Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

Our first Christmas: What a joy. It was so fun to spend the day as a married couple, and start traditions of our own...

It officially started on Christmas Eve (which may just be my favorite, I just love all the anticipation of it all). We kind of chilled out during the day (which I found is necessary, whew Christmas is tiring!). Then we went to the candlelight communion service at New Hope. Jason's family attends there with us so they were all there, and then my family came too (except Eden who had to work : /). This is such a sweet sweet service. We sing songs, read scripture, and take communion with your family. I just took it all in. The song "Mystery" by Selah played while we took communion and it is one of my new favorites. It says "Mystery: How He came to be a man. Mystery; Oh what love is this: His death was in His plan". How could it be? The Word became flesh? For us?! To me communion on Christmas is the perfect picture of His story. Simply beautiful.

Next, we came home, and my family came over and we watched "A Muppet's Christmas Carol". This is my favorite movie of all time. I've watched it on Christmas Eve one way or another for years. My sister and I use to watch it as we fell asleep as kids, and this year my family came over to our house and watched it. I still am giddy when Kermit sings "After all, there's only one more sleep til Christmas", and you can bet I'm teary eyed during the "In all the places you find love, it feels like Christmas" song and the "Bless us all" song too. After everyone left, Jason started a new tradition that I just love. We danced in front of the Christmas tree. This year I chose Taylor Swift's "Silent Night" and Judy Garland's "Have yourself a merry little Christmas". Truly magical.

The next morning Jason and I woke up and acted like total 5 year olds : ). We decided we wanted Christmas morning to be just us, and it was just wonderful. In our PJs, we ran to the living room and opened up the gifts from each other. We are pictured below. DISCLAIMER: We are in our PJs aka my hair is a mess (who takes time to fix their hair on Christmas mornin?), and my hottie husband may or may not be wearing a shirt...

For him: a PS3, Harry Potter, some games, candy, and a toboggan! For her a beautiful sweater, cozy socks, a scarf, the new Carrie cd, and what's that you see...around her neck?! Let's see a closer look....
Yes, my husband is wonderful. His Dad has a tradition of hiding jewelery on the tree. Jason has inherited many wonderful things from his Dad including this great tradition! I unwrapped an empty jewelery box and then he told me to search the tree to find my treasure. : ) I just love it!!! Next Jason went and made breakfast (see I told you he was wonderful!!), we sat down and Jas read the Christmas story (a tradition we are excited to continue for years to come), and then we prayed and just thanked our Savior for his unspeakable gift. Then we sang "There's just something about that name" and I cried : ). Here's the scene:
This begins the part of the day where I stink at taking pictures because I left the camera at home (resolution of 2010: take more pictures). After a little down time, we headed to my parent's house. We helped prepare a little food (I took home-made crock pot macaroni), and then sat down to eat with my whole fam plus my sister's boyfriend. Just a great time. Next we opened presents. My parents and siblings are TOO much and we got some wonderful stuff, the favorites being the rest of my Pottery Barn dishes (come to mama) and Jason's box of 100 comic books. Next, we all sat down and played a game called Banana-grams (similar to scrabble) that mom got from Seth.
The next stop of the journey was to Jason's parents house where we ate again (I KNOW!), and then opened ever more wonderful presents (I KNOW!). By far the highlight of this trip was Miss Madison Ann, our 6 year old niece. We gave her the game Mousetrap and after she opened it, she squealed and ran and hugged and kissed both of us. Afterwards, the three of us played a game of it! It was a blast. Then we journeyed back to my parents' house for one more bout of fun. My mom saves one Christmas present for night as to stretch out the day. This year our stockings were held for last. Inside was some candy and a clue for each of us which began the (hopefully) 1st annual Christmas scavenger hunt. We were all running absolutely everywhere and just laughing the whole time!!! Our efforts were rewarded with a collection of gift cards personalized to our favorite places at the end (I got chick-fil-a and Olive garden, yum-o). It was SO much fun!! The day just couldn't have been better, so much great time with the people we love most. We are so, so blessed. John said it best...

