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