Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Seven

This week was a great week full of so many things to be thankful for! It will be hard to pick just seven!
I'm so thankful for time with our little family. The kids were very sweet! We really enjoyed the extra long weekend together! It's humbling to think back to the years before marriage and children and how nervous I was that I would never meet "Mr. Right" and now God has blessed me more than I could have ever imagined! Mr. *Super*Right* and three children...I'm loving it!

I'm really thankful for the Holy Spirit's visible activity in bringing people to Christ! In all actuality, I am truly a big dork without a lot to offer people on my own strength...yet God brought Chelsea into our path, opened the doors for us to befriend her and she likes us, I think! I can't wait for her to accept Christ! It's going to happen...keep praying!

Speaking of Chelsea, I am so thankful she came and spent Thanksgiving with us. I have never met two girls (she is Caitlin's sister) that I wanted to adopt, protect and take care of more than these two sisters. I'm praying that God will give me non-intrusive but really special ways to show them love like they have never experienced. Any ideas?

I am so thankful to be a child of the King! It's pretty amazing to think of how we are chosen as wretched sinners to live lives as chosen ones bringing glory to our Savior. I've got a long way to go, but the privilege to serve grows greater in my heart all the time!

Now for three flaky items: I am really thankful for Black Friday. To a crazy nut-ball shopper like myself, this past Friday was a giddy exciting day! It was a very strategic plan...sleep from 9:45 to 11:45. Go to Jordan Creek from 12:00 to 2:30. Run home and sleep from 2:30 to 4:30. Hurry to Best Buy...hurry to Target...hurry back home and sleep from 6:45 to whenever the kids wake up. It worked pretty smoothly, too! I got all the items needed for Christmas gifts plus a few super deals at Gymboree. It was pretty crazy--they had 30% off the whole store and additional 20% off coupons. They brought out all their bins of leftover clearance items that were $4.99 or less, so I got Cloe a load of great clothes for $2.79 an item! (I know you all feel better with that information, right?)
I'm thankful for a great time at Disney on Ice with all the C Family. Cloe was so enamored by the characters--especially the princesses. The boys loved the big bucket of popcorn provided by Grandpa! It was a fun little outing!
Lastly, I'm thankful for ABC's showing of Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving Special. It's funny how much the media will avoid talking about God, but Charlie Brown hits a homerun with his Thanksgiving prayer and his awesome retelling of the pilgrim's coming to America. (told you those were flaky!)
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, too! Enjoy the festivities of the season!
I found this article last year and loved what it had to say about celebration...hope you enjoy it too!

"As the holiday season approaches, I am reminded of December a few years ago when I did my best to wash away the happiness from the Christmas season. The tide started building by Thanksgiving. I became increasingly busy, convincing myself that all the effort was the best thing I could do for my family. I was crafting and sewing, cleaning and cooking on top of all the other obligations I had in teaching and volunteering. I found myself dreading the lovely invitations that we received to celebrate during this blessed holiday season. Instead of the good cheer these invitations were meant to provide, I saw them as representing wave upon wave of guilt. These celebrations seemed frivolous in light of what I had to do, and I felt like I was drowning.

I didn't have time to celebrate with others.

I felt like every slot of time I carved out of my schedule should have a specific point and purpose. What I was blind to was the fact that celebrating with others has a point and a purpose.

Celebration is actually a spiritual discipline. It is the logical extension of worship. Once we understand how amazing God is in worshipful awe, we can then celebrate how amazing he is to us, together, as a community. Celebrating together accentuates our gratefulness and delight in life, love, family and friends. We need to celebrate as an antidote to the suffering, selfishness, senseless busyness and sanitized emotions around us that would steal our joy.

Dallas Willard says that the spiritual discipline celebration is the "...most overlooked and misunderstood." Of all times of the year, Christmas and Easter are times to celebrate, to pull out all the stops and remember the incredible love God has for us in giving us his Son and his unconditional grace.

"For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving." 1 Timothy 4:4

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near." Philippians 4:4-5

Enjoy this season with friends and family. We are called to celebrate!