These are some of my favorite gifts I received this Christmas...
Clockwise: 1. Sonicare toothbrush. 2. Clinique perfume pencils. They are seasonal and come in packs on three. My sisters and I each got one. So genius! No spills or messes. Just fresh smelling! 3. All You magazine subscription. Always filled with tons of thrifty things, which we all know I love! 4. Cold Tangerines. I heard this was a good book. Sounded intriguing! 5. Starbucks gift cards. These make me so happy! 6. Food processor. You know you're an adult when an electric toothbrush and a food processor are on your list of favorite gifts!
We have tons of family. Between my husband and I we have FIVE families. I think when people hear our story, they feel sorry for us. And most people don't get, which I don't expect them to. For example, I mentioned how we have all five of our families in Houston, so even when we go in town for a weekend, we are constantly trying to see everyone - just to make time for at least one meal with each parent. To this, my friend responded that she understood because when they visit her husband's family, they have to split time between his parents (still married) and his brother... People don't get it. But that's okay. I've accepted that. And I know my friend meant well. Maybe it's better that people don't quite get it. I don't want people to feel sorry for us. This is just how life is. I've never known differently. In college, I came home for a weekend and tried to divide my time between three parents.
So yes, Christmas is crazy... and sometimes a bit stressful. When Four Christmases, with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn, came out last year, I thought this was going to be our movie, showing the reality of divorced families and having so many Christmases - in a humorous light of course. But in actuality, this movie treated marriage as an institution to be avoided. Reese and Vince's characters had decided never to get married, and the movie actually ended with them vowing to stick to this decision. It made me sad because this was the perfect opportunity to promote marriage by having these characters vow to make a generational change and show what divorce is doing to society, but of course, Hollywood missed this opportunity...
With Christmas two days away, I am reminded of this movie because even with RMom out of town, we still have four families, rather than five, to see on Christmas. Like I said, at times this is overwhelming, but at other times, I am amazed at the many families that love us and that we love. I would never choose to be a child of divorce, but I would say we are blessed with how things have worked out. Everyone gets along. SMom actually invited my dad and his siblings and Brendon's parents and extended family over on Christmas eve! I am so thankful for the way things have turned out. We couldn't ask for better families.
I am done! I am finished with school for the semester! And I am completely finished with Bible and theology classes! Yea!! I love both of those classes, but they are a ton of work. So it's nice to have those out of the way. Only counseling classes left. And now I am actually on to my internship at Grace Community Church, Plano, where I will actually be counseling clients! So exciting, yet so scary, right?! I'm excited to finally be using my degree.
It's one of those seasons... prayers are needed left and right... for grieving, for healing, for comfort, for good prognoses. None of it directly affects us. But many of those we love are affected by the hardships of life now and in need of prayer now... therefore it does affect us. We hurt with them.
A friend sent me this verse. Much appreciated. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
I just sent an email to friends for prayer. Rather than retyping, I'm copying and pasting. I'm drained.
I just wanted to send you a quick update on Ian, Tarryn's dad. He's not doing well at all and is back in the hospital. They are looking into hospice care, if he gets to come home. It's all just really sad. I know they aren't expecting it to be much longer before he dies. So I would just ask for your prayers over the next few days for the Macpherson family. Pray for comfort and for God to use this to bring them all closer to Him.
And on another note, I also wanted to ask you to pray for my friend Holly. She was pregnant and due in March but went into labor this week and had the baby at 25 weeks, which is the (I believe) the week that doctors say if the baby is born, it actually has a chance of living. While that's a praise, 25 weeks is incredibly early, and there is a ton of developing that still needs to be done. So please keep Holly, Ryan, and baby Sophie in your prayers as well.
Sorry this couldn't be a more uplifting email, but I appreciate your prayers so much. It's comforting to know that even when we don't know how to pray, the Spirit does and will intercede for us.
Thanks for being such great friends that I can share this with you.
The latest update is that Ian has passed away. I would appreciate it if you all would keep the Macpherson family in your prayers.
With so much going on, I am finding it hard to concentrate on school... final papers, finals... I just don't have the energy. Sometimes life is hard, and this is definitely one of those times. But I have confidence knowing that God is sovereign. Thank You, Lord, for being a God we can trust, even when things are difficult. I don't understand Your purposes or Your ways, but I know I can trust You. And for now, that is enough.