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December is long passed, but the beauty of her gifts is fresh in my mind. 

Gift #1

Since nearly the first moment I knew the little farm on Riverdale Road would be ours, I have longed to see it in the snow. How would the treed hills surrounding our property look from my kitchen window? What would our enormous grassy yard look like covered in white? Where would the kids sled? Knowing the sporadic nature of Oregon winters, I was prepared to wait a year or two, or even longer. But God is so sweet, and only seven weeks into life here, I glimpsed my first views of Winter Wonderland and all my questions were answered:

The view of the hills


The view from my kitchen


The view of the yard


Where the kids sledded
The snow remained for a whole week 
because of frigid, dry weather.
Admittedly, it was not a huge amount of snow, but it was enough, and we loved it. Tomorrow it appears we may get another batch… we shall see! 

Gift #2
March 4, 2013
When I first held Rosalie in my arms eleven months ago, I had a fleeting moment of fear. She was malnourished and not doing anything that a ten month old baby should be doing. What would the future look like? But almost as quickly as it came, the fear departed, never to return. The Lord gave me a peace that He had placed Rosalie in our family and that our job was to love her and help her reach her full potential, whatever it would be. And from that moment on, I have honestly not been worried about which developmental milestones she was missing or what she wasn’t doing compared to other children her age. I understood she was on her own timeline and I knew in my heart, she was going to be just fine. However, I was curious as to when she would begin walking, and as she started passing various milestones the thought kept coming, “Maybe she’ll walk by Christmas…” It was a very arbitrary date to pick but the thought was persistent. 
Christmas Eve, always a special day 
in the Williams’ house, but extra 
special with our little Rosalie taking 
her first steps and experiencing her 
first Christmas.

Well, Christmas Eve, which is also my birthday, arrived, and it happened: Rosalie toddled around on shaky legs for the first time. I was giddy with happiness! But as I am prone to do, I tried to second guess the timing and tell myself it was a coincidence, rationalize away God’s good and perfect gift. However, I could not escape the truth of it: He did this just for me. Of all the days Rosalie could have taken her first steps, she did it on my birthday and one day before I had hoped in my mind that she would. God, your love and grace amaze me. What a sweet, sweet gift. 


Gift #3

Months before we even purchased a home in the country, I saw a picture of a sign on Pinterest that said: “Slow. Free Range Children”. The sign happened to be posted in the most charming town in existence, Castle Combe, England, which only added to it’s perfection. I resolved that if our country dream ever came true, I would have that sign on our property. When we moved, I scoured the internet for a place to buy a sign like that, but there were none. Caleb commented that I should just make one. Yeah… I hear about people who do such things, but I’m not one of them. Maybe I could… but when would I get around to it? The subject was dropped. And then for my birthday, this with a ribbon around it:

And now when you drive up our driveway, you are duly warned:

I love my husband so, so much.

Gift #4

The other item I have always dreamed of having is a big wooden swing on an old oak tree. I have mentioned this occasionally throughout our 14+ years of marriage and my sweet husband took notice. The week before Christmas and my birthday, Caleb’s shop was like Geppetto’s Workshop, but I couldn’t imagine what he was up to. When I received the sign on Christmas Eve, I assumed that was the extent of his creations. This is what I was presented with on Christmas Day:

 Caleb carved “Fly High” into the seat
and the kids’ initials into the four corners.

Caleb said he wants me to smile
every time I see it, and I do
The towering old oak
 its arms gnarled and lovely
(a line of poetry I wrote many 
years ago in my poetic days)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, 
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
 who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17
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