Carrying Christ into the ordinary

Categorized as  Christ's presence,  Christmas, 60 Days of Beauty

After taking an extensive and much-needed break from blogging and social networking over the holidays, Monday has come, bringing that yellow bus, a new column begging to be written, and a relatively normal schedule once more.  Rather than being a slave to a list or a project, I shall not even attempt to catch up on the 60 Days Project, but instead will give you a fly-over, simple snippets of the beauty that suffused our holiday season this year, 2010.

My heart, I confess, is full and overflowing, and I find myself giving thanks in an unending refrain for the gracious gifts and clear evidences of the Father’s love.  Here is a list of beautiful snapshots as they parade, one by one, past my mind’s eye:

1.  The unspeakable beauty of the Smoky Mountains, freshly frosted with falling snow, that greeted us on Christmas morn.
2.  Laughter and camaraderie among the six of us as we traveled south in the BMV (Blue Mommy Van) on roads that gradually inclined, curving ever higher up the mountain.
3.  High spirits and eager anticipation as the extended Schrock family gathered, one van load at a time, at a lodge in Pigeon Forge.
4.  Laughter and the voices of children ringing from the rafters.
5.  The pounding of feet up and down, up and down; a busy, roiling mass of activity with all 28 – 28! – from 3 states under 1 roof.
6.  Twenty-five 2-liters in row upon row, cooling on the back porch.
7.  Candy and cookies stacked four deep atop the fridge, hauled carefully all the way from three separate states.
8.  Cell phones ringing, one family member to another, formulating Christmas Eve meal plans (“hey, do you-all want pizza or subs?”) with excited adults clutching lists and shimmying through the packed aisles at the local Wal-Mart store.
9.  Flickering fireplaces.  Two.
10.  Games, games, and games – Golf (with Skip-Bo cards), poker, etc., and a family favorite, “Who, What, When, Where, Why” that never fails to have us howling like hyenas.
11.  Meeting Baby Tessa for the first time, the little darling, and buying two very girlie outfits at the outlet mall.  (This auntie was thrilled beyond words to shop, for once, in the pink section!)
12.  Bone-deep gratitude that for the most part, everyone stayed healthy.  Thank You, Lord!
13.  Worship time together on Sunday morning.  What a blessing to hear from each family and to sing the old Christmas carols together.
14.  Outlet mall shopping.  By myself.  With plenty of time.  With a VENTI MOCHA in my hot, little hand.  What a way to roll!
15.  Movie nights, very late, with everyone in PJs, watching Jason Bourne in action.
16.  Spirited games of pool, air hockey, and foosball in the basement.  (To my everlasting chagrin, I never did manage to win at foosball.  That Yoder stubbornness and strong competitive spirit can only take you so far, I guess.)
17.  Seeing the cousins, big and small, interact, knowing that for years to come, they will have these happy memories to treasure.
18.  A hot tub that was seldom empty.
19.  Grilling in the snow.
20.  Experiencing the Dixie Stampede all together – a wonderful dinner show that had everyone riveted.
21.  Of all crazy coincidences, ending up right beside a group of Amish people (column readers!!) from our very community who introduced themselves.  One of the ladies, bless her heart, shared some very kind words about that one little piece that appears locally every Monday.  What, I ask, are the odds of THAT?
22.  Boy Two, larking around Pigeon Forge in a cowboy hat, purchased at the Stampede, and his NW letter jacket.  Love it.
23.  Safe travel to and from.
24.  Reveling in the quietness and familiarity of our own Christmas traditions upon returning…a slumber party with movies and a Subway platter with the opening of stockings and then gifts the next morning.  Precious, precious days.

Today as I sat in my favorite spot at the coffee shop, gathering my thoughts in the early-morning darkness, I noted that most of the decorations have been put away now for another year, another Christmas.  I sighed, mourning just a bit the end of such a lovely time and the inevitable transition back to ordinary life.

And then I felt His nudge.  “Carry Christ into the ordinary.”  Yes!  There it is.  All the beauty that He gave – all the beauty that we so gratefully received is meant to be carried forward and poured out day by day, one encounter at a time.

That, I think, is my New Year’s challenge –to carry Christ into the ordinary.  May we together, you and I, be the channels through which all the beauty of His grace, mercy, and abundant life flows like a ceaseless river to a weary, thirsting world.

Happy, Beautiful New Year!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *