Wednesday, December 02, 2009

If You Lived Here… You’d Be Home by Now

So I haven’t written in a bit. It’s been crazy. We do a LARGE Thanksgiving ministry here which I get the joy of helping coordinate each year. But while I love, love, love it - it kinda sucks the energy and time from my October/November each year.  This year we got to provide Thanksgiving meals for over 3100 families and saw over 5,000 people come through the doors of our two campuses.  Over 1,000 people came to a relationship with Christ with 111 of them following through with baptism. It was a great weekend.

But due to the “hustle and bustle” each year I hit December unprepared for Christmas to BE here already. The panic starts to hit me early and the starts to ebb as I settle into the season. This year things seem to have just been a bit more bustle-y. We got to celebrate my dad’s 70th Birthday with some neat surprises for him. Al’s birthday is coming up. Our Christmas program at church is the 13th. There are concerts and parties and lots of people that need to be seen in this next month.  Add to that the fun of my brother and his family coming in from North Dakota at the end of the month and you see where the craziness is coming from.

It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle and forget what is important about this time of year. There are a couple of focuses but first… why the weird title?  :O)

I know not everyone who reads this little blog is going to be a Christ-follower. You know me (probably know me at least), then you know that Christ is my center and the definer of who I am and want to be. It’s a relationship that I take seriously. I’m not perfect. I’m definitely a world class screw up. But I am His with all my heart. I do what I do, how I do it because of Him. I write what I write, because of what He has done within me. Because of that I know that this world is temporary and it is not my home. The problems, battles, issues and crud that I face are things I face as I pass through to home. For some reason today as I was thinking through a situation that’s just making me sad right now I had this picture in my head of this sign I used to see all the time in front of an apartment complex: “If you Lived Here - You’d Be Home by Now.” It may seem like a strange comparison but I realized that a lot of the “people” battles I face are because I am a square peg trying to feel at home in the round world. If I “lived” here… I’d feel at home right now.  But I’m still trying to get home!

Meanwhile - back to Christmas.  :O)

Focus # 1 - Christ… for me this is the season when so many people are open to talking about faith. It is a great chance for me to share what I believe. We get to minister to so many people at this time of year. Christmas just opens those doors to share.

Focus # 2 - Family - like em, love em or tolerate em this is the time of year when we all get to be together for lots of extended time between November and December.  I’ve been blessed with family who don’t just like each other, but love each other. This year we will actually all be able to be together around Christmas for the first time in quite a long time.

For me personally Christmas traditions are important for a variety of reasons. I’ve always had in my head those things that I wanted to do when I had a family of my own. There are things that I have seen/heard over the years that have struck me as important, fun and/or meaningful. So here are some of those ideas. I would love to hear yours as well - all 4 of you! :O)

Reading of the Nativity Story - Certainly Christ wasn’t born on 12/25 - probably nowhere close to it. But if we’re picking a day to celebrate Christ birth then I definitely want to take time to remember it.

Watching for Santa - Now… I stopped believing in Santa when I was 3 probably because I have two older brothers with big mouths, but we almost always took a little drive (I know now it was so our Christmas presents could get into the house since we celebrated on the Eve and “Santa” had to come to our house early). We would go out and look at lights and dad would always see him somewhere. That was our cue to head back to the house. “I think he’s headed over that way.” It was a little inside joke after a while but it was fun and a great memory for me still.

Putting up the tree together on the Friday after Thanksgiving - I always did this for my parents before I had a place/tree of my own. I think it would be really fun to make this a family event because you can tell the story of where the ornaments and stockings come from. That is how family history is passed down, in the stories from year to year.

Making Gingerbread Houses - I got to participate in this family tradition with some girlfriends of mine with a lady that was mentoring us at the time. She does it every year with her grandchildren. We were like little kids making our houses. It was fun!!  And yummy. Even with little kiddos if you have pre-made gingerbread this can be a blast - and OH the memories.

Well I’m out… this blog has taken me off and on over a day now so I think I shall post!  :O)