It certainly is the most wonderful time of the year. Despite a challenging (and might I add, exhausting) week for our little family due to our evacuation from the Thomas Fire, there’s a lot to be thankful and joyful for this time of year.
We hear all the time that we grow and learn through the various challenges of life, and yet here we are with hearts more full than ever – or at the very least mine is. It would be easy to sit here and write about everything that upset or frustrated me since the fire or even play the victim card (even though there are so many other families who are returning to nothing). I could be mad at God that such a thing would happen to us just as we were getting a handle on our finances or preparing to buy gifts for Christmas. All of those things would be so easy to do and I’ve been guilty of thinking about a few of those things.
However, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that this fire brought a little beach community together. It brought our family together in new ways, and this same God that I could be mad at is the same God that continued to provide for us. I’m thankful to say that our home is fine (with the exception of smoke damage), that our insurance has been amazing in terms of the handling of our claims, and our neighbors have been helpful in all things from keeping us updated while we were away to walking our dog while my husband was at work. God is in those moments and for that I’m eternally grateful.
So, as we continue to look onward to the holiday season and reflecting on our grateful hearts, here are a few things that I’ve learned through our evacuation that helps me realize just how wonderful life really is even when bad things happen to us:
+ When circumstances take things away from you, you gain so much more by realizing you didn’t need that much to begin with.
+ As a parent you truly realize you’d do anything to keep your family safe.
+ When you’re at your lowest you start noticing the smaller acts of kindness from others – and oftentimes coming from strangers.
+ Things can be replaced.
+ People are always looking out for you, praying for you, or thinking about you even if you don’t know or realize it.
+ God has a way of using our situations and circumstances to bring on new, and more meaningful, things for us.
+ It’s on us to “find the beauty in the ugliest days.”
+ The spirit of Christmas isn’t about the gifts, a tree that looks like Joanna Gaines decorated it, or even the perfect family holiday card.
+ There’s always a feel-good cheesy Christmas movie ready to be watched to make you realize life really isn’t all that bad. (Has anyone seen Netflix’s Christmas Prince…so good!).
Yeah, we may not have Christmas cards to send or a lot of gifts to be able to give this year, but we have family and each other. And to me that’s pretty great.
HOW TO HELP
If you’re interested in supporting our family (and get something pretty in the process), you can check out my little lettering shop! You can check out all kinds of printables and home goods – like the new JOY Collection! All purchases financially help us rebuild our savings and cover costs associated with our evacuation (i.e. hotel stays, food, baby items, etc.)! Thank you so much to everyone who has made an order this past week!
Also, get FREE SHIPPING on all Christmas onesies now until Christmas Day!