We’ve massively failed on the Christmas card front this year, so this is our Christmas blessing to all of our friends and family. Some of you who read the blog are friends we have never met, but your faithful following of the blog has been such a blessing to us over this last year, so thank you to each and every one of you.
It’s been a full year with highs and lows. We’ve renovated a huge amount of our property and have continued to create a home for our family and for those who come and visit us. With the kitchen complete and the lounge just about finished, we are ready for Christmas
The death of my dad has been a huge loss, but God is carrying us through and we are full of joy that Dad now rests with our Heavenly Father.
The children have all had a good year. Christopher has completed his year in industry, on a dairy farm, and is now in his final year studying agriculture. Jonathan did well in his GCSEs and is now doing A-levels, as he plans, God willing, on becoming an architect. Madeleine is working hard at school and has settled in well, but has been particularly excited by the arrival of a pony called Rosie. Elizabeth is very busy doing gymnastics in the National squad, this takes up four evenings of her week. Matthew has started Scouts and is loving it. Hannah has made lots of friends and loves attending our weekly home ed group. Stephen also enjoys the group and spends most of the time there playing football. Michael has started swimming this year and spends the whole lesson with a huge smile on his face! Katie is full of conversation and keeps us all entertained.
Phil and I are continuing to work as a team to fulfil the vision God has given us. We are very busy, but make time to enjoy some time with just the two of us in the evenings, a couple of nights a week.
I’ve struggled to pull Christmas together this year, with Dad dying and his funeral on December 14th, it was hard to find the energy. Thankfully the team pulled together and we’re just about ready. The oldest girls helped with some of the shopping and wrapping and Phil did the food shopping, as he always does, and the rest, well we sort of muddled through, or let it go. I read this today and it really resonated with me. Nothing can replace scripture and this is not intending to, but it helped me to make Corinthians 13 relevant to my life today.
‘If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
If I work at a soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug your child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss your husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the children to get out of the way.
Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.’
If you want to hear more about our escapades over the next year, be sure to subscribe to the blog. You can also follow us on Instagram at ‘goldbyfamilybusydays’. Praying that you all feel the joy of the Lord this Christmas. Lots of love and blessings, The Goldby Family