Thursday, December 18, 2008

I wrote On Monday and Forgot to Post So Here it is...

Monday is always an interesting day. It seems like, no matter what happened last week, you never know what you will get on Monday. This Monday has been a little odd. We had a weird occurrence last night that interrupted our sleep. Thanks to that, I am exhausted but caffeinated today. Thank God for a husband who works in a coffee shop. Today is also the youngest Walter’s birthday. He is 21 and, from what I can tell from our texting, loving it. Congrats, Mark.
This weekend was really pretty great. I traveled Saturday to see my parents. First, I saw my mom at church. For 26 years, she has been directing children’s choir performances. That is true dedication. I watched the latest group sing, dance, and goof off. It reminded me of my childhood and made me realize how young I was. It also reminded me that I may, in fact, be the bossiest person alive. I walked straight into a group of stranger children and started giving directions. Wowee zowee. I have no scruples. I keep praying for God to teach me to keep my mouth shut. It is a slow lesson. Mom laughed it off and we grabbed lunch, hit Wal-Mart, and I finished my Christmas cards.
The real reason I came home was to see my dad. He and I have spent many a Christmas season ringing bells outside Wal-Mart. When he signed up to do it this year, he asked me to tag along. I have to say there are few joys as great as ringing bells during the Christmas season. Sure, it’s freezing. And some people avoid eye contact like the plague. But most of the time, it’s heartwarming. People teaching their children to give to others. Strangers wishing you a Merry Christmas. Friends stopping to chat about their shopping trip. OK, I don’t have any friends in Salem, but my dad’s friends stopped to chat. The neatest part is that, even in these times of economic turmoil, people who look like they don’t have much to give fill the bucket. Families with lots of children who pour out of an old car will hand you a five, or a little old lady who can barely walk into the store will stop with a few bucks. Even people that look like they could possibly be on the receiving end of such charities seem to find anything they have to give. It’s so inspiring. I know not everyone who gives believes in the true meaning of Christmas, but to watch the generosity of people who have no incentive to give reinforces to me that there is a God. One young man even stopped to pray for the recipients of the donations. I was truly humbled by my experience this year. If you have never taken the time to ring the Salvation Army bell, I encourage you to volunteer. Those will be two hours of your life that you will never regret.
May the Lord bless you and keep you during this Christmas season. May you remember, as I am learning each day, that every gift comes from above. And may you begin this January, a new year, as a new beginning.
I hope to blog again before Christmas, but if it doesn’t happen, Merry Christmas to all.
Here’s to Christmas blessings.

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