Friday, January 6, 2012

Awesome-Sauce Christmas!

I can't believe how much time has passed since I last posted!! But then again so much has happened I hardly know where to begin... Let's just sum it up by saying WOW!!

Seriously - I wasn't entirely sure I would survive this holiday season! I truly learned the definition of "my cup runneth over!" We (The Salvation Army of Spartanburg) were so blessed with in-kind donations of toys this season (THANK YOU MARINES & TOYS FOR TOTS!) that I could hardly keep up with the unpacking, sorting and distribution of all the incredible toys!! There are so many kids in our community that were richly blessed this Christmas!! So fun to be a part of it!

I say all of this with true gratitude in my heart and I have never been so overwhelmed by community support... so please don't misunderstand me when I share this next bit... in the midst of the 14-16 hour days of December I began to feel much like Christmas was more of a disaster services mission than a holiday joy. The organizing of a warehouse, the training and utilization of very eager volunteers, the press and media involvement... the only other time we have such a flury of activity is during national disasters. And the more this thought got in my head the more irk-some it became because I certainly didn't want to approach Christmas with yuck in my heart towards the greatest celebration next to Easter that there can possibly be!! I prayed and prayed over these feelings and stepped out in joy each day and pepped through each volunteer orientation, interview, and bag check with a smile on my face hoping that my inner conflict wasn't visible...

...and then came the peace!! I began to identify with the shepherds who were doing their jobs - the tedious, nonstop work of herding stubborn, stinky goats and sheep - when the great host of angels appeard to them singing, "Glory to God in the highest!!" I began to identify with Mary - this huge labor is such a blessing, yet am I able to the task? I even felt like the innkeeper at times - seriously, there's just no more room - not for one more thing - only to see God reveal again His awesome ability to make a way.

I always expected that the first Christmas I had as a mother would be the most emotional one of my life. And - in many ways perhaps it was... all the same, this year seriously rivals it! I felt connected to every aspect of the History in ways I never imagined possible! So Christmas morning arrived, and as we prepared for worship I was seriously giddy!! I couldn't wait to get to church and sing with my family, "Joy to the world! The LORD has come!" All the work, all the hours, all the dreams of large black bags, box cutters, and NUMBERS!! - it all paled in comparison to that incredible morning! JESUS! JESUS! JESUS!!! From disaster to advent to revelation - a season of - as my 9-year-old J is so fond of saying lately - awesome-sauce!

Hope to post more mundane - yet adorable things tomorrow - craft projects, hair cuts and new adventures! This is a happy new year! It has started with a flurry of fun and energy and I'm so super excited!!!!! YAY!! And a giddy good night!!