But this year, some pretty dynamic things happened that I was not really expecting, but could not be more blessed by. (pictures coming soon!)
 Christmas Eve at Rock Harbor Church.Obviously I always love holidays at church because they always do such an amazing job of portraying the reason for the season through the arts. BUT this year I got to be a part of it...which was such a wonderful experience. I ended up doing all 10 services (the weekend of the 19/20 and then Christmas Eve) which was super tiring, BUT I got to see something happen in our church from start to finish which was an exciting thing.
The main thing I took away from this experience is that singing that much is not a good idea....no, just kidding. Although that was a takeaway (haha) I got see/hear about the message of hope resonating in the hearts of hundreds of people who either accepted Jesus for the first time, or came back to Him to be restored. There was a prayer room filled with thousands of names that people had written down that they wanted to come to Christ this Christmas. I often forget how beautiful that is, and even forget to think twice about it when I hear about it. But this Christmas I felt a joy for them that I have been longing for. I think that through their healing and restoration, I too was healed and restored in a way that only my Father could do. It was such a powerful thing to witness and to be a part of.
 Family Christmas.Normally, the adults in my family (which we have now renamed the "first generation" because we almost all are adults now hah) just choose names and do a normal gift exchange. But this year they were challenged to do more of a heartfelt gift with a presentation to the person they chose. It was incredibly powerful to hear the words of all my aunts, uncles and cousins as they talked about the impact the others had on the. I learned that my Uncle Chris was the person that brought most of his brothers and sisters to Christ. I learned that my Uncle Bernard was the "father-figure" to my cousin Daryl who never really had a father to look-up to. I learned that my Aunt Barbara respects my mom for the involvement she has in all her kids lives. My Uncle Bernard washed my Dad's feet as a symbol of serving him, much like my Dad serves people every day he works in the ministry. These are just a few moments that stuck out, but through the tears (there were a lot) and the laughter (also, a lot) I could see that many more moments were to come.
Besides great happiness that I have a family that is close, and that doesn't hate each other...I realized how truly blessed I am to be in a family that loves the Lord and seeks Him in everything they do. I had never really thought about it, but I get to be with all my family (on my dad and mom's side...incredible) in Heaven! Praise the Lord. I cannot even begin to describe the joy that fills my heart knowing that, because I know it rare.
SO needless to say, this Christmas was bomb. God revealed so much to me in a time that I needed it, but didn't know I needed it. I got to experience an unexplainable joy and hope...which I see is the true reason for the season.
2010. Bring it on. I dare you.
2010. Bring it on. I dare you.