This Christmas started at 3AM. I awoke to hearing the excitement of 2 little boys who discovered that Santa had indeed stopped at our house. 3AM is early…and reminds me why we need a house with stairs. As a kid, we were not allowed downstairs until my parents authorized it…strong word, but its the truth. So at 3AM we had some tears because we had to send them back to bed…but not before I realized that Lincoln was already WEARING one of his gifts that Santa left him! I LOVED it…and so back to bed they went…of course I didn’t go back to sleep so now I’m writing:)
This Christmas I went into the season with the goal to really MAKE the season. I wanted to focus on the good in the season, what Christ is really about – a baby coming as a gift from God to rescue the world. I wanted to tune out the negativity (is that possible?) and focus on the good things. Then we had the terror attack (I’m a sucker for some CNN) and I could see things headed to where they were last year…the bummer of living in a world that is sinful and selfish. The fear of having my children growing up with the wrong priorities…the fears of choosing job over family or…the list of fears can go on…
This Christmas is different. Christmas Eve started out rough – a power outage at the office (and yes I work Christmas Eve – it’s the liquor industry people;) someone needs to stock and REstock those shelves!) had me in a semi-ability to work. My computer kept turning itself off and on…and then it just quit completely. I gathered my team (and some additional co-workers ready to get something done while we waited) and we had a fabulous brainstorming session. It was fun to talk and laugh and brainstorm ways to make 2016 and 2017 better than 2015. We had some great ideas!
Christmas Eve service arrived and the boys joined us in service. It was crazy. Kellen got a new Bible while he was at my in-laws and he and Lincoln both brought their Bibles to service. Fun fact: Kellen can only read sight words. So each time scripture would pop up on the screen I had Kellen trying to follow along (and when the pastor would start explanations, Kellen would ask where he was, because obviously the pastor was continuing the scripture…so his finger would continue along the page while he would whisper “where is he now?”. Then next to me I had Lincoln, who would slap his Bible each time he got lost OR each time his Bible’s version didn’t match the version on the screen. I’m sure there were several folks who were asking themselves, “What is wrong with that family?! Can’t they keep their kids quiet?!” However, I choose to be stoked that my kids were attempting to follow along:)
At the very end of the service our pastor talked about giving your life to Christ. When I was younger we called it “asking Jesus into your heart”. The words seem cheesy and I think it’s because it doesn’t encompass all that it means…the relationship with Christ, the want to follow someone who gave up His life so that you could have eternity with Him. I have realized that it’s hard to put into words because it is about the environment, the person…and Lincoln asked me about it tonight. It started with the pastor mentioning a gift (hello – gifts are cool) and ended with me taking Lincoln out to talk to Tim who had pulled Kellen out because he was whispering a little too loudly, too often…and he might have whisper-yelled Lincoln at one point for messing with his Bible…maybe. Anyways, I talked to Lincoln and then traded out boys with Tim so they could finish the conversation…Tim told him he could always remember tonight as the night that he gave his life to Christ – whether he’d already felt like he’d done it or not – and Lincoln said, “Next year will be my anniversary!” My heart is SO FULL.