Monthly Archives: December 2007

Merry Christmas from the Carters

Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas before I log off of the computer for a Christmas break. It’s pretty warm here in Kentucky so it’s doubtful that we’ll have a white Christmas or anything, but I’ll still look out at our old barn and think about the humble birth of our Savior. You know it really was such a strange way to save the world.

I love that song. In the song Joseph asks "Why me?" "Why here?" "Why her, she’s just an ordinary girl?" and it just reminds me of how God uses ordinary people in lowly places. Sometimes it’s hard to understand what God is doing, but yet His ways are not ours. And as the song says, "Love has to reach so far."

So as I think about the greatest gift that we’ve ever been given and then look at the gifts God has given me – my husband, my boys, this farm, and a little assortment of animals. He has taken us in a different direction than Tony and I ever would have expected. Our path hasn’t been predictable and it hasn’t been easy. He could have given this farm to lots of other people, but yet He put us here. We may not always know  why, but we are just thankful again for yet another gift straight from Heaven.

Merry Christmas Y’all!
We’re rejoicing here in Kentucky.

Camouflage Christmas

We first moved out to our farm on Thanksgiving 2004 and our first Christmas here was one that we’ll always remember. Just thought I would share these memories of Christmas past which I shared in the Homestead e-Newsletter on December 2005.

By Nancy Carter

While others were busy celebrating a red and green kind of Christmas or maybe even a sophisticated white light kind of Christmas, our first Christmas on the farm was camouflage—lovely shades of green, brown, and black. While others were rushing around at the malls and toy stores, I found myself at the Rural King looking for camouflage coveralls for each of the boys. As I looked down into my shopping cart, I realized how much moving out to the country had changed our lives.

No more shopping at the toy stores. No more clothes shopping at the mall. No more desire for those things, actually. As we approached our first Christmas still in awe of the farm God had provided us, all we wanted were things for the farm. And of course we needed things for the farm, lots and lots of things. Mud boots. Coveralls for the kids to wear over their clothes when working outside, and a gambrel for my husband to use when gutting the deer. I never even knew what a gambrel was before!

I found myself reading books and magazines to find out what kind of knife would be most practical and useful. I asked my friends with horses what type of shovel was most efficient for cleaning stalls. I learned that I couldn’t order chicks from McMurray Hatchery for Christmas arrival, but that I could get my husband a gift certificate, catalog, and Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens.

We purchased a kerosene heater and oil lamp “just in case.” We kept our pantry stocked with plenty of extra supplies if needed. And somehow the holidays were so much more meaningful. Our hearts were filled with gratitude as we realized how God had given us the desires of our heart. With wide open spaces, a starry sky, and plenty of peace and quiet, our lives were fuller than the lives of the richest family with the biggest stack of presents under the tree.

Looking at our old barn and reflecting on the humble birth of our Savior, we thought anew of the greatest gift of all time. And just as our Savior came 2000 years ago, He still comes. He comes with grace and blessings undeserved. He gives our family a new start, a chance to reflect on the important things in life, a renewed sense of unity and purpose, an even greater appreciation for all of God’s creation, and a desire to share the newfound joy with others.

Two years earlier, I had taken great delight in decorating our historic home to bless the neighbors around us. I had spent much time in the malls looking for just the right presents. But no matter how much we did, we were still a family stuck in the middle of town. But while God was changing our location, He was also changing us. He changed our wants and needs. He changed our vision for our family. So even though there was a lot of camouflage under our tree that Christmas, our lives were no longer camouflaged with the world and its standards; we had left the mainstream and were off on a new path. Following God and camouflaged by Him.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

A Christmas Acronym

Anonymous must have googled "Christmas Acronym" and found my entry from two years ago. Very cool. I’m really glad they commented because I had totally forgotten about that one! Someone had posted it on the TOS Leadership group that year and it really captures what Christmas is all about. ~ Thanks Anonymous!!


Christ: The person Who alone gives any day eternal significance: CHRIST OUR LORD.  Jesus, His very name means "The Lord is our Salvation" and whose title "Christ" points to His role as the redeemer of humankind.
History: The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are not myths or fantasy but are historical realities.  That God became man in Jesus Christ is an actual testable historical event.
Rejoice: An appropriate response in recognition of what Christ has done.  Favorite Christmas hymns show that rejoicing has always been an integral part of Christmas.
Incarnation: That glorious event in which God became man.  Christ is not only eternal God, but at a time in history He became man as well.
St. Nicholas: The fourth century bishop of Myra, a Christian whose story exemplifies Christian Faithfulness.  He was known for his kindness to children in need and for his commitment to Christ through persecution and martyrdom.
Tradition: The customs and stories associated with Christmas.  For example the Christmas tree symbolizes that Jesus brings us eternal life (the evergreen) and is the light of the world (the lights or candles).
Magi: The wise men directed by God to find and worship Christ.  All should bow before Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of lords.
Advent: A word referring to Christ’s coming.  Christ came once in Bethlehem as a baby Who grew to manhood, died for our sins, and rose on the third day.  Then the second coming that Christians eagerly await – The Blessed Hope!
Salvation: Made possible by the coming of Christ.  We are all sinners, separated from God, with absolutely no way to reach God except through His Son, With the coming of Christmas comes recognition that because He came, He died, and because He died and lives again, we also may live!

Making Your Household a Church for God

Saw this over at Our Little Homestead and just had to share it with you all. What a wonderful reminder of the importance of what we do!

"You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, and training them up in God’s fear, and minding the house, and making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts."  – Charles Spurgeon

Another Christmas Thought

If our greatest need
had been information,
God would have sent us an educator,

If our greatest need
had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.

If our greatest need
had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.

If our greatest need
had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.

But our greatest need
was forgiveness,
So God sent us a Savior.

–Author unknown