December 24, 2011

And to All a Good Night...

Images of the season... enjoy.

 Snow, courtesy of :)

Thanks be to God for the gift of our Savior.
Oh, and thanks be to God for the gift of HTB, too. :)
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

December 18, 2011

All is Well...

"All is well."
That's the name of the song that pierced my soul last week. 

Let me give you some background: I have never been so harried, so frazzled, so klutzy, and so spazzy as I have in the last couple of weeks.  I have become Lucille Ball.  My life would actually make for a hilarious sitcom right now, if it wasn't in fact my life.

I keep dropping things.  Dropping things and breaking things.  So much so that HTB has taken to carrying fragile items for me and has become a Krazy Glue expert.

Want some examples?  Take yesterday, for instance.

I got up really early and packed for Chicago.  Then I spent a half hour looking for some paperwork for my new camera that I found out later I had actually packed already.  Then I opened my suitcase and smelled my mistake immediately.  Sure enough, red nail polish had leaked in one of my bags, covering and destroying my nerd glasses and random pieces of jewelry.  Then, I went to move my other suitcase (full of Christmas gifts), forgetting it was open, and all its contents were dumped on the floor.  "DON'T LOOK, DON'T LOOK," I shouted frantically as I picked up the gifts and put them back inside.  As I went to sit down and take a load off after a day like that, I put on my slippers... only to find out I had packed two right feet (I have two of the same pairs). 

So now I sit down to this laptop, the one I spilled water on last week and now have to use a mouse instead of the track pad, and I type about how "all is well."

It really is, you know.  Sure, all of the above makes me a bit like a frenzied Lucy, and sure, I am stressed like I've never been stressed.  Yes, my house is a crazy mess of gifts and no place to put them, and of course I have to somehow make room in my house for another person and make it a livable environment.  Yep, I'm getting married in 24 (!) days and still have a to-do list, and yes, Bestie and her husband just moved 2.5 hours away.

But, all is well.  This struck me last week at our church's Christmas cantata.  Bestie was playing beautifully on the piano; I realized this would be the last time I'd hear her play at church for who-knows-how-long.  I began to cry.  But then as the choir sang "All is Well," I listened to the words:

All is well, all is well;
Angels and men rejoice.
For tonight darkness fell
Into the dawn of love's light.
All is well, all is well;
Let there be peace on earth.
Christ is come, go and tell
That He is in the manger
All is well, all is well;
Lift up your voices and sing.
Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior.
Sing Alleluia
All is well

How can all not be well, when Christ is come and there is a way to have a relationship with God?  Christ was born to die.  He was born to die for me, as the sacrifice for my sins.  No striving for "good works" to save me; no uncertainty if I've been "good enough."  He alone is sufficient as the atonement for my sins.  And because I trust in Him for that salvation, I can truly say, "all is well."

So my friends, is all well for you?  Or do you yet need to put your full faith in the One who was born to die for you?

December 5, 2011

Either the Edge of Glory or the Edge of a Cliff...

Somewhere between rolls of twine and a freezer of leftover ziti, I lost my cool.  Tension had been building for a while; my to-do list was growing when it should be shrinking; my day was too full to get anything done; daily life was encroaching on my bridal dreams.

And then yesterday.  HTB walked with me to visit Bestie and Bestie Jr.'s mom, who had embroidered some weddings gifts so beautifully.

"I don't know how to tell you this, Amanda," she said, "but these scarves are filthy."  Imagine the horror on my face as I see a scarf that had been so neatly tucked into its store packaging, clean and tidy, now strewn with dots of mysterious dried matter and dirt smears.  All of that had been so cleverly hidden by said store packaging.  I felt ill.  I had bought those in Chicago.  In June.  And here I am, 38 days before the wedding (but who's counting?), with filthy shawls for my bridesmaids.

I held it together.  Walking back home, HTB (who likes to straddle the line between trying to be helpful and trying to make me laugh) was about to make a suggestion.

"Just don't even say it if it's not helpful," I said, casting a warning glance in his direction. 

"I actually think this is kind of a good idea," he said. 


"What if you just tye-dye them?  Then no one could tell!" 

"Really?  REALLY?!  Tye-Dye.  What are we, hippies?!"

Despite HTB's fantastic advice, I managed to deal with the situation.  And then I saw one of the monograms.  I had given Bestie's mom the WRONG initals for one of my bridesmaids.  Well, it was the right initials, but in the wrong order.  Her shawl now reads "KJV," like she's a Bible or something.  Sorry buddy... I suck.

But HTB now wants to forever refer to her as "King James."

I believe after that, I kind of fell in to HTB's arms and muttered things like "Just want to go to heaven," and "Don't even want to be alive anymore," and "Can't handle it."  A little dramatic?  Perhaps.  But slightly accurate?  Maybe.

And then today, let's just say that after a rude line-cutter at the post office a stupid USPS employee, frozen containers of baked ziti falling out of the freezer and busting, and dozens of gnats being born in my drain, it was even more accurate.

But thankfully, we're still reading through the Psalms backwards and last night read Psalm 39.  I couldn't even get through the Psalm for my tears.  HTB picked up where I left off and read about how our lives are but vapors; we must number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  Life is short.  In the grand scheme of things, what does a shawl matter?  Or a jerk at the Post Office?  They don't.  The only thing that really matters is if I'm glorifying God through each situation.

So... now I'm either on the edge of glory or the edge of a cliff, but either way, I'm going to try my darndest, with God's help, to employ fewer tears and more joy.