Have you had a good week? I hope so!
We've been caught up in the Christmas busy-ness around here, so I thought I would get "caught up" on my blog as well.
I made a decision recently to focus more on relationships, especially during the month of December. It has been a wonderful, "relational" week or so for us. As a result, I've had to play "catch up" on some housework and I'm a bit behind on my Christmas shopping (!!) but I believe God will bless my efforts to focus more on... people.
Last Friday we spent the day at a friend's house just being together. I can't think of when we've done that. It's been just forever. Our boys soaked up time running around outside together and our girls enjoyed chatting, making crafts and... more chatting. That's just what the moms were doing (minus the crafts!) I realized that day that I needed to spend more time just being with people.
Saturday Bethany and I headed over to my niece's "princess party." We both wore our tiaras and had a fantastic time being with all the other princesses. It was so fun to get caught up with my brother and his sweet family. The kids are all growing so fast.
We started our week "back to business" with school, after our busier-than-usual Awana night the night before. Tuesday as we were starting our day, my daughter said in her usually bright sing-songy voice, "Hey! Christmas is two weeks from toDAY!!" Well, oh my word. That got me going. We hadn't bought any presents! So after some reading that morning, we did the only thing I knew to do. Went shopping. (We ended up getting all of the gifts for my nieces and nephews, and one thing for my cute husband!)
While we were out, we saw some dear friends and we stopped and... just talked. There we stood with our shopping carts amid the shoppers whirring all around us, talking about our adoption, the mission opportunities that are on our hearts, what our kids are up to, good books, fun memories... The blur of holiday busy-ness and buying was interrupted by... relationship.
Before I could even get the packages to the car, my cell phone rang and it was my cute husband asking if I thought we could make it to an adoption meeting that night. He really felt it was one we should go to, and since my prayer each day is that he'll be directing us in this area I said, "Sure!" (while glancing at my watch, wondering how I'd get the gifts and groceries home in time to meet him.) Our kids enjoyed going to their Grandma's house and decorating her (HUGE) tree with their cousin and aunts, laughing, eating and enjoying... relationship. Luke and I enjoyed a wonderfully informative meeting, forging ahead in our adoption process. We stopped for soup afterward on the way to pick up our kids and enjoyed some precious time together alone to "compare notes" about what we're each thinking. I love time like that with my husband! I just love our relationship.
Thursday we went over to my mom and dad's house and helped "deck the halls." We had a great time looking at all of her pretty Christmas decorations and finding creative ways to display the many beautiful things she has collected over the years. The kids jumped right in helping Gram get out boxes and arrange things. My dad has a spur-of-the-moment business trip to Korea next week, so we listened as he was making his plans and learned all about what he'll be doing. He was in Korea for a year when he was in the army before I was born, so the kids listened to some of his stories and some of the Korean phrases he remembers. I'm so glad we got to see them before he leaves. And their house looks beautiful, if I do say so myself!
This morning we went to our church where they were having a Christmas shop for some of the economically disadvantaged people in our community. There were wonderful new gifts that parents could come and buy with vouchers (that they had received, based on their situations). We enjoyed talking to the people who came to shop and we gift-wrapped their presents for them and invited them to our Christmas Eve services. It was a wonderful time of being with friends and enjoying blessing others in our community. As I was wrapping Dora the Explorers, new tennis shoes, and bottles of perfume, I was praying for the givers as well as the recipients of those gifts. It was a wonderful time! The coordinators of the Christmas shop treated us all to Chick-Fil-A sandwiches for lunch and we got to enjoy chatting with friends we haven't seen in awhile. Such fun relationships!
As I type this I can hear the chatter coming from my daughter's room... Her sweet friends who are "missionary kids" in China are staying with us for the weekend. What a treat! I can hear laughter, expressive conversation, and the strumming of a guitar. Across the room from me, my son and husband are playing a fun game of Yahtzee. The sounds of relationship are all around me and I just love it!
We've been lighting our advent candle each night and enjoying focusing on the most important relationship of all, and the One who makes all of these other relationships possible.
Isn't this a wonderful season?