It was a truly blessed Christmas. How strange to spend my Christmas in a household of non-Christians and yet find it the most “holy” experience. One blessing was to go to church unhampered by my Dad’s determination to take so long getting ready that the Smudgelets don’t get chance to open any presents before we go. At my sister’s we had opened presents long before it was time for church as everyone wanted to get up and celebrate together – which had the pleasant result that the children were able to choose what they wanted to take with them to church, which was nice as they really wanted to give thanks to God for the love of those who’d given them, as well as us making a leisurely trip down into the town.
Being at a new church was strange, but the church was lovely and the people friendly and in some ways it focussed us in more on the message of the service because we weren’t focussing on hugging our friends and finding out what they had for Christmas. I was impressed at the inclusivity of the church we attended. Mind you, I was a little concerned at the rather effective display of candles surrounding the podium – the people involved in the sketches had to keep stepping over them and one woman had a rather long, flowing skirt. But all was well.
And in the evening I was delighted. Usually we veg in front of the TV, or more often I’m over at my home alone while the boys sleep. But at my sister’s I couldn’t believe it. Once the boys were in bed we turned down the lights, lit the candles, and all sat singing carols to the sound of my nephew’s guitar.
Smudgelet was delighted with his remote-control self-build dinosaur (now fully operational and christened Florence) and his CD player. Tiddles was less impressed with his new PE kit, especially in its fluorescent pink PE bag. (Well, he’s not going to miss seeing that very easily, is he, and noone in their right mind is going to steal it!) but had some lovely presents none-the-less.
Now it’s all systems go getting the place clean and tidy and habitable again.
New Year’s Resolutions:
1)To try to get a bit more exercise by using Dad’s exercise bike for increasing amounts of time per day (starting with 2 minutes!) and taking the Smudgelets swimming once a week
2)To try and cut down the clutter by achieving at least one of good old Flylady’s challenges per day and keeping a star chart to reward myself when I achieve it.
3)To ensure I spend some quality time with the Smudgelets each week doing something we all enjoy, even if it’s just (just?) reading a story at bedtime again – a habit that we have sadly started to break.
4)To reestablish a routine whereby I spend at least an hour a week studying my local preacher’s course and to increase my reading of the Bible by using Surefish’s daily readings while I eat my breakfast.
5) To write to my friend in prison at least once a month without getting distracted and forgetting to finish the letter.
Now, how long do you give me?
And as the year draws to an end here in the UK (OK, so there’s 2 hours to go, but I don’t think I’ll be seeing them!), I just want to wish each of you a really good “Rutsch” into the New Year and chance to achieve some of your longings, to find a sense of deep peace, to enjoy the challenges life brings and to reach contentment without complacency. And I’ll wish myself the same! 😀 Happy New Year!!!!!!