Tangled December

December was a tangle of projects and problems. Not trials for our family, but for many others in our neighborhood. As we did our best to support and help many around us who endured hardships it pulled us from a few things around here. I had lots of plans for getting loose threads taken care of in December.

Instead I ended up with loose threads, tangled threads, clipped threads, and knotted threads. One of the threads that hung loose was blogging. One of the clipped threads was getting the tree decorated.

I was a bit sad that I wasn’t able to do everything, but some things are more important than decorating for Christmas and blogging.

I thought I would share a few photos from January 2nd. It was one of those awakening moments for me brought on by the play of a child.

CooleyBug brought down her two daughters, PluckyBug (5 years old) and LittleBug (2 years old) to pick up some children’s camp chairs that we didn’t need anymore.

PluckyBug was moving the pieces of the Snowman Nativity around.

Which was fine with me, it’s cute and made of resin and calls out, “Touch me!”

Originally I had the Nativity set up with the stable as the backdrop and all the pieces in front with the baby Jesus in the center, just like you would see a Nativity set up anywhere.

When they left I went shut out the lights and went to do the evening chores.

The next morning I walked by and noticed how PluckyBug had set up the Nativity. The traditional set-up didn’t suit her.

At first it was odd to see Mary, Jesus, and the lamb behind the stable, instead of in front.
I wondered why she had put a Wise Man near the stable instead of Joseph.
It seemed strange.

But as I thought about she left the pieces set up, I realized that PluckyBug had put CooleyBug, herself, and her little sister (LittleBug) inside the house/stable with an Angel and a Wise Man standing close by outside the house. It looks as if the Angel and the Wise Man are there ready to help at a moment’s notice.

Do you see Joseph? The snowman in the green shirt is the one we use for Joseph,
even though he looks like a shepherd, he’s Joseph to us.
He is all the way on the right side of the chest.
If he moved any further he would fall off the edge.

DaddyBug is in the Navy. He left for Boot Camp at the beginning of December. If he makes it through all the training in the next year, he will be a Navy SEAL.

He is just about as far away from the family as he can get right now. I think he got to talk to his family on Christmas Day.

But DaddyBug isn’t alone. Not as a snowman, and not in real life. He’s with other men, standing side by side, working together and learning together. The snowmen look as if they are a small army watching and protecting the little family as well as the Angel and the Wise Man so far away from them. They are strong, wise leaders and companions working together. Two Wise Men, a shepherd, and Joseph.

Here is the whole Nativity as PluckyBug set it up.
At first it looked a little odd, now it looks just right.

This is how PluckyBug’s life is set up. DaddyBug is away preparing to protect this great nation of ours. She is at home with her Mom and Little Sister.

I’m glad she knows there are Angels and Wise Men to watch over their family, because in real life there are. There are neighbors and friends and extended family and a church family close by to help whenever they are needed.

CooleyBug is an amazing woman, strong and wonderful. She can fix sprinkler systems and dryers. She can milk goats and garden. She can raise two girls and support a wonderful husband. But I don’t want her to think she is alone, because she isn’t.

We are blessed to help out from time to time. If CooleyBug has any questions about her goats, we do our best to answer. When she has the chance to go visit family, we offer to feed and milk the goats so she isn’t tied too tightly to the farm.

I never want to forget the sacrifice this family is making. Quietly and steadfastly they are giving up togetherness to protect our family, our farm, and our country.

Thanks… to all those who serve and protect us.

Giving up the decorations on the tree and the other Christmas trappings was no sacrifice, not compared to all the trials so many of our friends and neighbors are having this year.

Unexpected death of a dear husband and debilitating injury have knocked on friend’s and family’s doors, too. Turmoil and trials near and far.

May God watch over you and protect you. And your families.

And help us all to be Angels and Wise Men bound by strong threads to your families whenever they are in need of friendly hands or helping hands or comforting hands.

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