Saturday, December 17, 2005

Perhaps Charlie Brown began the tradition of picking really bad trees, I don't know for sure. When Deanna and I went to cut a tree down for our home this year, we were looking for a tall tree with character. Well, we found one.

Any of you that have seen the "Grinch" movies will remember how when you saw a view of his home from the valley, it was on a mountain top. The view up showed a wide mountain base, leading to an ever narrowing top that was crooked. That is very descriptive of our tree this year.

All four of us have enjoyed teasing about it, and today, decorating it, together. It is a bit awkward, but then, so many times are we.

Being together to decorate was a blessing! We had fun doing it! That has not always been the case. We always looked forward to it, but often, the hurriedness of the season would catch up with us, and reflect the Sunday morning rush to get everyone ready, and pushed out the door.

Beej was usually the peacemaker through this. His young heart beat with such passion for all the season brought. His enthusiasm in decorating the tree was infectious. He would try to soothe the rushed attitudes and corresponding hurt feelings with the love in his heart.

His decorating prowess improved through the years. When he was young, his decorating style was limited by his height. The finished tree would have all of his favorite ornaments at the bottom...where he could reach. After he went to bed, Deanna would come to the rescue and even things out a bit. He never seemed to notice that.

We had a great time togehter this morning as we hung the Yuletide glitter. Our tree is ecclectic and traditional. We hang ornaments collected through the years, that reflect momentary hobbies. These are what make the Higgins tree special to us. We vow every year to throw certain ornaments away, but each year, they end up back on the tree. We laugh at them when we pull them out. There are many broken ornaments on that tree, but they have such sentimental value to us.

The joy we had this year in making the tree festive was not without memories of years past, and Beej's presence. Those thoughts danced through our minds, as we worked in harmony to adorn the crooked tree. One ornament evoked tears for me. It was an inexpensive gold plated train with a picture of a young Beej in the engineers seat. His smile is so precious.

Overall, we truly celebrated the opportunity to be back together as a family. How blessed we are by our Lord to allow us this day. I pray the same for each of you. This season without Beej will be melancholy at times, but each time I start to feel that way, the Lord brings that picture back to my mind of Beej looking into the eyes of Christ, and bringing him uninhibited, and unspoiled worship. How I long to occupy the space beside him.

Until then, I'll keep

Serving the King beside you,



At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That makes me smile.. thank you for that. :)
Love you guys

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've been praying for you guys.. i know that this Christmas will be different than anyone you've ever experienced before, but i hope, and pray, that it is filled with a different kind of joy, that being the exact joy you spoke of. Knowing that BJ is watching y'all while worshipping our King of Glory!!

Love you~kristin

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless you...Greenfield, Indiana

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless you...thinking of you all at this time.....Greenville, TX

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank u for sharing. still praying daily for u all. have a merry christmas!
lizzy-KC MO

At 9:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing mom and dad higgins. It feels like it's been so long since when we met in November. I am blessed by your words every time. It brings me to worship. I just sat here crying as I thought about the love of God and his sovreignty and redemption and how beautiful the Lord is. I love you both and I still pray.
Brittany Allen (CA)

At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've followed your story since early September. Recently I've gone back and read all the comments going with the posts. I just got to october and last night watched the service. Wow! Talk about inspiration. I feel like I have wasted so much of my life. That's all changed recently though. I go to a small church and started an evangelism class in September. We're learning how to share our faith using The Way of The Master techniques (Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort). I've grown so much in my walk with God as a result of this website and the class. There's nothing more important than seeking and saving the lost and your son/brother has pushed me out of my cozy Christianity! I ordered these wonderful gospel tracts that thoroughly lay out the gospel and put one in every Christmas card this year. I've also stepped way out of my comfort zone and talked with several friends and family members about Christ, salvation, judgment day, all that tough stuff and it felt great! Christians have been silent for too long. We need to start caring that people are going to hell. I for one am horrified to think of people I care about going there!
I could go on and on, but I just wanted to thank you for this website that has made such a difference in my life. I wish I could thank BJ for his obedience and enthusiasm and love for the lost. I am so amazed at the person he was.
I hope your family will have a Merry Christmas. I do pray that God will ease your pain.
Thank you so much again!
Lisa in Chicago

