Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from the Schmucker family! Here is a picture of us on a rainy evening in October, trying to shield ourselves with an umbrella. I don’t know what the boys think is so funny. Who knows!

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Elijah is our 9-year-old.

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And Stuart is seven.

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(Our trampoline and rope swing have provided hours of enjoyment for our children. Often after supper there is a mad dash to the trampoline. Will and I don’t mind a bit, because it means we can sit and talk a little longer in peace!)

Next comes Desiree, who just turned five.

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And Keane is two. His third birthday is coming up in March. Where did my baby go?

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Because it was raining that evening, after all…

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I think these children are special. 🙂

Often I feel a couple steps behind when it comes to processing holiday-related subjects. As I ponder Christmas this year, everything that passes through my mind seems so trite and well-worn, and not worth regurgitating here. What could I say or feel that hasn’t been said or felt hundreds of times before?

Yet, this week I felt a twist of unexpected pain when I heard this song: “O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear…”  I felt the sob of loneliness, the brokenness, longing, hope, and joy all mixed together. Yes, I joyfully celebrate Jesus’s birth, but I am also waiting for Him to redeem, waiting for Him to rescue, waiting for Him to come again.

My Christmas prayer for you today: don’t lose heart as you wait for Jesus to show up in your land of exile. He is “God with us”–our Immanuel.

Meanwhile, if you want to make this an extra-nice Christmas for me, drop me a comment with your name, where you are from, and something you love about Jesus! I’d be thrilled to meet some of my readers, and I never tire of hearing about how Jesus touches people! And as always, feel free to email me with your thoughts and ideas if you would rather remain incognito a while longer. 😉

Shalom!

 


Photos taken by Blue Muse Photography

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26 thoughts on “Christmas 2016

  1. Victoria

    Merry Christmas sis! I’m from Nickerson KS. Oh wait. You know that because YOU are coming to my house tonight! I cannot wait to see you and your tribe!!

    About Jesus, remember how we used to sing Born in my Heart growing up? Well I sang that last night at our Christmas Eve service. I had asked the Lord what to sing and instead of the crazy dramatic stuff I usually sing, he told me to sing this simple song from my childhood. And my favorite line I sang with all my heart; “He is no more a stranger, my heart is his manger, for Jesus is born in my heart.” I’m so thankful for that this Christmas. And I also eagerly await the marriage celebration of the Lamb. Blessings sis. I love you. And a very Merry Christmas to you!!

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  2. cvderstine

    Crystal Derstine from orrville ohio currently in Cambridge ohio for Christmas. I love that Immanuel’s words to me are always kinder and more compassionate than I typically talk to myself in my head. =) and that he protects so well even before I realize there is danger. That is my gratefulness this christmas morning.

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  3. Bethany Eicher, from …. my first impulse is still to say Mtn View, Arkansas but my family and I have been from Freeport, Ohio for five and a half years now. I love the way Jesus is always at work in my heart. Instead of despairing that I never ‘arrive’ and ‘get it all right’, I am learning to love the way He is always working, always touching new areas, always nudging me onward on this journey.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours! Your words here have blessed my life.

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  4. Emmy Falb

    A merry & blessed Christmas to you and your sweet family! Love your comments on the song! I never really pondered those words before, (come ransom captive Israel, mourning in lowly exile) but I so feel the pain & longing when I think about them and, oh wow…..! The hope & joy! Would love to go back and see that time in Jewish history, the waiting and sadness…. and then the joy of his coming to a select few that actually realized who He was! And now we wait for him again…. So blessed to be on this side of the cross! Jesus has changed my life and freed me from so much sin! He gives me power over sin! Thanks for the inspiration this morning! Loves, Emmy 🙂

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  5. I’m Gina from Pennsylvania. I love how many of the Christmas songs have such poignant words when we stop long enough to listen to what we are singing. It might sounds trite but so many times this year I have been thankful for the peace that Jesus gives. It truly is a heaven gift.

