From the daily archives: "Thursday, December 6, 2012"

There are memories that you have forever. And sometimes it’s just the knowledge of a memory that makes it special.

 

When I was little, well 7, maybe 9? my Grandmother took me to my first ballet. This was a huge deal! I was taking ballet lessons, loving it, and I had dreams that one day I would get to dance on a big stage in front of a huge audience. That night my Grandmother and I sat at the Sanderson Centre in Brantford and watched the first act and Wedding Act of Sleeping Beauty, along with other excerpts by the National Ballet of Canada. That night is etched in my memory. I still have the National Ballet keychain she bought for me. And I’ll have a reminder of that night every time I look at my daughter.

 

Aurora is the princess in Sleeping Beauty. The child prayed for by her parents, and a blessing given to them by God.

 

Aurora is also the Greek goddess of the dawn. She brings forth new light every morning.

 

Aurora Borealis is the proper name for the Northern Lights, an amazing sight that to Pierre Gassendi looked like the sun rising in an unusual place.

 

The first night that Brian and I spent on Ernst Island we sat on the dock to just watch the stars and that evening the Northern Lights decided to give us a show. I’ve seen them on at least one other occasion during my time at Ernst Island.

 

For both Brian and I the name Aurora isn’t just a gorgeous name that we love, it’s a name that brings back some great memories. It reminds us of such a special place, a place I know Rory will love as she grows. And it reminds me of an amazing woman who taught me how to dream and love.

 

Rory’s middle names are after some amazing women in our lives. Brian’s Aunt Elizabeth is a woman we both love and respect. My Aunt Elizabeth Stone gives the best hugs of anyone I know. And Ada. Ada was my grandmother’s first name. I didn’t know this until I read it on her headstone the day before her funeral. She never liked the name and went by her middle name, but I have loved it since then. I have so much love and respect for my Grandmother, and I strive to be a woman that she would be proud of.

 

Rory’s name was chosen before we were even pregnant with Grayson, before Gray’s name was even chosen.

I’m so excited for Aurora Elizabeth Ada Ernst to join our family in 2013. I love calling her by name, and that Brian calls her by name. And I love that Grayson is learning to say her name.

 

Years later I danced on the stage my Grandmother and I watched Sleeping Beauty performed on. And my Grandmother was in the audience with a big proud smile on her face.

 

 

 

 

For Brian and I Christmas is never about the gifts. I’m a practical asker – when my mom asks for our lists, I give her lists of items that I would rather not take money out of the budget for. Like this year, I would really love the same cooling racks that she has (they stack!! Space saver!) and I know I could just go buy them, but I would rather save the 20$ and put it towards something else. But really, if there wasn’t a present under the tree for me on Christmas day I wouldn’t be upset. I would love to know that I was going without wants so that someone else was able to have their needs.

 

We have usually taken a portion of the money we budget for Christmas and donate in honour of some of our family. We give a family in Africa some chickens, and give our parents a copy of the book Chicken Little. Last year we decided to start a new tradition with Grayson. Have I told you how blessed this little man is! There is nothing he needs! He is so blessed by 6 grandparents who would give him everything to see him smile. Last year we bought a toy we knew Gray would love, and we donated it to a child his age. This year we’re doing the same, and every year going forward. We’ll get to the point where Grayson is old enough to go pick a toy that he would love, and although he may not understand right away, I pray that we’re teaching him to have a giving heart. We’ll do the same thing with Rory when she’s older.

 

To most of us it’s just an expectation that there are gifts under the tree. We’ve never had a year when there wasn’t. But what would it be like if you went years without Christmas gifts. Years when your parents had to choose to put food on the table instead of putting gifts under a tree, if there was a tree at all. How amazing would it feel if someone who didn’t even know you, but loved you so much gave from their overflow and you had something under the tree. How would you feel? I can only imagine how big the smiles are on some children’s faces when they receive their first Christmas gift. The joy they feel. How loved they feel. Can we take from our overflow and give a child that love?

 

For God so loved the world, He gave His only son
So we could be His hands, His feet, His love

 

 

In the business that this season is, please stop for a few moments, quiet your life and your heart, and just listen. How is God asking you to be his hands and feet? Can you take the time, money or effort to give some of your Christmas away to others?

 

 

**post coming later today about choosing our daughter’s name and why we choose to share it right away**

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