A Weekend Away

This weekend was a rare treat for Tim and I. He didn't have to be at the church on Sunday, which was a blessing for both of us! We needed a weekend away from here without having a ton of other obligations. Although our weekend was very busy, it was also a lot of fun.

We woke up Saturday to the first real snowfall of the season on the ground. An inch, maybe, and then a lot of rain. I was nervous about our planned trip to Evansville, but my fearless husband convinced me we would be fine. Turns out, he was right. We made it to his parent's house in time to eat a little bit of linner (the word my mom made up for the meal we sometimes eat between lunch and dinner) before heading to their church for their annual Christmas program.

Now, trust me, I know what you're thinking - we complain about being over-programmed at the church and then leave town during a program weekend to attend...a program. Trust me, the irony was not lost on me!

However, the production was really good. It was their adult choir and orchestra, along with a short message and time of communion/offering. Their choir was amazing. They have a lot of talent, and you can tell they also have a lot of fun with what they are doing. Each song had a soloist that blew me away. And, it was exciting. There was an energy in the air for the entire program. the short message about the birth of Christ was made poignant as it came from a new father seeing the miracle of birth for the first time (and holding his precious son).

Was the program perfect? No. There were lagging lyrics, mis-sung words, and the like. But none of it took away from the experience. I'm sure part of it was the fact that it was completely new to us - we hadn't sat through rehearsals and planning sessions, so we didn't know what to expect, but still...I was moved in more than one moment and found myself holding back tears during at least one song. It was a good night.

Sunday we slept in (what a treat!) and then went to a birthday party for our niece, who will turn one on Tuesday. It was fun to see the extended family, although briefly, and spend time together. Driving home last night, I couldn' t help but feel happy, blessed, and joyful. The weekend was nothing extraordinary, but wonderful nonetheless. We are a blessed couple, and it's nice to be reminded of that every now and then.

Christmas is just a week away and there is much to do...and so much to remember...

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

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