Yesterday, we went to church and watched our daughter sing “Happy Birthday, Jesus” and “Silent Night” with the kids’ choir. Our little family lit the second advent candle. And then as we left church, snowflakes began to fall. We returned home quickly for chili, hot chocolate, and fudge. We watched White Christmas and The Homecoming and played outside from time to time in the falling snow.
It was an almost-perfect day, especially for this Southern transplant who has never seen a significant amount of snow around Christmas.
I say almost primarily because one thing marred my day: the negative actions of a person not in my household or church.
Going into detail about that person and his or her actions isn’t productive, and I will not be doing that here. But as I sat watching snowflakes fall from my bay window late last night, I realized something.
My life has changed greatly in the last year. My husband was hired for a wonderful new job, and we moved our family further north away from all friends and family. We traded our small subdivision home for a larger newer home with acreage. After swearing years ago we would not tie ourselves down to another car payment, we purchased an SUV with 4WD for navigating snowy or icy roads. But we also paid off more debt than we ever dreamed.
More importantly, we joined a new church. We’ve been consistently faithful and active in church for the first time in our nearly ten years of marriage. We previously were members of a larger church with a coffeehouse service and contemporary music and pictures at Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, a church with a large staff and a budget focused on a building program and growth. I liked that church and its unending supply of Krispy Kreme doughnuts on Sunday mornings. I liked it in spite of its sometimes-awkward preacher–because he was truly preaching the Word of God. But now we are members of a smaller church, still one preaching the Truth, but one more focused on showing God’s love, on being the hands and feet of God. And thanks to an active children’s ministry, my daughter, despite having memorized every verse her first year of Cubbies at AWANA at our old church, has learned significantly more scripture and doctrine here. I now study the Bible with our child multiple times daily. Honestly, I’ve never been so consistent with prayer and Bible study in my entire 40 years.
I have no doubts that we are where God wants us to be. My family members voice frequently that they hate how far away we are, but despite their wishes, I know that God has directed our path here, and I’m glad He did.
And while a person–or the devil–may mar an almost-perfect day, I will continue to press onward and upward, shaking the dust off my feet as I go.
I hope you had a wonderful weekend.