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. From this fullness of His grace we have ALL received... ...ONE BLESSING AFTER ANOTHER. John 1:14 & 16

Hallelujah, Amen, Thank you Jesus!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snapshot 12/4/09

Friday night. Wonderful day at work. Laughed a lot with my students, read "Hoot" aloud, talked about bein a Cherokee county native, the uselessness of greed, and what it means to be selfless. Felt like I was making a difference. Ephesians 6 rocked my world. Drew a picture of myself with the armor of god on, proclaimed that the shield of faith can extinguish every fiery dart of the evil one.

Came home, watched Ellen. Jason worked late. Read "Mistaken Identity". Fell asleep on the couch. Jason came home. Love seein him walk in the door. Talk forever about where to eat dinner. Ended up at Longhorn's. People watched and eavesdropped. Laughed a lot. Enjoyed each other.

Went to Wal-mart for groceries. Pointed out cute kids. Talked about what we pictured for our own: "Boy then girl?then adopt? or three of our own (boy, girl, girl)? or maybe just two? the world is make for families of 4? but that doesn't seem like a lot?" Thought about if I would stay at home with kids. Spent about 50$ on stuff like Frosted Flakes and puddin (Jason's picks), stuff for 2 new recipes (pasta with peanut butter in the sauce and a Mexican casserole), and then the normal milk, bread, and bananas. Played a game in Wal-mart trying to shoot stuff in the cart and block the other person's. Jason looked at toys and bu-rays and put random stuff in the cart to see if I notice, as always.

Came home. Put up the groceries. Playfully threw the food at each other. Raced each other to the bathroom (TMI?). Put on PJs. Assumed normal relaxation positions: me laying on the futon and Jason in the recliner. plugged in the Christmas tree.

Now watching "gremlins" (Jason swore it is Christmasy-it is.) I'm lookin at random blogs (mostly Mom blogs). Typin all this without a "g" on my laptop keyboard (paste it in every time). Thinking about grad school, house buying, and babies. Jas is e-bayin while watching. He randomly says "Love you Chels". Think about how I love being married. Think about what an amazing husband I have.

Life could not be better.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The power of the insignificant

God never ceases to amaze me how he can take something totally and completely insignificant and turn it into something powerful and beautiful.
A scarlet thread protects a nation.
An old donkey transports the King of Kings.
A run-down barn is the birth room for the son of God.
Sometimes it's hard to believe God when He tells me that He can turn the insignificant to significant in with my words and deeds, but lately He has been showing me how powerful the insignificant can really be...
If you don't already know, I teach middle schoolers. They are sassy and awkward, but I love them. It's so interesting to watch them interact with peers, and watch their personalities form and shine. I try to make a habit to stand at my door every morning and tell my homeroom "good morning" as they enter. It's so hilarious to watch them come down the hall as the anticipate the interaction. Eyes go darting, hands start fidgeting, but they know what is coming. So many of them still awkwardly look down and don't even muster a simple response. Often through out my day I recall myself as a middle schooler (an occupational hazard, I suppose), and I realize I was right there with them. I would dread these simple interactions. For some reason, the potential for awkwardness terrified me. However, the most frightening thing is, many adults (sometimes even myself) still suffer from this.
However, there is this one student I have, we will say his name is Chris. You have to get the picture to understand. He is a short little fella, probably just a few inches over the 5 foot mark, and he deems it necessary to carry every book and binder and pencil case he has with him for the entire day. He holds his arms out straight and the books seriously almost stack up to his neck. The most enduring part about him is, he walks with a spring in his step, a smile on his face, and a wooden cross necklace around his neck. Every morning, without fail, he comes down the hall, smiles, and greets me. And every morning, it brings a huge smile to my face.
Another "insignificant" experience I had recently at the grocery store. Jason and I were strolling through and this lady stopped us and said "This is random, but I just felt like I needed to tell you that God loves you very much." That brought such joy to me! Jason responded by thanking her and telling her that we knew Him as our savior and thanked her, and that insignificant episode has stayed with me and encouraged me for a few months now. What a great God.

Lord, help me to walk in love as these two examples did, and fulfill the great commission by simply letting my light shine before men. Help me to understand the power that resides within me. Help me to listen closely to the Holy Spirit as He prods me to do things I may not understand, and act quickly in obedience.