After the blessing I suggested to Scott that we pull over at a park and try to get a family picture for the Christmas card. We weren't in matching clothes, Cali was ragged from not sitting still for even one second in church and we didn't have anyone to take the picture.
But who cares right?
I positioned my family, propped the camera on a bench, set the timer and ran.
What a pain Christmas cards are! Biggest pain ever! But oh so fun to get them in the mail! I will miss seeing all these faces that I love when Christmas is over...
So, I give you Heywood Family Christmas card 2015...
Dear Friends and Family,
When I sat down to think over 2015 I realized that this was the year that my once small trio of “little kids” have now turned this place into an official house-o-teenagers. The scale has tipped over here and the “bigs” now outnumber the “smalls”. It’s hard to believe because I clearly remember hauling around my gaggle of little kids, in a car with 3 car seats, thinking that this would be the way of things FOREVER. 2015 turned Kaden 16 and Brylee and Branson 13 so those 3 “little kids” are long gone. I certainly miss the days when they were small enough to perch under the tree….
This shift from small to big has somehow blasted our schedules into a constant whirl of cheerleading, football and swim practice not to mention, piano lessons, concerts, work, tests, friends, amateur driving excursions, youth activities and insane amounts of homework. And to think I use to fill the days with walks to our small park, sippy cup refills, stories and nap time.
A few weeks ago Kaden was discouraged with his heavy load of difficult classes and long grueling swim practices. He was doing the work but wasn’t getting the results he was hoping for. I went to bed praying that I would know what to say to him to lift his spirits. In the morning I opened my scriptures and read him this…Wherefore be not weary in well doing for Ye are laying the foundation of a great work and out of small things proceededeth that which is great. We talked about how every homework assignment and every lap in the pool was leading to greater things.
You should know that this early morning, pre-A-hour, pep talk was just as much for me as it was for Kaden. Our days and our year and our life for that matter is filled with small things. The day to day work of growing a family certainly isn’t grand or big or exciting and sometimes it’s hard to see the fruit of the countless small efforts. I just can’t seem to fill my Christmas card update with anything really big.
There was a day when Jesus was teaching a multitude of 5000 followers, Jesus knew they were hungry and He wanted to feed them. Andrew one of the disciples said, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? Jesus blessed the small amount of food and it miraculously fed the 5000.
That night with Kaden I rehearsed to him the small things he was doing…you are working so hard, you are building endurance, you are gaining knowledge, you are diligent in scripture study, prayers and seminary. But I knew his heart was saying, but what are these among so many? So many with better grades, better times, bigger success, bigger accomplishments, more handsome, more money, more popularity. And to tell you the truth I know how he felt. It always seems the world is doing the big things and it is easy to look at our small life and ask what are these among so many?
Has there ever been anyone in the history of the world that has based His life on the small things more than Christ did? He was born in a stable, He never traveled, never earned a degree, never held an office, never had a successful business or career, He definitely never took first place in the state swim finals and he also possessed no apparent beauty that man should Him desire. And yet He was the promised Savior of mankind. He is the One that can take our small things and lay a foundation of a great work with them. In His hands every small effort is counted, blessed and made more. When we let Him, He will take our five loafs and two small fishes and make miracles from them. Big, beautiful, mighty miracles.
We are grateful this year for ordinary, happy days filled with small things. We are grateful for 3 big kids that keep us busy with teenager schedules and 2 sweet little girls that keep the simple, carefree life of childhood in our home. We are grateful for the occasional big things like Kaden’s Priest ordination in November and Ella’s baptism in August.
We testify that Jesus Christ lives, that He loves us, that He is mighty to save, to change and to heal. This will be the way of things FOREVER. How we love, worship and adore Him at Christmas and always.
Merry Christmas with love, Scott, Julianne, Kaden 16, Brylee 13, Branson 13, Ella 8 and Cali 4.