Monday, December 31, 2007

Leaving yesterday behind...

December 31, 2007.

2007 slowly expires.

This has been a tremendous year. I've learned a few things. For instance, when you cut 10 inches of your hair off, people like to watch. Or when you are in Nigeria you really shouldn't sit in the front seat of the van. I realized, too that rock climbing is as fun as I thought, but oh so challenging! Apparently I am an annoying driver, and I'm not cut out to be a lawyer (although I don't think those two things are connected...). Virginia and North Carolina are beautiful in the fall - so much more so when you have good company. It doesn't matter how prepared you think you are for things in life, you still aren't. It's hot in Africa, and it's cold in the mountains in December. And nothing aside from the Word and presence of God Almighty is more important than fresh air and sunshine.

Happy New Year!

I have decided to go electronic with my letter this year...otherwise you wouldn't see it until Valentine's Day. If you'd like to read it and see some pictures, please do. You'll find it published here. God bless you all richly in this brand new year!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

An important reminder...

Never, my friends, ever forget the vital importance of fresh air and sunshine. When I found myself getting quite testy on Thursday afternoon, I realized I hadn't been out of doors all day. I promptly stuck my head - yes, quite literally, in fact, my entire upper body was hanging from the doorpost - out the door that led to the balcony and breathed in some good, cold, fresh air. It was glorious! Yesterday I sat in the sun (inside, of course), and read and read and read.

Important! Please read! If ever you find yourself losing sanity follow these instructions carefully: immediately stop what you are doing and get yourself into direct sunlight. If at all possible, take with fresh air. Continue for at least 20 minutes. Repeat as often as necessary.

Skiing, anyone?

I have returned from a jaunt to the mountains with a portion of my family, and while I was there I was reminded of one of the reasons I do not ski. The onomatopoeia "brr" doesn't quite cut it when I try to describe how I felt when I ventured out of doors to meet a friend at the Starbucks in River Run Village. In fact, I think the interjections "ow" or "ouch" would best befit the situation. "Misery" is a pretty good noun for it. I was in pain, people! My toes, my face, my fingers ... misery ... yes, that is the best word I have found thus far ... misery.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Snow driving

For those of you who do not know, I have long been an advocate of no snow. This is true for one reason: I dislike driving in the snow. If I can be snuggled up under a blanket, in front of a fire, reading a book, watching a movie, or talking with a dear friend, I have nothing against snow. I enjoy watching it fall and listening to the stillness of a fresh blanket of snow. There is nothing like a snowy Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. But put me in a car or in a situation where I know I will have to drive in it on slick roads, and I'm not such a fan.

Two weeks ago I was with my boyfriend headed for Thornton. We were going to a dear friend's house for a celebration. But the snow was not only getting worse, the roads were atrocious. So we got to I-25 and Colfax and turned around. I was driving. By the time we got back to Paul's, I was still not so comfortable, but I knew something I had never let myself know before: I can drive in the snow.

Thanks to that day and to Paul's wonderfully calm demeanor and non-chalantness concerning snow-driving, I now have a growing confidence in my ability to drive in the snow and on not-so-nice streets. But, of course, I still have my limit. One does not want to be unsafe, and I will always enjoy being indoors when I can be, watching the beauty blanket the earth, but I am glad of my new-found confidence. Suddenly winter isn't so long or so scary.

Friday, December 21, 2007

It is difficult...

I have attempted to write a blog entry for a number of weeks now, and as I sit to compose it, my words fail me. There is so much going on in my heart and in my head that it seems impossible to narrow it all down to one simple post.

December has been full and wonderful. I sat in on some wonderful music at two separate orchestra concerts that Paul was in, enjoyed a night with the high school ministry I'm a part of, eating, laughing, and singing, was honored, along with Paul, to be the guest of my grandmom at the Madrigal Banquet at Glen Eyrie, was one of 6 women who spoke at a tea at my church for just under 400 women - I spoke on the Joy of Christmas - and have taken a long walk on a snowy night. That was simply the first week of December. Since then I have attended 2 Christmas parties, participated in a Children's Pageant (as drama coach), seen a wonderful marionette production entitled "The Puppet Maker" by David Simpich, had some scrumptious lunches, met with some wonderful high school girls, and am now preparing for my last party of the season.

As I wait for my head to stop spinning and my heart to calm down, I watch the world around me running red lights and cramming stores and wonder why we do it all. In the midst of joyous song and laughter there is frustration, stress, and short tempers. We desire the holiday to be just right, as perfect as we can make it, when that is impossible. All that matters are the friends and family we have around us, the opportunities we have to serve our fellow beings, the small moments that make perfect moments as we sit and enjoy quiet evenings together, remembering why we celebrate this holiday.

The Joy of Christmas is salvation! Immanuel - God with us! Jesus' birth - God as man - for the purpose of saving the lost. We celebrate the ultimate gift this upcoming Tuesday. Let's not lose focus of that.

So Merry Christmas, my dear friends and family! I celebrate our wonderful God; I praise Him for Christ; I praise Him for life; I praise Him for you!