A common Beginning
The most important thing for us is where we begin! Yes, we plan a lot. Some things we do take less thoughtfulness than at first because we have been working together at the activities of daily living for quite some time. Other things are completely new to us, and take a lot more thought, practice, and trial and error before we get to the goal we want to achieve.
Getting started, however, is the easiest part. What!? you may wonder how that can be, but let me give you a little hint. It’s simple and direct and it goes like this: “With the Lord Begin Thy Task” (CW 478). Whether I’m turning at the lathe, reading to the 4th graders, or baking with my wife its always the same.
The thing that’s so wonderful about each task, each day, each year is that since even before our marriage began that has been the way it is, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. (On our very first date, at a very nice restaurant, it was suggested by my date that we could pray together aloud before we began our meal) So it began and continues that we prayer together. When there are disagreements, heated discussions, or just plain periods of selfishness, and we have those from time to time, we are brought back to our senses and our first love by the Lord Jesus and the faith that we share in him as our Savior.
What follows is creative and beautiful
We built our family following a yours, mine and ours process. Those of you who have done the same know how challenging that can be sometimes. The end result, however, is that we have a family that, even though flawed, is a beautiful thing. What is more it is especially special at this time of the year, when all the limitations are removed and the creative juices flow among us in our preparation together to celebrate the birth of our Savior.
The gifts of love and thankfulness are expressed in so many wonderful ways that it seems impossible to be able to list them. Greetings, decorations, shared activities, gifts, travel, are all a part of what we enjoy, either as individuals or in groups. I think that most folks in America can relate to this type of celebration. I do know, however, that all things are not perfect. Some people live in constant pain, doubt, fear, and weakness. The loneliness of others who may have all the goods of life is terribly overwhelming.
So it is that we try to comfort, encourage, share and show honest and sincere Christian love for those who need it most. Perhaps you do the same in your own way. If nothing else we may all pray for the world in which we live to be improved by the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pens and Lefse are examples of giving joy and love
It wasn’t until recently that it occured to me that to make a custom writing instrument for someone as a gift could bring happiness. I suppose that one of the most basic parts of this practice is the fact that each pen I make is unique and special, just like the person who may receive it and use it. It may bring back memories as it is held and reflected on. The materials may be special tokens of things or activities past. The comfort of holding the pen, using it to convey expressions of love in special notes or communications is a very personal activity. This is especially true when adding a heartfelt note to a prepriinted note or card. The pen pictured is from an elk antler found on a trail in the wilderness by a special couple. Each time it is seen, held or used to write it brings to mind a very special time for two very special individuals.
Another shared love and activity is the fun filled and traditional process of making lefse. We try to do this every year. It reaffirms for us our heritage, and let’s us do something together that we wouldn’t ordinarily do. Potatoes, flour, butter, sugar and salt and a rolling pin… oh, yes and the lefse skillet! That’s about all it takes in terms of ingredients and utensils.
The other things like sharing kitchen work space, getting the process reprogrammed in our minds, and deciding whose recipe to use…hah! those are some of the others things that make for a fun-filled afternoon.
This year we made lefse, spritz, and cookies and more cookies and more cookies.( Most of our family is coming home for Christmas) With all those tummies to feed we have been working overtime to prepare. One thing, however, goes without saying…there will be no leftover lefse. Here is Jan revising her recipe to make it even better!
Have a bleesed acknowlegement of Jesus’ birth. May the assurance of forgiveness lift your heart to greater heights and increased deeds of kindness.