Well, for me this is an unusual Christmas. This is the first time in 5 years that I haven't lived in either NC or KY and been there for Christmas Day, usually by myself or just sharing a meal with a close family. I've enjoyed colder weather for Christmas Day and no leaves on the trees. I've had a retail job for the holidays that have made life busy and hectic with hardly any time for Advent because I'm wondering if I'll make a good sale on knives or pots or see anyone in the store I know.
This Christmas I am in FL. I am wearing short sleaves and hopefully will go bike riding this afternoon if it doesn't rain. It is 74 degrees out there right now - this morning I walked out and picked an orange from a tree in the back yard. Alan and Tywonn are camping in Charlie (their VW) on the Manatee River. Dad is over smoking mullet with Papa. Granny called and she is making sweet tea and wanted to know if we wanted a red plastic table cloth on - we'll pass we said. But, the tea should be good. Mom and I have been cooking for about 30 hours now: pecan pie, lemon cake, apricot sugar cookies, cauliflower au gratin, steamed broccoli, sweet potatoes, cinnamon raisin bread, fruit salad, applesauce, sour cream biscuits, cornbread pudding. all for one meal along with some meat. And I love doing it all.
There have been arguments as we try to not get stressed and communicate well - what else is new. I'm learning when to just shut my mouth and not feel the need to say everything and be in control.
What I have loved about this Christmas season is the preparation - the Advent. I've been enjoying the sermons at Crossing and the music and art at Sojourn to help prepare for Christmas. The song Glory Be, Hosanna in the Highest, Amen Amen. All these have been great. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman is so focused on the gospel. Here are the words to Amen, Amen:
Let every creature rise and bring
Their grateful praises to our King
Angels descend with songs again
and Earth repeats a loud Amen, Amen
I found my life
I found my life in Him
Peace like a river from His throne
Will flow to nations yet unknown
His word a light where all hope is demand
All tribes unite to cry “Amen”
And in this Child we’ll find our rest
And all the meek and lowly blessed
An infant tongue could sing the hymn
of Hallelujah and Amen
Jesus - what a beautiful Name! Find my Rest in Him! Come Quickly Lord Jesus!