Friday, December 21, 2007

It IS a Wonderful Life

Especially now that the “Grand Production” is over! Finally it’s holiday break, and I have time to go back and share our past month’s activities. Well at least one of the highlights in this case:

Two of our kiddos recently performed in a Reader’s Theatre Production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” for their school. I’m the teacher’s assistant for the class too, and thus co-director, so it’s been a pretty busy time in our household with running lines, evening rehearsals, gathering props, costuming and all.

Our quickly maturing teenaged son was chosen early on, for the lead role this year. A fact which cranked up both the excitement and the stress level in preparation! Leading up to the performance we heard everything from “
I’m fine. It’ll be, really! I’m not nervous at all…” to “I told you I never even wanted the lead in the first place…!” Moments before performance it was, “I think I’d like to do this again next year, but I’d rather have the second down from the lead role.” (sounded pretty relaxed to me, just before going on…)

We gathered backstage for a quick prayer over the performance. Tynan asked me to pray over him again alone. The curtain rose. He absolutely "nailed" his part! Our daughter Emma, hit the mark on her lines, too. The whole cast made us proud!!! The audience laughed and applauded. The performers bowed… it was all done.

Each of the students seemed happy about their performances, making us feel very fulfilled as “directors”. The crowd was pleased and complimenting. BUT, the mom in me didn’t draw a huge sigh of relief, until the moment I heard my son come off stage and say “Hey, I think that went really well!

It was one of those glorious moments of parenting…where for a brief moment everything seems to be right in the world for an instant. My kids felt a sense of success at something they had worked hard for. They experienced the presence of those who love them, and had the support of grandparents, siblings, neighbors and friends. They did a remarkable job!

No one remembered at that moment the difficulties of life. It was a reprieve, and a beautiful gateway into the blessings of the Christmas season. After all isn’t that what it’s all about? Forgetting our cares and focusing on what’s really important—
the gift of life that Jesus gave us when he scrunched up his lower lip, grimaced at the cold air, and etched out his first cry in this dark world.

“ You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” 

–Matthew 5:14-16

May God Shine In Your Holiday Season!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Still Giving Thanks...

 I'm back now--at last!--having just completed the first month of one of the MOST stringent diets a doctor has EVER put me on, a "cleansing" program, and double antibiotic therapy for H. Pylori, (the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers).

So, how was my Thanksgiving?? Difficult, but blessed! Despite being "under the weather", I gave thanks for so much...the family that gathered around our table, being out of bed finally two days in a row, the turkey and veggies that I got to eat! 

Highlights of the day were: 
-Butternut squash (the BEST thing I'd tasted in weeks!!)
-Decorating and setting the table, in a room humming with Chris's joyful bagpipe tunes (I thought I'd been transported to the "harvest festival" setting from a period movie!)

Our stone fireplace was aglow. Family gathered to play games. The girls went out to"ride", and were surprised by the first few flakes of an early snow! Cousins who traveled from Colorado treated us in the evening, to an intimate "mini concert" of vocals, mandolin, and, yes, those bagpipes! 

Marking a year in our cozy country home... 
God's faithful provision and protection during an avalanche of recent difficulties...
the many blessings that constantly surround us... 
were thoughts that warmed our day 
and filled my heart with gratitude. 

We're back to school for a few weeks now.  I appear to be on the mend. Cool weather is refreshing us at last.  Sights and smells surround us with holiday cheer. 

Joy and thankfulness resonate among us, 
as we enter the Christmas season!