Wow, the past few months have just flown by. Christmas came and went like an old friend just stopping by for coffee. The time was sweet but felt short. Stephan and I flew off to Mobile, AL for a cruise to Cozumel and Calica, Mexico with my family. We had a great time, blew lots of money on various types of beaded jewelry, toys, and other junk all peddled by some pretty amazing Mexican salesmen. Our 7 year anniversary snuck up on me this year, and to my chagrin I was unable to persuade Stephan that we needed the customary 7 year wool gifts embodied in ‘his and her’ Ugg boots. Not his style I guess, said he even gave it extra consideration because the suggestion came from me…(awe shucks) Topping off the above, Mesha, my oldest, has had a diving season that’s kept us on the edge of our seats. She is currently the 6 dive high-school scoring leader in our state. We go to the State Championships the 19th!
I have to go back to Christmas. I’ve wanted to share and I need to get this done before Spring. Each year our church puts on a rather large production of, “The Singing Christmas Tree”. I hear it was quite the event. I’ve never been, nothing against it, but it was a several night event that usually sold out quickly. I grew up going to church Christmas programs and frankly, you’ve seen one, you’ve seen em’ all. Besides, I already “buy in” to all that jazz, I don’t need a special Christmas program to believe and get excited about the meaning of Christmas, but this year our church nixed the program. Some people were upset, this was a tradition they and their families had enjoyed for many years, seemingly part of the reason church decision makers wanted to try something new. It’s great that people enjoyed it, that it had become a family tradition, but it took a lot of time, energy, and money to put on a production like that. Time, energy, and money that could be used to bless people in needier communities, people that don’t frequently get to see amazing full orchestras, choirs, drama teams, drum lines. This year, our church took Christmas “on the go.” I was intrigued and auditioned for and became part of the drama team. We performed a readers theater-like retelling of Luke 2. There was also a large choir performance, orchestra and band, awesome drumming group, children dancers etc. It was fabulous. We went to both City Union Mission locations, one for homeless men and the other for homeless families. We went to the prison at Leavenworth and a few more places where other teams served.
Watching the eyes light up in the children at that shelter blessed my socks off. Literally, I walked out of there bare footed. Ok, that’s not entirely true, but wow, it was pretty cool. Our “Serving with Style” team served cakes, cookies, and punch to the people after the shows, it was so nice. At the prison, the inmates that comprised the culinary department made us a wonderful dinner, they were so professional, they served us and refilled our drinks, we never expected that. Many of the men were so happy, singing along, belting out old familiar tunes like they had as children. I tell you the truth, I think there were a couple hundred or more men there, and most of them came down to shake our hands and thank us for coming. A handful of guys even said they were interested in hearing more about the teachings of Christ and had a very emotional experience for the first time in their lives. At City Union Mission the men were trying to get clean and find a safe place to keep warm at Christmas time. Their eyes seemed so full of pain and heartache, but for a few moments they enjoyed the music of a full orchestra and choir crammed into the corner mess hall in downtown KC. The sounds of Christmas filled the room and it was if they transported to another place, forgetting the current pain in their lives. I have to believe that our message of hope inspired them to keep fighting the good fight.
I want to thank the hundreds of people in the Liberty and Kansas City area that gave up their tickets to the singing Christmas tree, in many ways, THEY made a difference in lives of those people. I promise you, if you could have been there, you would have seen the looks on those faces, you’d know we did the right thing. Christmas 2009 will forever be a special one. It will be a reminder of the year we as a church began a new way of celebrating Christmas.
Well, I have so much more to say. I have so many blog entries in my head that I have stored up over the past few months. I want to talk about our vacation, Mesha, the little ones that keep us in stitches. Stay tuned for future blogs like, ‘How spanks ruined my vacation” and ” How having a teenager brings you closer to the God of the universe!” Godspeed everybody.