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 together...to 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!|
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. Oh.my.goodness. 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!
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. So.....my 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.