Monday, December 25, 2006

~: Christmas 2006 :~

Merry Christmas from the whole Nitty.Gritty. family!
Our day has been spent at home, almost too perfect and peaceful that it makes us think something must be about to happen. =) {We have a track record of perfect days turning out otherwise.}
The kids had a full night sleep, the gift opening was fun and happy, rather than dramatic and chaotic...Chip baked Gruyere Cheese Souffle...and I was showered, with hair and make-up done before any of this got underway. To top it off, Ava has been almost good as gold- she has gone from one new toy to the next...I think Santa brought her an extra-large attention span today. It's felt a real-life Christmas miracle. =)
Of course the first thing I did this morning was thanked God for the way He has more than filled my heart with His blessings, love and goodness. Especially in contrast to the way our Christmas felt just five years ago. We were in a beautiful place (The American Club & Spa in Kohler, Wisconsin) with just our family (our family...minus Teagan) but it just didn't feel like Christmases of past. We were hurting and trying to make the best of the holiday with raw emotions and pain.
This year I can't believe that we actually have hearts, that although they miss Teagan all the time, and the memories of what we have lived through are still clear as ever, that are full of love and joy and peace. I can only explain that by saying that we have asked God to pour Himself out in our family- we have needed Him every step of the way.
And just as God sent His son Jesus to earth so many years ago- as a gift of love and joy and peace to any who were willing to receive Him, He has done it in our hearts and home as well. I am so happy to be able to say that God's promises have been true.
I remember feeling so bad about having to leave Teagan out of our family picture the past several years. It's been tough to find a way to include her in our photos without making it seem too gloomy or unusual. This year, when looked through the pictures I snapped of the kids (and even of Chip and I) I didn't feel like I was 'leaving Teagan out'. Instead, when I looked at the pictures, I couldn't help but think how much Teagan is still a part of each of us in our way. She must look down from Heaven and be glad that we have been able to find love and joy and peace...all while wishing we could have her here with us every single day.
I am learning that who I am and who I continue to become will always have a part of Teagan inside. It's like the true Christmas spirit. It doesn't just have to be for Christmas. In fact the elements that make up the true Christmas spirit should shine from all of us no matter the location, day or time of year. My biggest hope is to take a piece of it with me into everything I do. Afterall I have been given, it's the least that I can do.
Merry {Nitty.Gritty.} little Christmas from my heart and home to you.


Tracy said...

Merry Christmas to my favorite blogger!!! = ) You have been such an inspiration and a beautiful light to others...especially me! Your writing is encouraging and uplifting and every post yousomehow bring all the GLORY back to the ONE the deserve our PRAISE!!!
I am not sure how I even came upon your site but I look forward to reading it everyday! I have so much more to say and I would love to email you...I can't seem to find your email listed anywhere on your site. Over the next few days, can you please drop me a note, if you don't mind.....Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Jody!

I have been busy lately but wanted to be sure to stop by Nitty.Gritty and send a hug today:)

It made my heart skip a beat to see Teagan's face today. I am sure she is looking down upon you smiling, and who knows, she might have had a little hand in keeping Ava occupied today :)

Merry Christmas to you and all your angels!

Jana said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas! I'm so're a very blessed lady!! Best wishes for a wonderful 2007.

Anonymous said...

Big hugs to you, Jody! I was wishing all day yesterday that you'd have a blessed and uneventful Christmas. So glad it turned out that way.;)

mary h.

Anonymous said...

As always... a blessing!

Anonymous said...

is teagan's ribbon the pink one with the white stitching on your christmas card?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have had a really wonderful Christmas. :)

annette said...

Jody, I am a huge fan of your. I have so enjoyed this Christmas season with all that your family does. Please continue to bless us with your life...I too am wondering which 'ribbon' is for Teagan? This spring we lost a child from our church whom we have loved and watch grow up...our hearts are forever changed so I cannot imagine how you have been changed without Teagan...much love..

Anonymous said...

I am a couple days late but that was so beautiful. Teagan indeed lives on through her family. I can really relate to your feelings of loss and how only God can get you through. I have felt the same in my life and the loss I have endured (thankfully) have helped me to really appreciate the good in my life and in the world.

Thanks for sharing with us. Love and blessings to your family.