This morning we stayed in bed a little too long. The blanket was very snuggly. To make it to church on time we had a lot of work ahead of us. Randy said he was thinking about us staying home today. We always go to church! We don't ever think about not going. We go and we love it. I figure he was thinking that we were going to sing Christmas Carols and guard our kids from burning their hair off at the candle light service so why bother going. As I was laying there I started thinking about how Jesus came to earth as a baby and what all that meant. It really is a miracle. A lot people have heard the Christmas story all their lives, but it really is an amazing thing. I started thinking about what a celebration Jesus' birth was. My thought was, "I want to celebrate this wonderful day with my family!" Of course I meant my church family. I pictured a few people from our church and I just wanted to be with them. Christmas is "our" holiday! Jesus' birth, death and resurrection is why we do all the things we do. This is why we love God like we do. With all these things going on in my head I just had to go this morning! When I told Randy that I wanted to be with my "family" this Christmas morning he got out of bed and worked very hard to help us all get to church 3 minutes late.
I loved church today! I don't know if it was because my expectations were so high or if everything was really as beautiful as it was, but I fell in love with our church body once again. Everyone looked so beautiful and full of life. I saw so many people that I have a personal relationship with. So many people there know the real me!
A couple that I hardly know had a wrapped present for Miles. (The couple is Kathy and her husband. She's the one that's a cop.) I told you I don't know them very well. Anyway it's a baseball bat. We didn't open it. They told us. The husband must have felt led to buy it for Miles. He told us that Miles would be swinging it in no time.
Another sweet thing was the candlelight service. When we arrived the Ushers handed out candles to our whole family. (except Miles) I mean they gave my husband and I one, my 8 year old one, my 6 year old one, my 4 year old one and my 3 year old one. Then David smiled and told me to watch out for those candles. During worship Spencer, Jocie and Melody thought the candles were for lip syncing to the Christmas carols. I was cracking up. Spencer and Jocie were being so funny. Randy leaned over and asked me if I thought that was appropriate. I figured that them singing with the candles like a mic was as appropriate as the ushers giving them one in the first place so I just let them sing. It was so cute. When our candles finally were lit I was busy watching the four to make sure they were not going to burn their hair off. The whole thing was so funny. I wish I had taken a video camera of them all sitting there with their candle. As I was watching them I turned to look at Miles and Trish had come over and leaned next to Miles wheelchair. She was loving on him and I think showing him the candle. It melted my heart. There's something so special about seeing other people love on your children.
Speaking of that...let's take a break from the candle light service for a minute. Yesterday Tim and Erica called me yesterday and asked if they could take three of my kids to the movies to see Night at the Museum. That blessed me so much! Tim and Erica picked up the kids and had them for hours. They bought them candy, popcorn, movie tickets and walked around the mall with them. The whole time they were gone I felt so happy. I asked Randy why I felt so good about Tim and Erica taking the kids and I realized it was because they were loving on my children and that makes me feel loved. It's nice when other people appreciate who your children are. Anyway, that was special to me.
Back to candle light service: Trish was being so sweet, and I was watching the kids get a little wild with the candles. Melody who is three was dripping wax on the chair so Randy decided he needed to blow out her candle. I saw him take it, then blow it out, and I was expecting to see her start crying, but when he handed her the blown out candle she thought it was the funniest thing. She kept looking at me with the funniest looks on her face like, "Hey, look at my silly candle." She loved having the blown out candle. The whole thing made me love being with my kids.
We did offering differently today. Instead of the ushers coming by with a bucket we went up to the front to give our offering in a basket. When we were walking up there they had the most beautiful music playing. I loved it. I walked up there with my boys and I was helping another little girl get back to her seat. When I sat back down in my seat and got settled my eyes got a glance of the stage and there were people up there doing the song I was hearing! I THOUGHT IT WAS A CD!!! It was so amazing. Cherith was singing. Tim was playing the sax. It was perfect. I almost couldn't believe my ears! They were flawless. Those two were better than any Christmas song I heard on the radio all season! I would have bought their CD.
There were other things that made this morning special, but I must get ready for our Christmas Eve party. I just had to take a minute to write about how much I love Jesus, our church family, my own family and this wonderful season we call Christmas time. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!
I almost forgot to write about the best part of the service and the reason I began this post!
Before communion our Pastor was talking about how important it is to take communion with a clean heart. Randy and I are very serious about the boys taking communion only if they understand what they are doing. Before we went up to communion I asked the boys if they had asked God to forgive their sins. Spencer said he had not so he was praying. Joey told me that he did during the candle light service. He looked at me very seriously and said that during the candle light service he felt closer to God. What a wonderful day! This is the first time any of the kids have felt the presence of God in the adult service! It made me so happy for Joey and for Jesus!