"Mama, I can't wait to come home. I am looking so forward to all of our familiar traditions, decorations, food--just home. Can't wait."
And so, little by little, I have filled the corners of our house and stuffed cookie tins and the fridge to prepare for our little home to be brimming with Clarkson culture. Nothing perfect, but all our own.
Some traditions are so age-old that they are precious just because we have celebrated them so often. Perusing a second hand shop as a new mama 32 years ago, I came upon these little English cottages. They have graced our table ever since. And the Christmas tree cake, decorated for a zillion years by my children who loved making it their own, is alway served, amongst other goodies, at our Carol Sing Christmas open house each year.
Greetings from cold (-4 F. last night) Colorado this last week of advent. With 2 children home and 3 to go, I am preparing my heart and my home for lots of loved ones in the days ahead.
This week will be filled with traditional dinners, our Clarkson open house, a traditional lunch with my girls, a yearly brunch with a friend who is the best cook and serves us each year, a shepherd's meal, a Christmas morning brunch out and so much more. Our weeks are generally not this busy, but everyone is coming home a week late, so we are stuffing all of our traditional activities into one week. Slowly, little by little, over the years, we have placed anchors into our lives that have helped our family feel like we are part of a community of people we are committed to seeing every year. It will be a busy, swirling time for us.
A lot will be required of me as the anchor of joy, good attitudes, good natured moods, atmosphere, in this crew of 7 in my home the next few weeks. Knowing that I am sometimes taken by surprise by all the pressures that come my way during this season of homecoming, I am learning to prepare my heart and my home way before the frenzy begins. And so I am arming my heart to be prepared for all the celebrating, conflicts, secrets shared, spirits soothed, comfort needed, ears open and love given and "too much sugar" weeks. I am the main confidant, cook, and orchestrator for everything that happens, so my own personal preparation is essential to the way the memories come together.
I have shared some of these thoughts on my podcast this week. I hope my podcast will give you a refreshing moment in your week.
To end this Christmas week well, I wanted to provide you with a some small gifts and giveaways.
First, I wanted to share a wonderful musical venture you might enjoy this week. Joel had so many respond to us about his new album Melodies for the Mended Wood, Vol. 1, he's made the first five tracks available for you to stream on your computer or phone this week to bring music to your world. Listen to it below, and If you want to purchase it to keep, it's currently 50% off! Only $5 through this week! A Great Gift for those who love the book.
Next, our friend, Scott Turansky, has a wonderful giveaway for parents that I know you will love. I know you will love this free download. He shares a heartfelt philosophy of reaching the hearts of children with us. Enjoy!
Finally, Clay and I would like to give away one free Conference ticket to one of you. We so believe that these conferences change lives and we want one of you to have it as our gift. To fellowship together, to have time to breathe, to be with like-minded women gives life back to weary ones amidst the journey of motherhood. A free $119 ticket to the conference of your choice!
Just leave us a comment below to tell of sharing this blog post and you will be entered to win one conference ticket.
Christmas Cheer to all of you. Be blessed with peace this week.