Sunday, December 30, 2007

I'm an Amish Robert Frost

I've been called many things, but this one had me rolling all week. You know that song by Newsboys, "Shine." (Shine, make them wonder what you've got...etc.) Do you ever wonder if you "shine"? Do people notice something different in you? You know, Christ shining through, that type of thing. I found out on Christmas Eve that I apparently do have that something different thing going on. I'm sitting there minding my own business when the rough around the edges brother of my sister- in -law announced to all that were within earshot that I was Amish! Yes, me! How funny is that? He was commenting on how I don't know how people treat each other in the real world, because, of course, I'm Amish. For some reason I find this amusing, and actually a compliment. It would appear that he doesn't think I'm as mean as most people. Either that or he has something against the Amish. I'm not sure, but I'm choosing to see it as a compliment. Then today I was even more amused by one of my Sunday School students. In class, I read to them a blog post from a few months back. It happened to go along well with the lesson. I didn't tell the kids I had written it, but thought they would figure that out. After church we were at a friend's house, when I asked if he figured out who had written it. He said he was pretty sure it was by Robert Frost! And he was serious! I think it's safe to assume that he's never actually read anything by Mr. Frost! So in the course of six short days I've discovered my true self. I'm an Amish Robert Frost!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Back to reality..

Well, we're back! We had a great time in Disney. It was warm and beautiful everyday. But now it's back to reality. After a bumpy flight home late Saturday night reality has hit in a big way. I spent all day Sunday battling my nemesis, known as laundry to everyone else. By God's grace, I won, and managed to wash, fold and put away all our vacation clothes. I felt like I had climbed Mount Everest. Monday it was back to reality for the kids as well, school!! It was painful after such a nice, long break from Mommy's nagging. Monday night I went Christmas shopping to take care of the rest of my list. You know, all those gifts you put off buying because you have no idea what to get. I made out pretty well there, and only have 2 more gifts to pick up. When I got home at 9:30, I worked on Christmas cards until midnight. They're done, although if I missed you, or you got two cards from me, sorry, it was late! Tuesday, school was a little less painful. I then baked cookies for 7 hours. (Squeezed making and eating dinner in there,too.) I ended up with 24 dozen cookies for the Christmas baskets at church. Not bad for one afternoon's (and night's) work. Today, I shopped for all the rest of the food I need for baking and Christmas brunch. Things look much calmer for the rest of the week. On Friday my kids head to Gramma's for the annual cookie making sleepover. John and I will use that night to do all our wrapping together. We always watch "It's a Wonderful Life", while we wrap. Corny, I know, but that's just what we do. And you know what? It is a wonderful life! If you don't hear from me soon, have a blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My break from reality

Tomorrow's the big day! My family is taking off for 9 fun-filled days in Disney!! The kids are calling today, "Disney-Eve". It's all very exciting. My Mom and Dad will drive over to spend 4 days with us. So for a few days, at least, we won't be outnumbered by the kids. But there's much to do to get ready. So, today I'll be a total stress case, as is a family tradition. But tomorrow, now that's another story. Tomorrow I become "vacation Mommy." I'm sure the kids will really appreciate me then, after being traumatized today by "stressed- out- getting ready for vacation- mommy. " I have to admit, that I never did finish my Christmas cards, still have a little shopping to do, and about 30 dozen cookies to bake....but who cares?...I'm going to Disney!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Where's God?

Last weekend our hearts were broken. The 14 year old son of our friends died unexpectedly at a church youth event. Our friends have lost their only child. There truly are no words to adequately express the sorrow we feel for them. And yet, in the midst of such darkness, the Lord is at work. That Sunday our church family came together for worship. We were all stunned by the events of the weekend, and desperate for the Lord to shed some light on the overwhelming grief. As it would happen, our Pastor was away on vacation that week. He had scheduled for a guest speaker to take his place. Although the Pastor tried to get a flight home, he was unable to return in time to be with us for our Sunday worship. But the Lord, of course, knew all this was to happen. In His mercy and wisdom, He provided the perfect messenger. The scheduled guest speaker had lost a teenage son in a drowning 13 years ago. Coincidence? I don't think so. God sent us the only person who could help us make sense of it all. He was able to share with us what a parent feels when a child dies, what is helpful and what isn't. He was able to share how he was able to eventually find peace with the knowledge that the Lord truly is in control. These things do happen for a reason, even if we don't see it this side of eternity. At the invitation, the church was encouraged to come forward to pray, or be prayed for by our Deacons. Many people went forward, and we collectively grieved for Patrick and prayed for his parents. A couple I had never seen before went forward, weeping. Most of the teens in the church went forward, formed a circle and prayed and grieved together. Men and women were openly weeping. The song went on for quite a while. I don't know how the worship team managed to keep singing. You could actually feel the Holy Spirit fill the room with His mercy and grace. Words really don't do justice to the magnitude of the experience. On a side note, my husband's aunt just happened to visit church that day. She lives nearby and visits on occasion. She had no idea what had happened, and later said that if she had known she probably wouldn't have come. You see, 4 years ago her daughter died. Coincidence that she happened to come that day? I don't think so. When the music ended I turned and saw her tear-streaked face. But there was something else there too. A look of peace I haven't seen in 4 years. The next day I called to check on her. She stated that the service was the most healing thing that has happened since her daughter died. And she just happened to come that day? Yeah, right.

When the unthinkable happens it's easy to wonder where God is in it all. How could He let this happen? I think it's normal to wonder why, but we have to trust that God is in control. Sometimes that's not the easiest thing to do. But as far as where God was in all of this, I can tell you for sure. He was right there with us all. It would have been impossible to miss Him.