Christmas thoughts...

 I often start my blogs with something like this: "It's hard to believe it's already..." or "I can't believe we're..." But, I honestly feel like this Christmas season has literally flown by. If I had blinked, I may have missed it. As I type this, I am at my parents home in Illinois. We came on Monday. I love being here with my Mom and Dad. They are simply the best. We have gone shopping, ate lots and lots, watched movies, wrapped presents and laughed- a whole lot! My brother and Courtney will be here Christmas morning sometime and then we'll all have a couple days together.

Tomorrow my husband, Bob, will turn 40! WOW! So now we're officially 30 and 40! I think I'm taking it harder than he is. But everyone says 40 is, we're having a party tomorrow night for him and some surprises! :) I can't wait.

This Christmas season, like most, has been extremely busy. We had so many things going on with the church, mission and our personal lives. But we survived it all and laughed a lot too.

Our MCM Christmas Party for Kids was a huge success. We were worried the beginning of the week if we'd have enough toys, volunteers and so on...BUT, it all turned out BEAUTIFULLY. The Hampel Family, from my hometown, came and performed and were outstanding! I couldn't have been happier. I am so blessed to be able to share the love of Jesus to SO many, especially at Christmas. To see children receive gifts and the smile on their faces when they open them is priceless. :)

Our church Christmas program was, well, interesting. Our church had not had a kids program in years. This year, Bob expressed his desire for one. So, I compiled a couple, borrowed some props from my Mom and Dad's church, and it was done! The kids practiced for about 6 weeks. However; on the day of the program, I got a call that one of the kids was in the ER with an asthma attack- the girl had a huge speaking part, so, having no one to fill in, I obviously had to! Long story short, between cuing the kids on their parts, dressing Mary and Joseph, reading a girl's part, directing the music and anything else in between, it was a circus! The best part of all was when our Joseph, who was 5 let out a big sigh and laid on the altar....AND, when one of our precious little boys decided to wave his middle fingers in the air during two of the songs! Let me tell you, I fell apart. The audience fell apart and the kids nearly did as well. It was SO funny. The adorable little boy who did it is only 4 and he had NO idea what he was doing was inappropriate, but it sure did add some excitement to the program! The funniest of all, he lifted his middle fingers in the air on beat to the songs, too! Needless to say, we'll be talking about this program for years!

It really is, in spite of chaos, the most wonderful time of the year. I love to shop and give gifts, bake and eat lots of treats, have gatherings with family and friends...but, none of that could be if it had not been for Jesus! Him coming to earth in the form of a babe. That is why I celebrate and I hope it's why you do too. What a precious gift we have received. Thank You, Jesus for coming as a tiny, helpless, ordinary baby for me. Thank you that I can come to you and not be afraid. Thank you for salvation, deliverance and hope that is only found in You! Happy Birthday, Jesus, for truly Christmas is the Birthday of our King!

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