Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas thanks (730)

"It's Christmas, a time to praise the Lord,
a time to lift our hearts in worship,
Saviour to adore..."

That's a line from the finale of the Christmas musical we performed last night. It was really a family affair for us this year. All of my kids were involved in the production (acting, dancing, singing and props), Kelly was on the keyboard and technology stuff and I was co-directing with my good friend/cousin-in-law. The whole thing went so well I was just thrilled.

This Christmas has felt different for me somehow. Not so stressful. Part of that has been that we started our Christmas shopping way early which helped cut down on the shopping panic. As well, I've been trying to 'shop'n'pray' - Keeping things simple and not necessarily making or buying something because I feel obligated to but because the Lord has moved my heart to do so...I'm finding way more joy in that process and none of the making or purchasing has felt like a burden in any way.

I've been trying to keep Jesus the centre of my focus which isn't always easy to do when you're running to practices and trying to get things done. When you add family stresses to that - things that are, unfortunately, common to our household and a little sickness, things can weigh you down pretty quickly. But God has been faithful to me through this stressful time and I am so grateful. I realized I haven't been adding to my thankful list for awhile, so I think it's time to do so again.

717. I am so thankful for friends who call at the last minute to say, "I was thinking of setting up the dessert tables for the program with tablecloths, red napkins and poinsettias, would that be okay with you?" Would it? Of course it would, what a blessing to have a pretty table. Thank you Linda.

718. I asked one of our church ladies to bake a birthday cake for Jesus for the end of the program, she completely outdid herself and made not only a delicious and beautiful cake but one rich with meaning as well. Thank you Mary.

719. I'm so thankful for our church family and how they chip in and get done what needs to be done.

720. Thankful for all the people who showed up in -30 degree weather to cheer the kids on.
721. Thankful for all the kids and youth who did such a great job of singing, dancing, acting and getting things ready.
722. Thankful for the musicians, not only for their skill and ability but that they recognized when it might be better to use the soundtrack on a couple of the more difficult songs.
723. Thankful for the support people, sound, costumes, dressers, and all of that.
724. I'm thankful my sister-in-law went ahead and bought tickets for the Steve Bell concert on Saturday night even though it was crazy to go. He played with the Saskatoon Symphony and it was beyond amazing - an incredible, unforgettable experience. I LOVED IT.
725. Thankful for friends of my kids who are excited to see them this coming weekend.
726. I am grateful for the skill the Lord has given me to make bread. There is no better scent on a cold wintry day than fresh bread right out of the oven.
727. I'm thankful for the generous gift from one of our congregation that allowed us to purchase a family game that we've been thinking about for over a year but was out of our budget.
728. Thankful for the beauty of Christmas, the internals and externals. I LOVE sitting and looking at my pretty tree in the dark of the evening after the kids are in bed.
729. I'm particularly thankful that we have a reason to celebrate the season, it isn't just about money and gifts but has a deeper, richer meaning that commercialism can't erase.
730. Today I'm thankful to be able to sit here in the sunshine and be thankful...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

tornado warning

I've never actually been in a tornado, but I think I have an inkling of what it might be like. Every once in awhile a tornado in the form of my son rips through our house leaving devestation in its wake. Broken things, hurt emotions, frayed nerves. How do people survive who live in 'tornado alley'? Why do they stay there when they could move? Why do we stay here for that matter and endure harsh winters and drought filled summers? Because it is home.

In spite of the possibility of being devestated by the weather we remain because we can't imagine living elsewhere. It is the same with our son. We will continue to work these difficulties out day by day, moment by moment because one day, the weather patterns might just change.

In the meantime we'll clean up the broken glass and search out how to mend the bent emotions and work toward reconciliations and healing. Life is just so messy.