"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

20 December 2013

Before Christmas Faves

It's almost Christmas.

It's been a good week and a bad week.

Good because God is good. All the time.  And there are always blessings to be found. And because it is a few days before Christmas.

Bad because a member of our church, a state trooper, husband, father of 2 young boys, son-in-law of one of the older Christian women in my life whom I look up to and who trained me to be a small group leader, and member of our worship team, was in a bad accident on the highway just outside our city.  He was working and had just stopped a speeding car. A tractor trailer plowed into him.  This happened while he was doing his job Monday evening. He went to be with Jesus on Tuesday.  I didn't know him personally but his mother in law is someone I dearly love.  One of his boys (ages 6 and 4) has some special physical challenges.  How does one wrap one's brain around this tragedy?  His wife had to tell their little boys that Daddy lives in heaven now. All this before Christmas.  This is why we need a Savior.  This is why God sent His Son for us.  To cling to Him. And........God is always good. Always. Even in tragedy.

However, I do have blessings too.  The first one......

  • My Church:  I can't even explain all the outpouring of love and prayers that were going around Facebook and emails for this family and the extended family who are members of our body of believers.  My church is amazing. As big as it is, it is amazing. I thank God for allowing us to be a part of the body there. I thank God for the strangers, acquaintances and friends who showed their love for the C---family by their words, mementos and showing up for the calling hours last evening. Although my husband and I didn't know him personally, we continue to pray for his wife, sons and for his extended family whom we do know.  I thank God for His comfort for this family.

  • CHRISTMAS CONCERT:  I am so thankful that our high school...a public school....where Claire studies voice and violin, still has traditional Christmas concerts!  They had their concert on Wednesday evening. We were fortunate to hear the acapella boys group, the jazz band, the dixieland jazz band, and of course the orchestra, and then the chorus.  The orchestra is the biggest one in the high school's history. There were 125 members on the stage!!  For those of you who have been here before, we know that the orchestra teacher of our high school is a Christian and attends the same church we do.  My daughters have been/are fortunate to have him.  The chorus teacher also chose very high level music.....some of the Christmas music she chose was on the college level. And our students performed it superbly.  For the very end of the evening, the chorus (220 members!!) combined with the orchestra, to sing the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah by Handel. It was spectacular.  There were 3 Christian/religious songs as well.  We are very thankful for our music program and for the announcement that NYS has given the district the distinction of the highest state award for excellence in Music Education! We are the only public school district to receive this award in NYS.

  • COOKIES! Although it was a lot of work, I am thankful I did participate in the work cookie swap as it allowed me to bring home 8 dozen different Xmas cookies.  I froze some for next week's festivities and Claire, Dave and I enjoyed a few for dessert this week. There are even a couple left for Courtney!!  (she is en route from Boston as I write this).  I have much less baking to do this year due to the cookie swap!

  • SAFETY IN SNOW:  On Tuesday we had a freak snow storm during the middle of the afternoon, on top of the 8 inches we received as our first snow of the season, last weekend. It was another 4 inches!! Schools did not close early (although in my opinion, they should have), so going home was very slow. It took me 30 minutes when it typically takes 18. I could only go about 20 mph on the main road.  Claire made it home via the school bus (all clubs were cancelled) so she was ok.  I was a little nervous as some drivers were going much too fast for the conditions.  But we all made it home safely and enjoyed a slower-paced evening with the bonus that her ballet studio was closed, too!

  • HOT COFFEE:  it has been a very cold week until the last 24 hours.  It has felt so good to have a warm, steaming mug of coffee after helping Dave shovel/snowplow, and after work in the late afternoons.  I love coffee!!

That wraps up my five faves for the week.

Next week, we will celebrate the birth of our Savior.  God became Man and dwelt among us for 33 years.  He then died a horrible death. And then He rose again to reign victoriously.  If you know Him, rejoice! And if you don't know Christ, I encourage you to reach out to Him this holiday season and open your mind and heart to His great Love.


BONUS FAVE:  Courtney arrived home safely, in her car, from the North Shore of Boston, last evening around 8 pm.  How thankful I am to have this oldest daughter of ours home for the holidays.  We are stunned to realize that she is technically a senior in college now, although, she is only ending her 1st semester of her junior year. Because of the 16 college credits she earned in high school, she is technically a senior in college!!  I told her I'm glad she chose the majors she did as they force her to stay at Gordon for 3 more semesters. I am sooo not ready to have my oldest be a college graduate!!  For now I am gonna love on her, bake cookies and fudge, and all of her favorite dinners and just embrace these next 3 weeks.  GOD IS GOOD!! I'm so thankful for safe travels, and family time!


Melissa R said...

So sorry about the accident, but I'm glad that your church family has rallied around the family.

Enjoy your time with your girls!

Susanne said...

Heartfelt sympathy for the family that suffered the awful tragedy.

Glad Courtney made it home safely. I'm awaiting the return of my girls on Sunday. Praying for nice weather and good road conditions for them. I only get my youngest for 5 days so I'm ready to spoil them.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Faith!

Jerralea said...

I'm so sorry to hear of this loss in your church community. I'm glad there is a group of believers to minister to this family.

Glad your Courtney made it home safely.

I, too, adore concerts and cookies. Enjoy!

Willow said...

Such a difficult time to lose a husband and father. I will be praying for this little family. If there is any blessing, it's that the church has rallied around them to help and give comfort.

Hurray that you all are safely home after all that snow (I do remember snow from living in Chicago and in Oregon).

Merry Christmas to you and your family as you celebrate Jesus' birth (and drink lots of coffee!).