Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmastide

I got to work video on Christmas Eve at church. We had attended services the night before, so I knew what to expect--but the lights and song moved me anew and I smiled most of the night away.

Kathy's hug. Her love language: words of affirmation. She inspires me. And she told me how I poured into her. I found out she is gluten free too, and invited her to a Tuesday tea sometime. That woman--a true force for good.

Texts with Christy. She makes me laugh. Her Christmas photo of the bed stairs for her little dogs. And her commentary on their intelligence.

Shane's comment how we actually were able to drink a full coffee before the kids came down Christmas morning. They're still young enough for delightful squeals, and I was thankful that we can still give gifts that require assembly. Lanie made me a jar of popsicle sticks where she wrote meaningful statements on them about us. I loved the music all day; warm fires; peaceful atmosphere; rest and reflection.

I do wish my parents had sent me to music lessons. Even though my kids have been through many years, I only remember a few points and terms from flashcards. I asked for a ukulele for Christmas, and Shane surprised me with one. I told him I purchased a book with Christmas songs for the ukulele a couple of months ago with the hopes I'd get one. I jumped online to learn about the instrument yesterday, as I suspect great things are expected of me. We had some laughs: Shane's imitation of me playing the ukulele; amused dreams of playing the instrument for the worship team; and my wonder of God looking down shaking his head saying, "I didn't give you a musical gift, girl. What are you thinking?" And my desperate plea, "Lord, bless these hands!" Next year, Lanie and I both wished aloud, "We'd like cellos!" Oh, can you imagine!?!

Erin wanted a Christmas feast, likely inspired by the rich imaginings in Christmas-themed books we've read this month. I bought a duck because it seemed exotic compared to our usual fare. Some Chinese 5-spice, garlic, orange and other things made it the most flavorful wonder that no one was disappointed. I made Brazilian cheese rolls from tapioca; mashed potatoes, broccoli and salad. Dessert was vanilla ice cream with dark chocolate sauce and whipped cream--topped with crushed candy canes. Shane snuck back for more when no one was looking. Candlelight on the table made this almost ordinary meal seem extra special--and the feast was in the eyes of my ten year old. Her love language is definitely gifts, and this night (though she mostly ate clementines and rolls) was a gift.

I got to talk to Tracey for well over an hour. It was wonderful. My dad stopped by to drop off some gifts from my other sister. All unexpected.

Shane's laugh when I wore the Fitbit and ran laps back and forth through the kitchen. (My neighbor's husband calls it the Fatbit.) I haven't met my goal of 8,000 (daily) steps, but it has sent me notices to get off the couch and move around more. Now I pace a room when I talk on the phone or brush my teeth. Looking forward to a hike next week.

A photoshoot for a friend the day after Christmas. Her beautiful family. What an honor to serve her.

I love feet shots!

(I did not get in a photoshoot for our family yet this year, despite several mental plans to do so. I also did not get a newsletter written, or Christmas cards out. There's still time to get happy wishes out for the New Year, and I'm aiming for that. Loosely.) 

Christmastide. The time from Christmas Eve until after New Year's Day. This week, now, a much needed step back from the busy. Building in quiet, to reflect upon the past year, to face the past and call it by its name to face the present and future, to consider the new year and ask what I want of it, and what God wants of me. Taking a mini retreat to refresh, and restore.

Shane is on a second day sick. I joked with him that he looked like the crazy emoji that has one eye open, one blinked, and tongue hanging out. Except the open eye is bloodshot red and oozing. It's kinda creeping me out. He got a good hot lunch today, a hot fire and hopefully some good rest.

I'm so thankful for friends and family who come by here IRL and URL. You make our lives full of color and love. So grateful for all you dear people.

Now, back to work. Looking ahead to a new year in 66 Books, a new schedule for the video team, and getting back on track to routines.



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