    Glad I discovered your blog this past year and looking forward to what you have to write in the coming year.
    Gina

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  6. Hi Rosina,
    I so enjoyed reading about your children and seeing all the lovely photos of your family. Each time I read your blog, I hope that some day we can meet up for a face to face chat.
    I’m not exactly sure where I’m from currently, I’m at home in Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania with my sisters for the moment and a week from today I fly back to my temporary home in Washington, near Seattle, to finish school.
    My faith feels pretty tired and dry at the moment, but some things I love about Jesus
    1. Humility – He came and lived among us and He lives in us today and works through us.
    2. He goes with us and prepares us to walk a path we weren’t exactly prepped for.
    3. As He did for Thomas He shows us the “nail prints” when we doubt the reality of Him and His work.
    4. He loves even those He knows will be ashamed of Him and deny Him, like Peter.
    5. He reveals himself to the least of these and welcomes them into His family
    6. He is the Prince of Peace . . .
    Thank you, for this question.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours,
    Rosanna

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  7. Will

    I’m Will. I’m from an obscure town in South Central KS where I live with my beautiful and clever wife, and four naughty, cute children. I started reading your blog just shortly after you started it. I’m surprised sometimes at the things I read there. They’re always interesting, usually at least bordering on profound, and quite often a lot like the things I’d been thinking. Anyway, keep on writing your stuff. It’s good, and I like you!

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    1. Haha! I know who you are. After all, the things I write about are very often things we have talked about! I’m lucky to have a husband who is intelligent enough to handle all my questions, and kind enough to handle my imperfections. I sure like you, too.

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  8. dwolfe58

    My name is Debbie Wolfe and I still live in Sterling, KS! I have always loved your sweet spirit, Rosina, and it certainly comes out in your writing! I love that Jesus gave me a sweet vision of my mom, who passed away Thanksgiving week. I can see her being led up a few steps (assuming to heaven) and looking back at us, healthy, young and smiling, as if to reassure us all is well. And so it is. This has brought me incredible peace that passes all understanding this holiday season. He provides all we need.

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  9. I think back to when we first became friends…how much fun we had blowing everyone away with our fantastic, dramatic poem at cbs! 😂 And then we both married Kansan guys. And now we live states apart, but so much…are in a similar journey. And yet different. So many things you write resound in my heart as “yes! I just never put that into words!” Or “I never even thought of that before, but yes!” Would love to sit and talk. 😊 We will someday.

    I am blown away this year by the peace Jesus brings. He IS peace! And by how much He longs to pour out good things into our lives.

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  10. Sylvia

    Hi! I’m Sylvia from Pennsylvania, and I would like to bless you in your writing! Lovely pictures in the rain! One of the things that I love Jesus for is his faithfulness and wise counsel that brings peace to my life, but most of all for his blood and the power it contains!

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  11. joyfulhopeflokstra

    I’m Bethany Flokstra from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Spent most of my life in Perkins, Oklahoma, but three years ago moved to The City (as we call OKC) with my husband and two (now three) children. I went to CBS with some of your siblings and cousins and parents and in-laws, but don’t know that I’ve ever met you. We, too, slowly left our conservative Mennonite church five years ago and now are part of a church called Skyline in Oklahoma City. While we treasure so much about our Mennonite heritage, we are grateful to have found a new community to live into and from as we love God and his world.
    Right now I’m most grateful that Jesus knows me when in the middle of postpartum depression I don’t quite know myself anymore. He has hope for me and this broken, beautiful world.

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    1. You live only several hours away from us?! We will have to meet up sometime! And I’m sorry about the depression. I often struggle with some depression during the winter months, and it’s not fun at all, especially when there’s a family to care for. It’s comforting to think of Jesus looking after us when we can’t do so well ourselves. God bless!

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  12. I’m Ruth from Pennsylvania. I love Christmas, and can I just be honest? I really love all the festivities that come with Christmas, but even more I love Jesus and this year I’m so grateful that He is my Peace! I enjoy your blog, keep writing!

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  13. Maria Wagler

    The patience Jesus has towards me is incredible! Especially when He sends a lesson to be learned my way and I just don’t do so well with learning the first time around so He has to try again and again. And then I am convicted of the small amount of patience I so often extend to the Three Little Men God has given my husband and I…. Ouch…..
    Maria Wagler from Nakuru, Kenya is who I am. I remember you from CBS quite a few years ago! Back then I was Yoder. Anyway, I have been enjoying following you since I found your blog. I find it interesting to see where God takes us if we follow! Blessings as you let your ‘Little Light’ shine in your little town!

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    1. Yes, I remember you from CBS days! You were one of those people with whom I felt like I could easily connect, and I was sorry we lost touch with each other after a while! Great to hear from you again!

      And yes, I’m thankful for God’s patience toward us, too!

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