What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday Foto Friends...Unexpected Little Things That May Be the Bigger Things!

So, today is Friday Foto Friends again (Click HERE for the link to our friends)...where we share our favorite photos from the recent past or maybe even from a long time ago...but either way...it is a fun way to connect with friends and give each other a glimpse into our homes or lives.

A little over a week ago I told you about our search for the "perfect Christmas tree"...and how I believe God led us to find it...(Click here for that story)....but you never got to see the finished product (unless you happen to be one of my Facebook friends).   So here are some pictures our "Charlie Brown Florida Cracker Christmas Tree"...(Click HERE for more about THAT story!)

Here's a few pictures of the events leading up to this finished product:

My sons are bringing in this monster tree, and trying to determine if it is even going to fit in our house! We did end up cutting more off of the top so it could stand up straight...

Okay, it is standing...

and thankfully my son helped put on the lights as I was sick with a cold and just couldn't manage it; And besides...this tree is huge...

 My 93 year old mother in law supervised the whole proceeding...telling us which way to turn it and what branches needed to be lopped off...She was really enjoying this whole process...which was quite a surprise to me because she usually doesn't get this enthusiastic about so much activity going on disrupting her routine and being displaced from HER chair (she's sitting in MY chair here).  I truly had hoped to have had this all done before she came for the weekend because I knew it was going to be challenging for us with all of the mess and fuss and taking care of her issues as well...(don't be deceived by that beautiful smiling face...there are issues!)  But it appeared as though this was exactly what the doctor ordered for her. She truly seemed to enjoy all of the festivity of  the boys setting up the tree and then watching as I decorated it.  She liked hearing me tell about each ornament, where it came from, etc.  It seemed to unlock the child in her and she became more animated and joyful as the day went on.  That was a gift to me...and a relief from some of the stress I had anticipated.

So here is the finished product...you can see some of the lopsided branches of our "Charlie Brown Florida Cracker Christmas Tree".  This type of sand pine has very weak branches, and many of the ornaments are too heavy, so they had to be hung on the main bigger branches closer to the center of the tree....

 So, now that it is up, we are enjoying it every day.  It may be lacking in perfect shape and style, but it is perfect in the truer sense that it has been a family adventure that has seemed to delight everyone, from the youngest to the oldest...perhaps especially the oldest!  And that makes me feel good inside.  It was worth all the effort to see my mother in law truly enjoying this special time with her family. We don't know how many more Christmases we may have her with us...and judging by the way a lot of things are "breaking down" in her body from week to week, we realize that this could very well be her last Christmas with us...at least being able to be in our home and participate with the family in a meaningful way.  So we treasure these times together and thank the Lord that He has allowed us this special time.

So, what about you? Have there been any unexpected special moments that have surprised you as you have gone about your Christmas preparations? Perhaps we need to pause in the midst of our busyness and take a moment to recognize the hand of God working in the "little things" that may be truly the "bigger things" that matter most.

Christ's birth might have seemed a "little thing" ...just a baby boy being born in a manger to couple of ordinary people...a carpenter and a young woman...certainly it was unexpected that the Messiah would come to earth that way...but oh wow!!! That baby was no ordinary child...He was the Son of God...and He came to change the world!!!

Yes...we need to pay attention to those "little things"....God is at work in our midst. And that's definitely a "Bigger Thing"!


  1. Haha! Love your tree and your thoughts about beautiful and surprising moments. But truly, the smile that deceives made me smile. I know what you mean. God gave me a little surprise, but I am not free to share it. One of the big surprises this season was the joy in our son's telling of his mission trip to the Honduras. This was truly one of those instances of God giving above and beyond our imagination.

  2. I really enjoyed following your search for the perfect Florida Cracker Christmas tree! You did, indeed, find it!! This post made me smile and I am so happy that your MIL is enjoying the tree as much (or more) as all of you are! What a blessing to treasure in years to come!!

  3. I think your tree is adorable! So many pretty lights. I've always gravitated to the ones with character rather than the perfectly shaped ones. Enjoy your tree and your family and our Savior!

  4. Love your Florida Cracker tree, Pamela, and so glad your mother-in-law got such a kick out of all the efforts that went into putting it up and decorating it. Our parents aging, too, so we especially treasure the moments we have with them, especially at the holidays.
    Blessings and Merry Christmas!

  5. :-D

    I had to smile at how Grandma gave up her chair, yet continued directing. Your tree is beautiful. So many lights!

    Have a Merry Christmas, Pamela.

    The receptionist at my doctor's office said, "Merry Christmas!" to me the other day. I was shocked. And happy. Is it just me or are more people saying it lately?

  6. Love your tree, especially lit up at night. Glad it all came together. I'm sorry about the issues with your MIL. My Mom has mild to moderate ALZ and I can tell the confusion is worsening. Breaks my heart. Thanks for sharing your tree. Hope you have a great weekend!

  7. Pam,

    Your tree is most interesting--I love it. It's interesting how your mother-in-law got such enjoyment out of watching it go up and get decorated. Enjoy your tree and the memories in getting it and getting it set up.

  8. Such a lovely final production! Great story of your search and awesome that the boys put it up for you as well as decorated!

  9. Thank you EVERYONE, for your comments! I've been kind of busy, so haven't had time to respond individually, but I do appreciate all your kind words and thoughts! I know we are all busy at this time of year...but it is a wonderful time...so let's enjoy every minute! Merry Christmas everyone!!

  10. That one 'little thing' was the biggest thing in history. Love your tree, it's so big and pretty. Mr D and I have a very small tree, it's pretty though!! Hope you're feeling better. Merry Christmas.


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