Thursday, November 23, 2006

Traditions

Don't you love traditions? I like to have traditions with a purpose, focusing my time and treasuring on blessing someone special. This special season, begins, for me, with the American Girl Trip to Chicago. I have gotten to organize this trip each year for the bookstore I work at, and I take a sweet little girl with me each year. I try to choose a little girl who is old enough to enjoy herself, and good enough to endure a bit of a long day. This year, I got a double helping of BOTH! I took 2 precious girls from my homeschool P.E. class. What darlings! What angels! Never "I'm cold". Never "I'm tired". Only "Thank you, Miss Gretchen, thank you so much!" Oh, you precious darlings, I would take you a thousand times!

Last year, I cooked Thanksgiving pies and other treats with several of my pastor's kids, and I wanted to repeat that tradition this year. We had just
gotten our camera last year, and here is picture one of them took that day. Just below it is a repeat picture taken this year. By the way, I'm looking so fab both years in my P.E. ensembles, aren't I? I only wish I could post a couple pictures of these cuties rolling out pie crust (Anna) or covered in evaporated milk (Stephen), but they aren't my kids, so I better not.

I will be leaving these precious friends soon (see how I feel about that on my post My Isaac), but the Lord is so good. He has given me fresh insight into one of His perfections, His Immutibility. While weeping over how nothing could be the same again, it dawned on me that what I truly love about any wonderful event or tradition is HIM! And He is the Eternal One, the Same yesterday, today and forever! Oh yes, we change! Children grow up, I grow older, homes, and families and relationships ebb and flow. But the Great Unchanging One makes it all bearable as He whispers to me "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

I was inspired last year by Noel Piper's book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions, to begin making traditions that turn our eyes on Jesus, especially at Christmas. I recommend this book as perfect holiday reading. Begin a tradition that makes drives your attention upward, and worship the One who remains the Rock of Ages.


15 comments:

Gretchen said...

Okay, somehow my pictures did not upload. I will soon remedy this, I promise!

Anonymous said...

My pastor's wife gave me Noel Piper's book after I had Elijah. What a great find!
One of my favorite traditions is making Christmas cookies with 2 of my great friends. Each year we have added children to our family, so I don't know how much baking can be done this year with 6 kids under 4! Whether or not it happens this year, the memories of years past will last a lifetime!

Anonymous said...

You are such a sweet, inspiring person!!!! I am so glad I found your blog...actually I am thankful to G-knee and her blog for reuniting me with all of you great MBBC people! I better go tell her....

Gretchen said...

Nettie -- I should have known you would have a Noel Piper book. Do you do Advent? I bought her Advent calendar, and it is great. Do your kids have the book "Most of All, Jesus Loves You" by her? I love its multi-ethnic flare.

Sara -- Thanks for all the encouragement! It's pretty easy to do fun things with kids that aren't yours to keep forever. You always get to be the good guy! :)

megan said...

i love your blue kitchen aid mixer! I always enjoy reading your blog. you are such a good descriptive writer. i know i will continue to read it, even after you move. i have really appreciated all the time and effort you put into the kids downstairs. my boys love miss gretchen. you are always an attentive listener to caleb and neil. that means a lot when someone puts that much effort into your children.

Anonymous said...

I love Traditions too! I'm going to have to borrow another post from you and talk about my favorite christmas tradition! Stay posted...and keep posting. Love ya,G

Gretchen said...

Meg -- My blue kitchen aid is PRECIOUS to me! It is called "glacier" and discontinued. I like that it is original. I totally LOVE your boys! They are halarious!

G-Knee -- steal away, of course!

Anonymous said...

I don't have her advent book, but I have looked into it. We have never celebrated Advent, but last year I became very interested in it since a few of our friends celebrate. I went out and bought a couple of books right after Christmas. So this will be our first year to do it as a family. We figured Elijah would be old enough to understand (some) of it this year, so hopefully it sticks (both with him and us!)
I'll have to look into her other children's book that you mentioned. I could spend thousands of $ on books alone.
*sigh* . . .

Kelly said...

Hi Gretchen,

So glad you visited me--I have enjoyed exploring your posts and look forward to having another book-loving bloggy friend.

FYI--I saw on one of your posts that you visited Southern Seminary. My husband and I lived there while he got his degree at Southern and I got my masters at University of Louisville. We loved our time in Louisville!

Sarah said...

Gretchen, thanks for the book suggestion. I love books about family and Christmastime--I will have to make it the next read on my list~!

Steph said...

Hey Gret
Didja have fun in Ohio? Yes, it seems that my life right now is destined to be little boys and sports...very ironic since I used to like my "frills" and was interested in sports for the pure social aspect!lol But my puppy Mia will be my "girly" girl - I keep trying to put bows in her hair but she keeps trying to eat them...
I was in your store this week but no Miss Gretchen. We "stopped" the train twice and stepped on the cat's tail (accident!) But we did come away with Thomas whistles that my sons love to blow while I'm on the phone! :)

GloryandGrace said...

I LOVE your profile picture! Where did you find it?

Josh said...

Finally! "Jeish" has added some fresh content to his blog! You can get there from Gret's links section.

Josh said...

I can pick you up whenever you like.

Amber Smith said...

Gretchen-
I read through several of your posts and was extremely encouraged by you. I noticed that you mentioned the CDG conference in Minnesota. I went to that two years ago and am strongly considering going again this year. It was such a wonderful conference. I have purchased both the Old and New Testament curriculums for use in our home.

It was so refreshing to read about your life and your obvious love for Christ. I wish you lived closer. I have no doubt that you and I would be instant friends. Oh, and, my daughter is 5. :)

Amber