We had a nice Christmas here. On Christmas Eve we met Tony & Sue at Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Charlotte. It was the first time the kids had been in the downtown part of the city and the second time for Jeff and I. Very pretty...can't wait to explore more. It was nice to see Tony & Sue and eat lunch with them on a holiday. We are so thankful that we have family here - even if they are an hour away! We went to the Christmas Eve service at our new church and enjoyed it. When we walked in one of the ladies who I met at the women's night the week before saw me and came and said hi - that was nice! During the service the pastor spoke of how what we fill our lives with is never enough before we accept Jesus into our heart and let Him fill that hole in us. He talked about how we fall over and over until we finally see that we need Him. He then led us in a prayer so those who chose to could give themselves to Jesus and ask forgiveness for trying to do it on their own. He asked that those who chose to pray raise their hand boldly. We witnessed a man right in front of us raise his hand then weep with his wife and daughter as they rejoiced. It was really awesome and I just know that Jesus thought that was a fantastic birthday gift. 244 people gave their life to Jesus over the 4 Christmas Eve services at Southbrook. That is awesome! Christmas morning came and even after a cup of coffee I felt pretty rotten. I put on a somewhat happy, very congested, face and we drove to Southbrook's other campus in Monroe - about 20 minutes away. Monroe is an area in our county that has many homeless. The church hosted a pancake breakfast for the homeless, veterans, and city workers. I have to admit that as we walked in and knew no one who was there to help (and there were so many there to help that not everyone had jobs!!) I just wanted to turn right around and go home. They did get everyone assigned something to do. Jeff and I and the kids were to greet people at the doors. Not too many came for the breakfast. A few of the people who did come though led some of the volunteers to the areas where others were living - they refused to come to the breakfast, so they made up trays of food and took them to these people living in tents. I don't feel like our family made much of an impact on anyone by us opening doors that day. Thankfully the warm food and the volunteers who sat with these people and talked to them, read verses, and prayed with them did. God used us serving that day to bless us though. Another lady I met at the women's night was there. She and I talked some and then she introduced us to a couple who leads a Life Group (small group) in our area. We talked with this couple for a very long time - they were so very nice. And they introduced us to many of the people in their group. They invited us to come and join their group on this Sunday and see what we think. So, Sunday after church we will join them! By Christmas evening I was sick. I was in bed by seven. Monday morning I sought out one of the few clinics open to get checked out. Sinus infection. With some drugs, by Tuesday I was feeling a lot better!
While I was laying around recovering I did a few things on the computer (besides Words with Friends). I emailed all the neighbors to see about starting a bunco group. It is looking promising - 7 already for sure. Before Christmas I had contacted the PTO president about getting a Spirit Rock for our school. Every school here has one - a huge (10-20,000 pound) rock in the front of the school. It is reserved by parents and then painted to say certain messages - a lot of the time "Happy Birthday so and so." It is just fun. Some schools use it as a fundraiser - charge a $5 fee to reserve the rock for a day or two. Anywho...our school doesn't have one. And you all know how much I like rocks! LOL. So, she said she'd love one and I could research the cost, etc. Long story short, I found a quarry to donate the rock and the man I spoke with (happened to be a parent at the school) found someone to move it to our school for a very reasonable fee. So, we are in the process of getting all the permits, etc. I'm excited about this for our school! And my kids are too! When we were here looking for houses in August we told the kids that ALL the schools had these. Wouldn't you know it that our school didn't. They kept asking if I'd ask the PTO for one - LOL! I will be meeting with a lady from Southbrook on Monday morning to talk about Women's Ministry. I have lots of ideas. Still praying about how He wants me to serve in this way. I can hardly believe all of the irons in the fire I have already...how did that happen? I need to be very diligent in prayer before saying yes. All good things are not necessarily the best things to fill my time with...a lesson I have learned before, but have to revisit often! I've had several people say they are amazed at how much I get out there and get involved...I guess I am too. Growing up I was so shy and unsure of myself that I would barely speak to anyone. I guess now that I know that I can be confident in the Lord, it is a lot easier to put myself out there. I also have such a passion for connecting people to other people and to activities...I want everyone to feel loved and surrounded by support and encouragement - that may sound hokey - but it really is how I feel. We are better together. This verse just happens to be the one that the women at Southbrook focus on.
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.