Thursday, January 17, 2008

Breaking the Surface

Boy, when I disappear, I disappear! This week I'm beginning to feel like I'm coming up for air after the Christmas season. It was wild and crazy, wonderful and work-filled all at once. And every mom out there says, True, true. By my silence assume I'm busy and there's too much going on, sometimes things that I can't even blog about! But I'll give you a little run-down.

There were many Holiday parties. Many. And they were each wonderful. Some we attended, some we hosted, and some we assisted with. It was a great time with our new friends at the Chapel. In so many ways, God affirms our newest job transition. Many Sundays I have the strangest sense of de ja vu. I see this campus as my family, and rejoice in being able to love and care for them.

Matt preached many times. Three of our weekends from the last time I blogged until now were filled with preaching schedule, and he's up again the next two weekends. There were many services, with Christmas Eve being one of the most worshipful experiences I've ever had.

There were many decorations - I really got into doing the house up this year - thanks to Command strips! Garland and lights and ornaments. The kids and I made many projects and home-made treats (rock candy, ricechex "treats" to name a few).

There were many visits and visitors! We ran to West Michigan for a 24-hour tour the day after Christmas, and my folks, sisters and brother-in-law came for five days a day after we got home.

There were many gifts! The kids celebrated and were celebrated fully! I received the only thing I wanted this year - the movie White Christmas. I'm getting a bit nostalgic in my old age. Izak now thinks punch is a permanent part of the Christmas season. He's really understanding the meaning of the season, and is chocked full of Christmas information. Many folks asked us if we do the Santa thing. Yes, we do, for reasons that I'd discuss with you if I knew you. It was fun this year because Izak noted that there were many Santas . I said yes, but there's only one real Santa (someday to be revealed as St. Nick's story!) and the others are his helpers. He spent the holiday deliberating whether that one was the real one, or that one, no, not him, maybe that one... yeah, he's the real one! Well, maybe not... . The older kids have the Christmas story down pat, and enjoy being questioned in game-show form about the information. Although the Hebrew is a little tricky; Izak thinks the angel that announced Christ's birth was named Ariel... close, but no point.

There were many rounds of the movie Cars (Levi), Handel's Messiah (Izak), and M&M's (Liberty).

There were many sleepless nights and doctor's visits. Libby struggled with the croup for a few weeks. Then Levi was sick, sick, sick. Between ears draining and developing pneumonia, I feel like I spent 30 days doing around the clock nebulizers. He's started on Singulair and is much better. Looks like the boy got my lungs. We also discovered he's very, VERY allergic to dogs. Hmmm ... not sure how we're going to work around that. We always thought cats were the culprit. He's five times more allergic to dogs than cats. I'm so thankful that we donated Sailor (out New York Newfoundland) to my sister in law. God worked things out in advance for Levi to join our family.

There were many prayers. For strength, wisdom, mercy, grace, thankfulness, self-control. Prayers for our friend, Rick, in Buffalo, who's come back again with another clean bill of health! Prayers of intercession and sustenance . It's been a season where I've willingly thought, even in the hard times, God is with me. He hasn't left me here to fix this. He's with me. Emmanuel.

Friends, there are so many other things. His goodness and provision. His faithful call to pursue Him and throw off all that hinders. My hurts, the hurts of others, my own pride and ignorance. His undeniable love and power. May 2008 find you increasingly aware of the many, many, many ways that He appears to you, and how that reality will transform your life.