Monday, November 26, 2007
I have wonderful childhood memories of setting up the Christmas tree. The stereo would be on playing all our favorites and we would have hot cider or hot cocoa or cookies. Sara and I would excitedly unpack all the ornaments while Dad sat on the floor painstakingly testing each bulb to see which had caused the string to fail. It seemed like forever until the lights were on and we could decorate the tree. We looked for the walnut shell ornament with the miniature nativity scene carved out of a miniscule piece of wood, and carefully examined the tree for the best place to nestle it where a light would shine on it like the star of Bethlehem. We carefully unwrapped the glass candy canes and angels. We gingerly handled the curled paper ornaments. And when we were done, we turned off the lights and just sat in the dark stillness and admired our work.
My kids look forward to this tradition as much as I did. They anticipate the event for days. A few things have changed though. I set up the tree and I do the lights.
Usually I unpack the tree, get ready to put the lights on, and the strings don't work. I have tried to do as Dad did, and sit for an hour replacing blubs while the kids jump around asking me how long before they can put ornaments on. But this year I had the novel idea of buying lights ahead of time in anticipation of their failure. So I did. I bought five boxes. I wouldn't run out of lights this year! Well, I didn't. All last year's light strings worked!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
A couple of years ago I was on a walk around the block with the kids and a rattling, maroon mini van pulled up along side me, a man with third day wiskers leaned out and asked, "Do you live around here?" I was a little skeptical of this man and his vehicle, but I told him, yes, we lived around the corner. He said he had just moved into the house two doors down from us and his son would love to play with my kids.
So began a friendship with Todd and Erin. I found out that Erin was a Christian, and that Todd had never been to church. We hung out. Our kids played. We trekked a path between our houses. We invited them to our church. They came. Even Todd.
I guess we planted a seed of truth. We didn't mean to, really. We were just ourselves, living next to our friends. Talking, eating and laughing. Somehow, Todd saw God in us.
I prayed for Todd. Maybe Robb did too. We saw small changes in him. He started to listen to Christian radio. He came to church. And this fall, a relative invited he and his brother to go on a Christian fishing retreat. They went, and even though Todd was a bit skeptical of the retreat element, at least he was going fishing on Lake Vermillion!
As it turns out, he not only got to go fishing with a famous guide, he and his brother got caught: by the love and grace of a good God. And you know what's funny? The fishing stunk, and they didn't even care!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
...especially when she helps me do the housework! On Wednesday I decided to give myself a birthday present: a clean house. While I cleaned, Megan decided to do the laundry - ALL of it! Can you believe it? I can't. But there to prove it is the empty, clean space where the dirty laundry used to be. My daughter made my day, maybe even my week. Now that's a great birthday present.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Since my communication with all my favorite people is erratic, I am hoping that entering the blogging world will help me post family news and pictures, and then anyone can access it at any time. Wish me luck!