on with our lives.

file0001896304704.jpg

We have been blessed with a little girl before all this loss and she is our light. I had had a tough time with the last pregnancy where I had to spend my time lying on the couch doing nothing which meant no playing with my daughter. So with me not being pregnant anymore, our daughter is sure happy to have her mommy back and my husband is glad to have his wife back .So now the question is, how to move on with life without forgetting our babies? I don’t think it is fully possible but we will be working on doing it. We have decided to still add to our family, but of the four legged type. We know that we want a dog now to add as our next family member and we can’t wait until we find the right doggie. It won’t fill the loss but it might bring in the light that we were expecting with our baby. Also it is important to still have a friend for our daughter and a way to show her that she isn’t the center of the universe even though she is the center of ours. I think for anyone who has lost a baby and is still looking for that love, a pet is a great way to go unless living situations don’t allow it.

The other way that we are moving on is to really spend time as a couple. I know the fear that there is with becoming intimate with your partner, but it is vital to get to the place where you can again. If you don’t, it will open the door to separation between you and your partner. Our fist loss took a real toll on our relationship because I was so afraid of sex with my husband. It wasn’t until after our fourth loss that we were able to engage right after the medical restrictions so I am in no way saying that it is easy to jump right back in bed. So do other things to make sure the intimacy stays there. You can simply go out on a date and just talk, or take a trip somewhere, or just simply cuddle on the couch. The ultimate thing is to stay connected.

So whether or not you choose to keep trying for another baby, or yo have to make the decision we have had to make, it’s ok. People who have never had a miscarriage will never fully understand the pain and loss you have gone through. They will try but they won’t succeed and many people say the wrong things with the intention of cheering you up. Moving on from losing a child doesn’t happen in a day but don’t let it disturb your relationships you had before. Losing the baby wasn’t yours or anyone’s fault, and you can’t let the grief tare you and your partner apart. That’s something I can truly say. You made the little life together and now you have to keep staying together because you are the only ones that know the pain. Only the two of you know how to comfort each other. So with my little two sense, that’s my suggestion to anyone who is trying to move forward through life right now. I don’t know what I would have done without my husband being there to walk with me when we lost our babies. It was only with our mutual love that we are together and our relationship that got us through the storm.

Keep your head up, my wonderful reader. You will move forward even though right now the reason you are searching for answers is because you are stuck. Keep trying and look for the good around you when it feels like there is so much darkness. Don’t forget what you have been blessed with already whether it is a child before the miscarriage or if it is just you and your partner. They are blessings in this life you can’t lose sight of. I know because I had to follow my own advice when I would start missing my babies. I couldn’t live in the “should have been’s” I needed to live in the “now and is’s”.

I pray for you and I hope you have found some hope and comfort in my words.

Sincerely,

Gracelyn