Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Nutcracker

Our normal family tradition is to set up the Christmas tree in the evening, listen to Christmas music, sip hot cocoa, eat popcorn and bake (burn) Christmas cookies.   This year was an extra special time of decorating our tree because it is Brandon’s first Christmas. 

He was so interested in being right in the middle of everything.   He enthusiastically hauled all the boxes downstairs from the attic with Daddy.  He helped assemble the tree.  I do not think that Brandon has ever decorated a tree or even seen an artificial Christmas tree.  He took the time to examine every last ornament that was placed on the tree.  His favorite ornament of the night was a nutcracker that Tim has had since he was a boy.  The wooden nutcracker’s back was broken and it really bothered Brandon.  He wanted it fixed and he wanted the nutcracker’s arms and legs to move like they are supposed to.  He wanted to put the back on it so it could hang on the tree with the other worthy ornaments.  He dug through the box of many other old ornaments that were broken as well.  He eventually found the missing, broken piece to the nutcracker and he and I glued it back together.  When all of its limbs could properly move again, the look of satisfaction on his face was priceless!  The laughter that came from his lips was priceless!!

These little things are the things that you and I take for granted, I’m afraid.  I have not once looked in detail at the lights on our tree, or taken the time to look at all of Tim’s ornaments he’s had since he was a baby.  I honestly, in 14 years of pulling out many of these ornaments, never even noticed the nutcracker.  Since I didn’t even know it existed, that broken ornament has definitely never actually made it on to the tree.  Every year we kind of just throw everything together, enjoy our family time, (burn some cookies), eat some treats, snap some photos and call it a day.

I mentioned in previous posts that I really have learned so much from Brandon about being content, about enjoying the moments together as a family, about being joyful with everything (even hauling boxes and cleaning up Christmas junk), but this Christmas I’ve learned more about seeing everything through a new set of eyes.  To him, that broken, wooden piece of junk was beautiful.  It was worthy of finding and caring for and hanging on the tree.   If you could see the way he looked at it and held it, the nutcracker was SO precious to him.

This nutcracker makes me think of my boy.  Last Christmas he was just some broken, dirty child sitting with all the other broken, dirty children in an orphanage that no one ever really noticed.  He’s a child that was broken, but PRAISE THE LORD we found him and are caring for him and we’re working on putting back all the broken pieces of his life.  He’s thriving and growing and he’s together with us AT LAST hanging ornaments on our tree THIS YEAR.  And he’s SO precious to us.  Do you think God has a look of satisfaction on His face?  Does laughter come from His lips when He sees Brandon complete?
Ecclesiastes 3:11 “And God has made everything beautiful in His time.”

Oh, how I wish ALL of the precious, broken, dirty  orphaned children would find a home.  They are so worthy of a family. What joy they would bring to a family!  I know because I met 20 or more and played with them for 2 weeks. Please pray for the little orphaned children.  Pray for more willing families to open up their homes.  If more people could just see these children and hold them, I know they would be SO precious to them as well!
Brandon discovering the nutcracker

Carrying the boxes down from the attic

Papa's wingman, helping set up the tree

Brandon and "Bee" showing off some ornaments

Putting his first ornament up on his first Christmas

I love this boy's thick head of blond hair that was shaved off for years in the orphanage!

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