Yesterday was the first day of Advent. Having finally settled on an Advent study for our family, I was tickled it was a nature study. And we were going to start our first day of Advent by cutting down a tree from our property as our Christmas tree.

We’d discussed this a few times, but not actually done it. It’s so much easier to go to a lot, pay the man to deliver it, and let them put it in the stand, and bring it in the house. So much easier. Well, apparently, it was the only thing the children knew as getting a Christmas tree because as we tromped in the woods, the youngest one kept saying, “Just buy a tree, Daddy. Just buy one.”

I’d been “mentioning” in a “casual” way that Advent started Sunday. I’d “mentioned” in a “casual” way that I hoped we’d find a tree here on our property. Please note that I didn’t nag. I really don’t think I did. Husband is a smart one. I rarely have to say things more than once. And if I do say something more than once, it’s most likely I wanted to hear me say it more than once.

Husband did not disappoint. After cutting, splitting, and stacking  firewood, he cleaned up the tree stand and as soon as we turned the oven off leaving our eye of round to roast, the kids piled in the back of the pick-up and we drove around to a stand of trees on the upper corner. These kids chattered. And chattered. And chattered. About nothing. It was the loudest walk in the woods I’d ever heard. There was plentiful evidence of deer rubbing their antlers on trees (I know it has its own name, I just don’t know what that name is. It’s my job to cook the meat, not kill it.). But had there been any deer in that piece of forest, they were now long gone.

We walked. And we looked. And we walked and we looked. It was mostly down to two cedars. We ended up choosing one that was very full. And had a bird’s nest still in it. He took out the chainsaw and trimmed the low branches, and whoosh, it was cut down. We had a Christmas Tree that just grew by God’s grace. It wasn’t planted by a farmer. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We had our own Christmas tree. Our very own.

There are not words that describe how I feel about this. The closest I can come to describing the feeling of this beautiful piece of nature in my home is, “immense joy.” And it isn’t even about the tree. It’s about Husband.

He made this happen. I could never have given this experience on my own. Never. He drove me down in the military truck to these thick, viney woods one Summer day 13 years ago and said we’d live here. We didn’t even own the land then. Then he bought the land. And he said we’d build. But before we did, he brought me down here one very chilly, starry night and we sat in the entrance (where the state-maintained road ended) and we watched the Perseid Meteor Shower. He began digging the foundation and promised me it’d all make sense once it was built. And he was right. He helped me pick out paint and told me it wouldn’t look like Colonel Mustard Baby Poop if I’d just be patient. And he was right. He told me we’d have a tree for Advent and he was right.

Husband gave me, Daddy gave the children a beautiful start to Advent. He has given us so much. And we don’t have to nag or remind or beg. He just gives so freely and willingly. He gives everything he’s got. I am grateful.

Last night I fed him a delicious roast with rolls, asparagus, broccoli/cauliflower. I fed him me by letting the kitchen go once we cleaned up mostly. And I fed him me as I sat up against him and watched America’s Funniest Videos with the children rather than putting together lessons or piddling around the house.. Last night I fed him praise. I fed him praise for being the hero that makes our world, well, our world.