One of my very favorite things about Christmas is the family photo Christmas card tradition. I absolutely love getting Christmas cards in the mail, and seeing how everyone’s family is changing and growing. I enjoy seeing the similarities between parents and their kids, and because I’m into photography, I always love a well-posed photo with great lighting.
Because I love receiving Christmas card photos, Ben and I have always chosen to send a family picture ourselves, starting the year we were married.
I went back through all our photos, and was able to find most of the pictures we used for our Christmas cards each year, but things got a bit tricky the further back I went. We got our first digital camera for Christmas when Anika was two, so I had to hunt through albums and boxes of pictures, and a ton of memories!
What I keep coming back to is that God is so good. SO GOOD! There were a few years when it was harder to smile, and all those family pictures of just the three of us were a reminder to me of the longing for a baby that wasn’t coming. We loved Anika like crazy, but our family was so small! For many years, we thought our family might not grow, and I struggled to find contentment as we were. But God has blessed us, and my heart is overflowing as I look back over these photos, and see how God carried us through such difficult times, and has given me what my heart desired.
Here’s a look at 16 years of family:
Sadly, we’re missing one photo! I couldn’t find any family pictures from the year Anika was two.
This was the year our sweet friend Morgan started taking our family pictures, and has been ever since! It’s something we always look forward to.
Look at that little peanut in the front! Each of our kids is a miracle, but he’s going to be the most spoiled with hugs and attention, because he’s got three mothers loving on him all day long. I look at that picture and I can hardly believe these sweet kids are mine. Our family is complete, and after some hard years, our family pictures only bring feelings of pure joy to me.
Family can be hard, and holidays can make it even harder, but wherever you’re at, I just want to encourage you to keep hanging on to Jesus. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know He is good. He has beautiful gifts and provisions for us, no matter what we are facing, and He gives us the strength to keep going. He has done the impossible in my life, and blessed us with those three miracle babies. He doesn’t always choose to answer our prayers in the way we want, but it doesn’t change the fact that He holds us in His hand.
Ben announced the other day that he’s tired of Christmas music, and I get it – it’s the same songs over and over. I love them, but there’s only so many versions of Silent Night to listen to before it’s time for a change. Some of those songs have such beautiful words, but it’s hard to really hear them, because we’ve heard them so often. But I came across a beautiful piece of artwork on Pinterest featuring the words, “The weary world rejoices”. It’s stuck with me, and I want it in our home next Christmas, because that is such an amazing truth to grab hold of – because of Jesus, we can not only survive and keep going…we can actually rejoice.
So whatever is making you weary this Christmas, it is my hope that you can draw your loved ones close, snuggle up inside while we get that foot of snow they’re forecasting, and find a way to rejoice, because our Father who can do the impossible has sent the Prince of Peace, and so we have a way to face tomorrow.
From our family to yours, we wish you a very merry Christmas!