I love you THIS much.

Merry Christmas from the Tuckers!

[Insert photo of the family looking all photogenic and cute.]

Our 2018 has been truly an amazing year.  God answered our prayers in a big way with our new property and farmhouse.  We started this blog.  We started a little pecan venture.  Our kids got bigger and so did the messes.  Messes we are so thankful for though!


Preceding the mess.  

I (Janna) was thinking about the year and specifically the Christmas season and what it means, and like all good childrens books do, one that we read on Christmas night really summed up how I was feeling in a simple analogy.  The book we read was not a normal Christmas story book.  After reading through our stack of traditional Christmas books, Audrey grabbed the book Guess How Much I Love You.  

Side note: Audrey and Brett play a game that he and his Aunt Sheri played when he was little ...They say I love you THIS much...but they imply that it's only a tiny amount using their thumb and pointer finger.  Then the culprit who claimed they only loved a little is tickled until they say, "OK, OK!!!  I Love you THIS much!" (arms spread as far as they can reach).  Fun times, y'all should try it.

Anyway, throughout the book, the Daddy hare always one-ups the kid hair describing how much they love each other.  We've read the book oh so many times, I guess I have become a little numb to thinking about the book's message.  For whatever reason I was into it this time and it hit me.  The Dad really DOES love the child more.  How many of us didn't realize how much our parents loved us until we became parents?  I don't know about you, but my hand is shooting up at the moment.  I know I was ungrateful, selfish and oblivious to how much they did for me and loved me.  If I truly loved them as much as they loved me, would I have disrespected curfew those oh so many times?  Would I have always pushed the limits of what they would agree to? Would I have done things without whining and complaining?  Would I have talked back and had an attitude all the time?  Thanks for loving me Mama and Daddy!!  I understand now!!  I do love you and I'm sorry for not acting like it most of the time!!

Sure, there are exceptions (like my sweet angel sister, I'm not being facetious, really she's amazing), but for the most part I think all kids don't really know how to love big.  Soooo, now bring God onto the scene.  I'm convinced he gave us the family unit (husband + wife and parents + kids) to teach us more about Him and his love for us.  You see, God is the Daddy hare.  He is full of "one-ups" when it comes to love.  His ultimate display of love wasn't how high he could jump or how tall his arms would stretch heavenward...it was Jesus.  God sent His own son, whom he loved more than anything, to Earth to be born on Christmas day.   Although God did wondrous things in the earthly birth of His son, the real reason he sent him to Earth was to die.  Could you imagine?  Sacrificing your own child to save other people's kids?  To give the world hope and a heavenly inheritance to those who have accepted Him?  I couldn't.  But God did. Know why? Because we are not other people's kids.  God is my Daddy hare.  He's yours.  We are his precious children too.  And He loves us THIS much.  (John 3:16)

We can't go back in time to change how we loved and behaved as kids.  But we can go into the new year ahead focused on being a better child of God.   Showing Him how much we love Him.  Really acting like it.  Being grateful.  Spending more time with Him.    Doing things to make Him proud... Loving Him and loving others above ourselves.  (Matt 22:37-39)

Laud help, I've got a lot of areas of improvement to choose from, but this year my goals are to strengthen my prayer life, to spend more intentional, focused time with Brett and the kids (lately I always feel like I'm too distracted thinking about things I need to accomplish...but really, what's more important?),  and to go through the gospels and learn more about the specific lessons Jesus taught in his lifetime so I can teach our kids better and learn more myself.   And to remember to put a clean kitchen towel at the sink, napkins on the table and clean up the toys in the yard.  Y'all please help keep me accountable to those for Brett's sake. 

Thank you for reading and thank you for the prayers, love and encouragement you've given our family over the years.  We love you THIS MUCH and hope you have a special holiday season and new year ahead.

Oh, and in case you need a good journaling calendar, I love this one.  This year's version doesn't have as large of a notes section, but it's adequate enough.  If anyone finds a better one, let me know.  Ok. Bye!


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