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

The Piepers have joined that Charlie Brown tradition more often than not. This year, our tree, (purchased later than usual amidst some rather slim pickings), sits atop a huge box to raise its less than 5' height to one more suited to our 20' ceiling. We are thankful for a handmade tree skirt, although I guess it's a "box skirt" this year.

Today, we hosted our church family for a Christmas Open House. Our family had laughed at our Charlie Brown tree and anticipated receiving some teasing. Instead, many people commented on how beautiful it looked. Brent, we DO share Charlie's tradition: a tree decorated with love ends in beauty--regardless of its beginning.

BJ's young life began and ended in beauty, although I know there were probably some "Charlie Brown" moments here and there. Thank you again, family, for giving him the love that allowed him to grow, flourish, and share that love with the nations.

Sending prayers for His enduring love to our blog family as you experience the final Sunday of Advent. Maranatha!

Marti for all the Piepers
Charleston, SC

At 11:01 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

P.S. Lisa in Chicago--thanks for sharing. We know that God continues to use BJ's story to change lives, and we will pray for you as you grow in Him. Let the revolution CONTINUE!

At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Family,

I can't thank you enough for sharing as faithfully as you do! Today, my family and I decorated our first Christmas tree without my Gramma. It hurts sometimes to think about times in the past when the only person who would show up to help Gramma was me - the single not so busy one. I was never going to miss fixing up her tree for her - this year, I missed her telling me the same stories she'd told me each year, but instead this year my Mom, sister, Aunts and cousins shared in this time with me and I got to tell them the stories - something I imagine I'll be doing a lot more of as I age! Ohhhhh how I loved her stories and missed them so dearly! Well, tonight my Mom, sister, Aunt & cousin (non-believers) came with me to a near by church to see a living Nativity and BOY was I ever blessed! I've never been so THANKFUL for life or DEATH in all my life!

Praise the Lord for family - let us continue to step out in FAITH to reach the lost and to LOVE all those in our presence! I love you!

May the Lord bless each moment of sorrow with a time of rememberance and JOY!

In His service,

Laurel Lynn <><
Good Ol' San Diego :)

At 12:43 AM, Blogger Lattany said...

What a beautiful picture I have of you all decorating the tree, together. I'm so glad to hear your girls arrived back home, safely, and that you had a joyous time decorating your tree...whatever it looks like!

I was thinking exactly what Marti said -- that we are, indeed, very much like those "Charlie Brown trees". Beginning scragly and crooked, but tended to carefully and lovingly (whether that's laughs as we hang the ornaments, or rearranging a cluster of "favorites") so the result is a beautiful figure that points boldly to our Savior.

Blessings to you all.

Fairfax, VA, USA

Lisa, your comment blessed me -- I'm praying for your continued boldness.

At 9:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Higgins family, May our loving Lord bless you and bring you comfort this time of year. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with your family.

Missy Allen
Hampstead, NC

At 10:14 PM, Blogger the leaf family said...

I bought candles today, with a holder for each one. We will put them around the bottom of our tree and light each one as we pray for the family. Remember how dear each person was and is to us. How they have glorified the Lord or we have used thier story for him.. Our New tradition.. Thank You for so many blessings this year and for serving our King next to us.. With All our Love and Prayers from KC-The Leaf Family

At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi precious family,
Written on a post-it note on my desk is this quote: "Small things done with great love will change the world." This quote reminds me of BJ. The person who wrote this quote also has a website ( that has great examples of how we can minister to one another.
You guys are blessings to us!
Deer Park, TX

At 6:07 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Great blog, continue the good work


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