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The Story of My Tree - I Do Every Day - December 23

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The Story of My Tree
By Lisa Lakey

Let me tell you about our Christmas tree.

For starters, it isn’t Pinterest-worthy. Most of the ornaments were handmade by the tiny fingers of our once-tiny kids, or they’re lovingly handcrafted pieces passed down from grandparents. Dollar-store trinkets fill in the gaps.

Some have faded. Others have been broken (and sort of pieced back together). But every year we trudge up the attic steps to pull them out once again.

But despite my best intentions, I sometimes envy the elaborately (often professionally) decorated trees on social media. The ribbons weaving through the branches just so. The ornaments shining without the dull of a dozen little fingerprints. The couple in their coordinating sweaters smiling in the glow of the lights.

When I gaze too long at these spectacular trees, I begin to miss the unmistakable beauty of my own. I forget to reflect on the now-tarnished silver snowflakes near the top we were given as a wedding gift. Or all the ornaments we’ve picked up on every vacation starting with our honeymoon.

Our tree has stories.

But you know what? Our marriages can be a lot like our Christmas trees. Some are all for show—deceptively hiding any flaws in all their shimmering glory. Others look a little worse for the wear: A little Charlie Brown tree in a sea of Whoville delights.

My own marriage has had years of broken bulbs and fingerprint-smudged moments. Our emotions and romance felt more hodgepodge, and the lights of other people’s marriages made mine seem like there were a few lights out along the way.

But like my tree, my marriage has stories. Stories of new babies and missed loved ones. Tales of hardship and suffering that turned into renewed hope and perseverance.

So this year, as I unpack bulbs and baubles, I’ll be thanking God for each story of my family’s tree—starting with the man He gave me to decorate it with.

Not feeling the holiday spirit this season? Read more in “Waiting for God This Christmas.”

The Good Stuff: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17)

Action Points: During this season of glitz and garland, take a few minutes to pause and reflect together on past Christmases. What do you remember about your first Christmas together? What one holiday memory would you relive again and again?

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