The Christmas Tree Do-over

This, friends, is the most beautiful Christmas tree I think I have ever seen.

 

Truly it is.

No, it’s nothing fancy.  It doesn’t have big fancy ornaments…in fact there are several on this tree that are handmade.  Like this one of my son’s hand that was traced and covered in felt to look like a little reindeer.  Precious.

And then there’s this one…a cute little bird house painted by sweet little boy hands.

And then of course there’s the Joy ornament that has been known to say Yoj from time to time.

And then there’s this one that was hand-painted by a dear friend’s mom. 

And my latest addition is this beautiful camel, a gift from a sweet Bible study friend…

For sure all those things make this tree more than special to me, but there’s something else about this tree you need to know.  See this is not the first tree we had this year.  We had a completely different tree standing in our den earlier today.  A real tree.  Water in the base.  Needles all over the floor.  The works.

See, I’ve had a bit of a cold for over a week now.  I’m much better than I was, that’s for sure, but I still have an icky cough and runny nose.  The Hubby wanted me to go to the doctor today, but I said no.  What’s the use when all he’s going to tell me is that I have a cold and give me a list of over-the-counter stuff to go by and pick up from the CVS?  Well, Hubby wasn’t satisfied with that so he checked with the doctor himself and gave him a list of my symptoms.  The doctor gave the Hubby a list of OTC meds for me to try but apparently knowing that I have allergy problems, my sweet doctor asked whether or not we had a real Christmas tree.  Yes, we do, Hubby replies.  Well that might be part of the problem, says the doc.  The tree could be bothering my allergies and causing my cold to linger on.

Y’all, the next thing I know, that sweet man of mine had taken all the ornaments off that Christmas tree in about five minutes flat, lights off and the star off the top and had that thing out the front door before I even had a chance to argue, all the  while the oldest boy is vacuuming needles off the floor.  The Hubby sent me off to have coffee with friends and by the time I got back home, there was a new artificial tree sitting in the den with lights on, ornaments all on, and the star on the top.  Is that not the most darlin’ thing you’ve ever heard?

What makes my new tree the most beautiful I’ve ever seen is this…it’s there because he cares for me.  Because he is concerned for my well-being.  Because he loves me.

This is my beloved, this my friend,

O daughters of Jerusalem.

Song of Solomon 5:16

I am so very blessed.

What is one of your most special Christmas moments?

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With this ring…

My husband is a police officer.  And he’s an amazing man.  He is also a former Marine and he fought in Iraq.  His name means “warrior, protector” which is certainly fitting for him.  Now being a former Marine, you have to know how particular he is about certain things…one of which involves his uniform.  As a Marine, he takes pride in that uniform.  I remember many nights that he would spread everything out in den and put his uniform together.  How tediously he would roll up the sleeves.  How particular he was about shining his belt buckle.  How much time he spent iron creases and making sure there were just right (yes, my husband irons…I told you he was amazing).  So you can only imagine how honored I was the first time he asked me to put his police uniform together.  Basically I just transfer everything from the uniform he takes off onto a clean crisp uniform so it’s ready for him at his next shift…but still.  I don’t take it lightly.  At first I would only take one thing off at a time…badge, belt, nametag, etc…and immediately put it on the clean uniform so as not to mix up where it went.  I know how important it is to him to be at his very best.  And with each piece that I take off the old and put on the new, I pray.  I pray as I put his compass and his eyedrops in his pants pocket, that God would give him direction in all things and keep his eyes wide open.  I pray as I slip his belt through the belt loops that he would also put on the belt of truth that God gave him so that he will walk in that truth as a son of the Most High God.  I pray as I put his badge on his shirt, a symbol of his authority as an officer of the law, that he would also carry himself with the authority given him in Christ Jesus.

And I want you to know also that my husband prays for me.  I lead a Bible study and before I go each time, he prays for me.  Many times his prayers are short, sweet, and to the point.  He doesn’t mince words.  However, even those few words still set the heavens in motion and those short sweet prayers still storm the gates of hell on my behalf.  (And as a bonus sometimes if I’m extra lucky, I even get a little background harmonica music with those prayers…but that’s a whole other story.) 

Now, don’t think for one second that we are a perfect couple.  I really stink at being his wife sometimes and he’s a poophead from time to time himself.  But he is my covering and I am his rear guard.  It wasn’t always this way.  In fact, there were times I wondered if we would make it…but we have.  And we will.  As God works in mine and in my husband’s lives, the result is that as we draw nearer to God, God draws us closer to each other.  And every time my husband speaks the name of Jesus, my heart just soars and I fall in love with that darling man all over again.

Paul talks about marriage toward the end of Ephesians 5.  He explains that husbands are the head of their wives, just as Christ is the head of the church and as well that wives should submit to their husbands in all things just as the church submits to Christ.  Sometimes we get this thing all mixed up as far as what it means to be submissive and what it means to be the head…because we have to remember that both of these are paralleled by Christ and the church and the relationship there.  A husband in holding the position of head over his wife, if done by Christ’s model, will do so with honor.  He will stand in the gap for her.  He will seek the Lord in all things and therefore will be worthy of her trust.  He will never tear her down but will always edify her.  He will encourage her as she builds her faith and he will walk with her in the ways of the Lord.    And a wife in being submissive to her husband, will do so knowing that he has her best interest at heart.  She will cover him with prayer and encourage him in his faith.  She will have great respect for him as a warrior in God’s army and will not do things or say things to others about her husband that will be dishonoring to him.  She will trust his judgement knowing that he seeks guidance from God in all things.

I don’t really know why I felt led to share all this with you.  I guess in a world where divorce is more and more common and the institution of marriage is continually taking hits, it would seem as though this were a battleground on which the war is raging.  And married or not, we must all fight in this battle.  We must pray that God will strengthen marriages, that He would continually give spouses eyes only for each other, and that husbands and wives would keep God at the helm of their marriage.  We must pray that God draw spouses hearts toward each other and to Himself.  We must pray that God will instill in husbands that desire to protect and edify their wives…to love and cherish them, and that wives would be encouragers for their husbands…lift them up and honor them.  Oh Lord Jesus, renew passions, heal hurts, restore brokeness, strength bonds, bind hearts together… 

And the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.

What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.

Mark 10:8,9