Monday, January 5, 2009

Waiting for the Party to start.

The Zimmermann and Everett clans have always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve. When Dee and I were first married we had a feast and a celebration with my the Zimmermann clan in LA at around 6pm and then another one about 100 miles away around midnight in Apple Valley with Dee’s family. They always celebrated late since Dee’s father had to work until near midnight at the theater on Christmas eve. It did get harder as the kids came along but it was worth it to be with the family. That pattern continued as long as my grandparents were alive. Now we are the grandparents with even more family and scheduling is a challenge. We totally accept the fact that we are not the center of the universe and that our children should celebrate with their other grandparents too. Daniel and Brooke have a similar situation (minus the 100 mile drive) with Brooke’s grandparents. They went to an early evening celebration and expected to join us between 7:30 and 8 pm. Since our German heritage dinner arrangements are so foreign to anyone not raised with it, Brooke opted to eat with her family,(a choice I suspicion Jodi and Aimee secretly wish they had). (As pictured above it is basically a rice meatball wrapped in cabbage and or sauerkraut. There is a family story for why we celebrate with this, but that will have to be for another time)About 7:30 we were getting anxious for them to come to start the party but we knew it would likely be closer to 8PM given the drive and all. So we waited, not wanting to start without them. Do you know how long 5 minutes is when you are waiting anxiously? Mind you we did not want to cut their time short with their grandparents who love them as much as we do, we were just excited to get started. They did arrive as expected before 8 and we had a wonderful time. I must admit a perverse pleasure watching young mom’s see a volume of new toys appear and try to figure out where they are going to put them all. The picture above does not begin to capture what must have been close to 50 presents for the 10 grandkids. My mom delighted in doing that to us. It’s a grandparent thing. The excitement of Christmas is over but I find myself still waiting expectantly and eagerly. I am reminded of Jesus’ promise in John 14: 1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. So why is He taking so long? Tim La Hay answers that for me:

"In his first letter to Timothy, Paul tells us that God “wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth” (
1 Timothy 2:4). Peter gives that same message in his letter. “The Lord … is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent” (2 Peter 3:9). Time and again in Scripture we are told that God longs for his people to be with him in heaven. The Bible is not a story of wrath and judgment but of unconditional love and redemption. God longs to be with us and wants desperately for us to accept his hand of salvation. What we do with that offer is up to us." (from Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins, Frank Martin: Embracing Eternity: Living each Day with a Heart Toward Heaven.)


Doni Brinkman said...

Uh...why don't I know why we eat krautnettle? I assumed it was just simply tradition from Great Grandpa and Great Grandma. What don't I know?

Ray and Janell said...

we love krautnettle! it's is a huge christmas family tradition with us.