pre-Thanksgiving…. i went on a “fall” retreat with my small group girls. I say “fall” … because well…. there was very little “fall” in sight. Instead, I got to drive up the mountain with snow falling. Seven miles from the lodge, we had to put chains on the vans, so I have now officially driven with chains! The whole landscape, that dark snowy night… was just breathtaking. The tall trees had so much fluff on them, untouched.
We pulled in, and I began to blast Christmas music… Winter Wonderland, to be exact.
On Saturday, I snowshoed for the first time ever, and it was oh so fun! We pounded through untouched snow, all around the lodge. It was so quiet! And powdery! And such a great workout, especially when we wandered quite far downhill and back up! I wish I had pictures of this part, but the reality is, I spent a solid three hours outside… and several times, espcially while sledding… the snow won! I was covered, and too busy throwing snowballs to take pictures!
This all occurred two weeks before Thanksgiving..and all the sudden it kind of felt like Christmas. Only, like I arrived at Christmas with nothing required. I show up with merely some snow gear and drive the van full of kids. The youth staff takes care of providing talks and small group curriculum and worship. The lodge has snowshoes to try, and sleds to ride, and games and puzzles to play, and food to eat.
And my girls….. they show up with laughter and some tears and homework and smiles. And … wait for it…. they show up with Christmas decorations for our room. Yes, they do indeed rock, in case you wondered. Streamers, glittery garlands, lights… and a big red bow for our front door. Seriously, they are perfect. And God, well he shows up too, in big and powerful ways, to touch me, through these kids. I always am amazed. I hope that moment of amazement never departs from me.
Some days I have to really fight for Christmas to be like that too. Because the reality is… all I have to do is show up, not worried so much about the details, the lists, it all. All I have to do is show up and enjoy it. Enjoy each minute of this season, each homemade gift, each strand of lights, each excuse to see a friend, each song to jingle to, each pair of fun socks, each advent worship song.
enjoy it, even when it seems too full. You can sleep in January, after all.
Fa la la!