Harder Family

Harder Family

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Update 12/26/23

 Psalm 27:13-14 “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Merry Christmas to all of you! We pray that each of you were able to enjoy some quality time with your families. We were blessed to make some amazing memories, despite not feeling well. I tried my best to enjoy each moment, although there were times I wanted to just wish the day away. I know the sooner I get closer to a week out from chemo, the sooner I will feel better. I told a friend it’s hard sometimes to exist in the in between. I struggle to find the good in the hard. It’s possible, but it takes work.

Bo was quick to welcome me home from chemo and enjoyed watching movies with me while I wasn’t feeling well.

On Saturday, during my recovery, I watched one of my favorite movies, While You Were Sleeping. While I was at recovering, my sister Rachel took Sophia on a hike, which is Sophia’s love language.

Christmas Eve we were able to enjoy a beautiful church service together with some of my family. I had the honor of writing a piece for the lighting of the Christ candle for Advent. May these words speak to you!

Tonight we light the Christ Candle. All the other candles are encapsulated in this one candle. Jesus Christ is the source and the ultimate example of love, He is our joy, He is our source of peace, and He is our hope. Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the promise throughout scripture, from Genesis through Malachi, for the Promised Messiah who was coming to redeem His people.

In Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah prophesied of this:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne an over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

This little baby who humbly entered our broken world, came to save and redeem us from our sin. But Jesus Christ is not just a baby that we remember at Christmas, He is our conquering King who is coming again. Philippians 2:10-11 declares, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” There is power in the name of Jesus Christ! He has the power to save and transform lives.

Jesus Christ is source of everything we need in this life- He is our salvation, the fulfillment of the Promised Messiah that God promised from the beginning. Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of love: He humbled Himself to come to this earth, to bear all the guilt and shame for us on the cross, and conquered sin and death when He rose from the grave. He is also our source of joy, peace, and He is our only hope.

Jesus Christ truly is the only source of everything we need. May we reflect on this truth as we light this candle. A question to ponder this Christmas: is Jesus Christ the center of your life? Is He your source of love, joy, peace, and hope? Nothing else satisfies like He does. May we know and experience this truth in our lives this year.

After church, we headed back to our house for pizza and gifts. It was a wonderful and relaxing evening. Thankfully, my body held on long enough to enjoy the time with my family. 

Enjoying a new game!

I was super excited for this gift I found for my dad. He loves to garden, but has had some back issues. This will allow him to keep doing what he loves, but protect his back. 

I snagged these pictures of the kids playing around. 

Christmas morning was even more laid back. In this season of not feeling well, I love having teenagers. We didn’t even get out of bed until 10 and then there was no rush. Naomi made us cinnamon rolls to keep the tradition going, since I was not up to it. We then exchanged gifts and opened stockings. We completed a puzzle, played some games, and ate Chuys (low maintenance day). We also had a special Elf couple stop by and watch a movie with us. 

Sophia added to my glass blown ornament collection. She got this one because it’s a running joke that she’s the gnome of the family since she’s so short.

Shan’s love of the Chiefs (really just the QB), made gifts easy. 

This evening, our friends, who are really family, arrived from Chicago. The kids have been having a blast enjoying their company already. We look forward to spending some time with them over the next few days.

Prayer Requests:

- Wayne: for his speech so that he can clearly communicate with us and that his broken ankle would heal.

- Rebecca: recovery from chemo and that radiation would do the job it needs to do so I don’t need anymore chemo. These 4 rounds have worn me out. 

- Kids: that we would continue to make memories and for their hearts to be ministered to by the Lord. Naomi has been sad that Wayne can’t say her name anymore. It’s not always the big things that are hard, but the little things that add up. 

- Immune systems: please pray that illness avoids our house. It seems like everyone is sick right now. I will be entering my low count time this week, so please pray that we all stay healthy. 🩷

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