As a twist of fate would have it (Paul and I are voting for God's hand in it, perhaps a Christmas miracle?!) we found ourselves on duty at Gateway with no residents (for a few hours).
This has only happened one other time (for 2 hours!) in the nearly 5 years we have lived here.
So, yeah, it felt kinda special.
So we lived it up, like
leaving a knife out on the counter
and not recording how much everyone ate for a meal
and walking out the house and leaving no one in charge inside
and taking a nap in the living room.
We took a winter walk in the woods with the 3 kiddos, played a board game (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!), took naps by the fire, ate a turkey dinner with fancy sparkling grape juice, and finished the day off with a peppermint birthday cake and singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.
Paul and I were discussing it at supper, how (apart from being with our extended families, which would be our first choice of course!) this was an absolutely wonderful way to spend Christmas.
We didn't exchange gifts, except for the kids getting a couple things in their stockings this morning, and Paul and I getting some handmade gifts from the kids in ours.
We went to church to worship.
We went for a walk and enjoyed God's creation.
We enjoyed a simple, relaxing afternoon in one another's company.
The beauty of simplicity. We actually didn't plan it at all. It kinda just showed up.
Because sometimes life gets complicated, and we make some things harder than they need to be.
But God's Message is simple. And I believe He wants us to enjoy the small things that make this life tolerable, while we wait on our Forever Home.
I feel we got a glimpse of that today.
And it was a wonderful Christmas gift.
So, a very Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a Good Night!
I was the one who spelled "celery" in her class Spelling Bee: S-E-L-E-R-Y.
And we were going through the spelling words alphabetically and the kid before me had a word that started with B...
In my opinion, spell check was one of the greatest things that could happen to technology. I was so excited the day I discovered those little red squiggles under my words as I typed.
Slightly different topic:
O Holy Night is my most favorite Christmas song. I wrote about it a bit last year. I wanted to make something that I could hang up and see throughout the Christmas season, that would bring me back to focus and even get me humming the tune.
So I made this.
Unfortunately, it was dry for over 24 hours before I realized my mistake. I immediately was trying to think up a way of fixing it. Paul encouraged me to leave it as it is. My perfectionist Type A personality was striving against it.
But as I let it set, I began to think. It serves as a great reminder that we are not perfect, and despite our imperfections, things can still be beautiful, and point us to Who it is all about. Because our imperfections can show the wonderful grace of our Jesus.
He is the One who can thill thrill our hearts, and cause the weary world to rejoice. We need to be open to our mistakes, our shortcomings, our sins. Willing to admit them. Not cover them up so things look beautiful on the outside.
When we can lay our sin at His feet, admit we can't do this on our own, well, that makes my weary heart rejoice.
And God can cause your weary heart to rejoice as well.
We wanted to point out some of our gifts this year that are BRAND NEW to our Gifts of Purpose Catalog... Provide Post-Adoption Resources Raising children from hard places isn't easy. Because Lifesong believes in supporting adoptive families in all stages, post-adoption training scholarships are available to equip adoptive & foster parents with the tools to help heal hurting children. $200 | $450
Fund a Foster Care Mentorship Training Many children & vulnerable adults affected by the foster care system want to know that they matter. The Forgotten Initiative Mentoring provides the opportunity for the Body of Christ to show children that they are loved & valued. $500
Sponsor a Family at Village of Hope-Guatemala Children were made to be in families. By providing Guatemalan house parents, vulnerable children can feel belonging & that there is someone investing in their life & future. Our children are provided food, home & a mother and father figure to pray with them, help them with their homework & mentor them as they grow. $42 | $500
Give Opportunity to Zambia's High School Students Known as one of the best in the city, the Lifesong Zambia School strives for academic achievement. With the recently built high school, our students now have the unique opportunity to join the 5% of kids in their country that receive a high school education, giving them hope of a future free from the cycle of poverty. $48 | $782
Join Lifesong for Orphans in giving a Gift of Purpose. Until December 31st, a generous donor will MATCH each donation with a gift to Lifesong, up to $300,000. $75,857 remaining to reach the goal! Give a Gift. Bring Joy & Purpose to a Child in Need.
We spent this past weekend with Paul's family. We rolled out the traditional Vilia dinner complete with homemade nutbread, shrimp, sauerkraut, oplatky, opanskance, peas, communion wafers and wine.
Grandma Becky had a project for all of us. The girls dressed up as princesses and put together princess puzzles, while the boys put on head lamps and assembled a salt-water powered car. The boys were good sports and put on the princesses tutus...which I have graciously not posted on the Internet!
Video games, board games, coloring, walking in the 8+ inches of snow, and staying up past midnight were all part of the gig too.