This may sound funny but we honoured Advent Sunday 2 by not going to church. I have a strong tendency to drive the family to do EVERYTHING and I am trying to learn that sometimes, we need to honour life with some quiet and some rest. Yesterday was busy for all of us with LB in the parade and Pk in a skating competition and me volunteering at that for 8 hours. We were all exhausted and we knew that the next couple of weeks are INSANE so it was time to take a break. Instead of going to church, we lingered in bed, read Christmas stories and cuddled together in Mommy and Daddy's bed, made the walls for our gingerbread house (my friend gave me the most awesome gingerbread pan that lets you bake your own walls to make a gingerbread house and this has become a loved tradition).
While I was out yesterday, Dh took LB with him to see a friend and get his tires changed. LB was playing with our friend's daughter and I gather the daddies weren't supervising very carefully because they discovered LB and his 6 year old friend playing darts (Dh said they both just about had a heart attack). LB talked all day about the darts and asked if we could play at home. I'm a bit of a "Why not?" mom and we had a very rousing game of darts (and our wall has several holes in it now - we have to work on our aim). It was one of those little things but involving so much laughter that will become one of my fondest memories of connecting with each other this holiday.
We have an annual Christmas crafts tradition with friends of ours and we didn't want to miss it this year. After a lovely afternoon nap, we went over there, the kids crafted, the adults chatted and we had a nice chili dinner. It was very laid back and in the end, the moms had the most fun crafting (where has colouring been all my life? Who knew I loved it so much???)
Finally, it was over to the church for adult choir practice. One of the things that I love most about our church is that our kids LOVE it there. Whenever we are going there for anything, we are demanded to take them with us and tonight was no exception. Dh had been chatting with a friend at church and they needed a stable and a manger built and he agreed to help his friend and to set up the platform for our church play/concert in two weeks while we sang. The kids ran around downstairs having a grand time with a few of their friends (and demanded that we stay longer).
Again, as I said with the parade yesterday, for reasons that I don't really understand, I grew up feeling like I didn't belong and these times of community and belonging mean a great deal to me. I would like us, as the church, to be a place where we can figure out how to help everyone who wants to to have that feeling of welcome, of knowing that you are loved and accepted and that you are part of a family of God. Every church has its issues, ours included, but at least for us, at this point in time, it's been a precious gift. We are involved in so many ways (I am on the Compassion Committee and we are doing some really exciting things in terms of reaching out to our community and the world as we help to sponsor refugees to come to Canada and are supporting a minister in a small town in Honduras who is feeding 70 children at his church every week because they don't have enough to eat, I sing with our worship team twice a month, I teach Sunday school, Dh does the visuals for the service and is running the drama for our play, Pk goes to "Tween Scene", sings in the choir and is an actress in our play and Lb goes to Awana, sings in the choir and generally just loves his church friends). The church year has become important to us (e.g., spring means Easter prep with some kind of concert, fall is the prep for the drama/music at Christmas, July is a week of VBS and we billet some of the sportscamp staff, etc). I especially love having somewhere that really has something to offer each member of our family and a place that we can be involved together.
I'm going to bed tonight with a feeling of contentment that I spent the day exactly as I would like to sustain me through the week.