Monday, December 24, 2012

So Blessed

Yesterday was so special.  By day's end I could hardly keep my eyes open to watch the Von Trapp family sing their way over the mountains of Austria on their way to freedom.....but it was worth it.

It was "Christmas Day" at church.  As you have gathered our church is a bit unusual.  We operate as a family.....all of us. While it is really a community of families........we have large families, small families, couples, widows, singles, adopted and biological.  We are a very diverse mix. 

But within that mix we are family.  We love each other.  Sometimes we disagree.  Often we laugh the point of tears.  We have our good days and our bad days.  We try to work within our strengths so that everything gets done cheerfully. 

Chelsea took all of the photos in this post.  I think they reflect nicely how we see things on a weekly basis...the big kids and the little kids blend very nicely together.  Everyone works and plays together learning and growing.

Hannah and Asher play peek a boo!

So cute!!

Miss Juliet looking all cute as she eats M&M's that were a gift from an older couple in the church. All of the kids were well sugared up by the end of the afternoon!

Daniel and Sonja study music. 

I love the bag on one shoulder and the much loved bear on the other.
It is a very great place to be.  We are more than delighted that this once very tiny church family has grown.  There were more than 80 people at our Christmas luncheon yesterday.  Wow!  God is so good!!

Worship service yesterday was pretty wonderful.  The music was great and Pastor Mike preached on the Christmas Geneologies.  Interesting stuff!  Not exactly what I would have thought.  Because my eyes tend to glaze over as I get to those name lists. (Except when we were home educating and I would use those lists to get my kiddos giggling like crazy on a hard school day.  They loved the sounds of some of the names.)

After the service we had a delightful sit down luncheon organized by Mrs. Rabe ( Deanna).  She decorated beautifully.  She arranged for some young people to act as servers.  She, Lindsay and I plated up the food.  We had ham, cheesy potatoes and green beans.  Fruit cups and rolls were on the tables.  Dessert was cake.  Yum!  All of the ladies who were able had signed up to bring something for the meal.  Our friend, Jenny and my Mom, Ruth, both made wonderful hams.  They were delightful.  Brigette had made a ham too but it was barely touched since we didn't even get there as we served.  I heard it was mighty tasty though.  One never wants to run out of food so we made sure there was plenty.  Our servers did a fabulous job!

Then came the time for last minute practice before our Christmas "Eve" service.  So many of our families come from a distance. We wanted to make sure that they could make the most of their time together over Christmas so we moved that service up to yesterday.  It is so amazing and a picture of how the church should work that I simply make an announcement inviting anyone who would like to take part to let me know what they would like to do.  Over the weeks leading up to it I hear from this one and that one that they have a reading to share, a song to play on this instrument or that.  The children always get to do a song together and we have our resident audience.  They simply enjoy encouraging those who participate.  And by doing so create a wonderful environment!

This year we had a violin/cello duet, a bass and piano duet, Three hands on the piano (As I played with a recuperating Joseph after hand surgery), a vocal ensemble, a vocal duet, a reading by Kelly, several piano solos and an instrumental ensemble that blew us all away with Carol of the Bells.
We have been blessed with amazing musical talent! 

I enjoyed a little chat I had with the children just before they sang Go Tell it on the Mountain.  Lately I've been thinking about how we talk about stories from the Bible.  It seems to me that  young ears hear stories all of the time.  Some of them are fairy tales and some of them are Bible truth.  So we talked very briefly about the difference between Fairy Tales and True Stories.  The Author is very different when it comes to the Bible Stories.  While fairy tales can have merit they aren't the same.
Boy did I enjoy that little time with those children.  So bright eyed and joyful.  Gotta love them!
They sang their little hearts out!!

Quickly we came to the end of that service and it was time for our traditional candle lighting and singing of Silent Night.  Four verses.  During that time it is so special to look around in the glow and see all of the church family that we have come to love.  To celebrate together an event that happened so long ago....but is just as relevant today. 

Then we came home to find that our newest neighbors had left Christmas cookies on our doorstep.  LOVE that!!! They are in their first year of marriage and are just a delightful young couple.  I can't wait to get to know them better.

AND as we pulled into our driveway Allan and Bev (brother and sister in love) pulled into Mom's driveway.  Yay.  We decompressed for a few minutes here and then went across the way for fun conversation and some turkey sandwiches.  YUM!  Ham and turkey all in one day.   Delicious!
As is usual for us when Allan is here we laughed a lot.  He is just funny.  I like him.  Bev is such a wonderful sister to me.  I never had a sister.  But she reminds me that I have one now.  And I love her.

Sometime after I allowed my eyes to close in sleep last evening, my boys came home.  Jonathan had worked and Mikey agreed to pick him up so we didn't have to run out again. joy is complete.  All three of my children are under one roof.  We can continue with our celebrations of the birth of a Savior.

Today we will sing carols at a local nursing home.  I will sing a solo of Mary's Song (Breath of Heaven).  It has been so long since I've used my voice this much.  Hope it holds up.  Between last night and today I've been reminded of how much I love singing.  The piano has been my instrument for the past 12 years....but I need to work to get my vocal strength back because I now have an accompaniest and friends who love to sing as much as I do.  JOY!!

So, as you can see, I am so very, very blessed.  God has been so good to us.  We are thankful for His goodness and for His Son.

I pray your family has a delightful Christmas celebration.  May His love warm your heart and home.


Theresa said...

Yes you are blessed and so am I! I am thankful for SO much now and all thru the year! Have a blessed Christmas Eve with your family and friends, BIG HUGS!

sammysgrammy said...

What beautiful memories you have to treasure. And a fitting memorial of our Savior.

Good job on the photos, Chelsea. Love the wee girl standing behind her dad? with her skruffy old stuffed animal draped over her shoulder.

Vee said...

Oh yes! You are very blessed and you are a great blessing, too. I so enjoyed that spirited rendition of "Go Tell it On the Mountain" at Creekside Cottage this morning. You have described a wonderful day and that is why I'm trotting off with a smile on my face. Many blessings and a wonderful Christmas to you and your precious family...your moms, too...your church family...see? I just love wishing everyone a "Merry Christmas!"

Becky K. said...

Sammy'Grammy (Rita),
That is a young man from another family. He was preparing for the Carol of the Bells. Sonja must have been fascinated by the music.

SHEILA said...

I don't know how you manage to do all you do, and yet find the beauty and love in all of it. You are a special lady, and your love of the Lord is an amazing testimony. Merry Christmas!

Susy said...

Your church sounds wonderful Becky ~ and I know that you and your family are part of the reason why. I joined my church in 1985 when they were meeting in a storefront space with about 300 people. Now, we're on a 35 acre site with 8000 people every weekend, which has its pros and cons (**. Christmas blessings to you and yours !

ZudaGay said...

So very blessed! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Lorrie Esposito said...

Sounds like a wonderful time spent in celebration with family and friends. I enjoyed reading this post very much.

Gayla said...

It sounds as if you are having the very best of Christmases. Enjoy all the special blessings. Talk soon!

Susanna said...

I knew you would write a beautiful post about this beautiful day, Becky! Thank you! Have a beautiful celebration with your family tomorrow!

Mrs.Rabe said...

I just saw this post!

It was wonderful and I am so thankful for our church family!

Merry Christmas friend!


JD said...

Lovely Post, sounds like you all had a wonderful day.
Becky You guessed correctly. Our daughter and son-in-law's gift to us this year, was a one year membership for the two of us for Longwood! Now I know we will be getting there quite often. Blessings, Jill