Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas at our Green Cottage

Blake and Benjamin Winter 1999

This is the story of our green cottage. We bought our home in 1994. It was our first home. It has a little over 1700 square feet. It was to be our starter home. You know where you live for five years and then move on to bigger and better as your family grows.

Blake and Benjamin Christmas time 2000

Blake was born in 1995 and Benjamin was born in 1997. We started A Spot For Tea in 1996. We continued to add children and employees and we kept living in our green cottage. I always wanted a picket fence and window boxes so Eric built both for me to add some charm to our little home.

Blake and Benjamin playing in the snow Christmas 2000

Our pastor did a sermon a couple of weeks ago about contentment. He said that in 1950 the average home use to be 1200 square feet. He said Americans have added more square feet with each passing year. He gave a lot of statistics about contentment and happiness. There were a couple of lines that he said that I won't forget. He said we've added bigger kitchens but no one is staying in them to cook. He said we've bought more stuff and now we have storage units everywhere filled to the brim because we don't have room in our bigger houses for all of our stuff.
Christmas lights on Christmas Eve 2000

Then after the sermon that my pastor preached my friend Lindy came in the tearoom and shared that her husband John's favorite verse in the bible is:

Proverbs 30:7-9
I ask two things from you, Lord.
Don't refuse me before I die.
Keep me from lying and being dishonest.
And don't make me either rich or poor;
just give me enough food for each day.
If I have too much, I might reject you
and say, "I don't know the Lord."
If I am poor, I might steal
and disgrace the name of my God.
In other words, Just give me enough Lord to meet my daily needs.
Now you can see picket fence and window boxes up close.

This past summer I started looking at bigger homes and then the economy started getting shaky and we decided we would stay a little while longer in our green cottage. When you are self-employed, own a small business and are responsible for other people's incomes it makes you want to put money away like a squirrel in winter storing nuts. We usually have between 18 and 20 employees. It is not a responsibility we take lightly.

Blake with a snowman he built Christmas 2001

We have many Christmas traditions we started and do each year in this home with our boys. Its the only place they've ever lived. I think by the time I was 14 I had lived in 6 different houses since my dad was a pastor. Last night we put up our Christmas tree and hung the ornaments and listened to Christmas Carols. It made me realize bigger is not always better.

Brock's first Christmas 2002

So this year I'm finding many things to be grateful for. Thanking Jesus for His many gifts He has given our family. Thank you for three wonderful boys. Thank you Lord for our green cottage especially since there are many homeless people without jobs this year. Thank you for A Spot For Tea and our employees who are like family to us. Thank you for my picket fence and window boxes.

Philipians 4:11-13
I am not telling you this because I need anything. I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have and with everything that happens. I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty. I have learned the secret of being happy at any time in everything that happens, when I have enough to eat and when I go hungry, when I have more that I need and when I do not have enough. I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength.

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