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Merry Christmas

December 24, 2008

I’ve done a lot of thinking this week about where I was spiritually and emotionally this time last year. Holidays are a good time to take a personal inventory. I’ve discovered several things but what struck me most this evening was how much more at peace my soul is. Last year I was not comfortable going to a family service with friends without holding a baby. I cried as I sat alone at the 11pm service and could barely make it through communion. My soul was broken. I had no idea what the future had in store for me. I was doing everything that I could to trust that God had a great plan for me and my life, I just had absolutely no idea what that was going to be. Had you told Christmas Leanne 2008 what I’m doing now, she’d never have believed you.

This evening Jarrod sang O Holy Night at the first two services (4pm and 5:30pm). He’s no LHR, but he brought tears to my eyes. I am so lucky to be marrying not only an incredible musicial who sings in the shower and conducts Vivaldi for my cats, but a man who knows the importance of worship and loves God and people. At 7pm we sat together for the sermon (and recited it with John…) until it was time for communion. I have always treasured serving communion and made a mental note to tell John and Marie so they’d know to call on me in a time of need. Then I got the look from Marie. Jarrod was serving and a few other lay members and they needed one more. So I jumped up, grabed the cup, and followed John. The woman serving with Jarrod switched with me and allowed me the incredible priviledge of serving beside my fiance. It was an incredible honor. Not only do I love looking people in the eye on Christmas eve sharing the cup of salvation with them, but it was moving to hear Jarrod share the bread of Jesus with them as well. I take that honor very seriously and intend to thank Marie for her look…not just for thinking of me and knowing I’d be willing, but for giving me the honor of serving the congregation.

I wasn’t really feeling Christmas. We only sang the first two verses of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. (The third verse is what fills my soul). We’re traveling to New Jersey tomorrow and Jarrod’s nervous about meeting the family. We sent Lucy to the kennel yesterday, so it’s lonely without her. (Sophie and Oliver even miss her!) My dear friend’s daddy is in the hospital for Christmas and my heart is sad for her and her family. I’m already anxious about going back to Dallas, school, and responsibility. I’m loving being here with Jarrod, taking care of the house, and sleeping in. But serving communion this evening and holding my lit candle high during the last verse of Silent Night really brought Christmas to my heart this evening.

We have one more service to go. We stopped at McDonalds for dinner (Texas Roadhouse was closed!) and last minute packing. After the 11pm service, we’ll come home, sleep for a little bit, and get ready to leave in the morning. Our flight to Newark leaves at 10am, but we’re almost totally packed and ready to go.

I hope that you are enjoying Christmas with those that you love. I’ll write more about Christmas memories and other thoughts in the next few days.

Much love and Christmas from Leanne, Jarrod, and the kitties. 🙂

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