Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas All! I am sitting at my house at 10:19 on a Sunday morning. There was no rushing around this morning trying to get to church by 9:00...we didn't have church this morning in lieu of evening vespers at 5:00. A great idea if you ask me. Of course, Mark felt that he needed to go over to church and attend our Korean congregation's service at 10:30...he's so dedicated.

We are relaxing, getting ready for the parents to all arrive today. My parents were supposed to get here on Thursday, but they were supposed to fly through, instead, they are arriving late tonight. We are just glad they will make it. Mark's parents are coming around 2:00 pm from Gig Harbor so that will be fun.

My parents surprised us with a piano this year for Christmas! I was so surprised and thankful. We recieved it on Friday and someone has been playing it almost non-stop since. I've been taking lessons again and am so thankful to have it so I don't have to try to find 1/2 or so per week to leave and go practice at the church. I kept having flashbacks each lesson from High School...funnily enough, I have the same teacher....but I would sit down and try to fake my way through my songs, trying to hide the fact that I hadn't practiced as much as I should have. I have matured enough to the point of just looking at Carolyn and saying, "Didn't have much time for practice this week". She is much more understanding than she used to be. Anyway, we are very thankful! Will and Lora will start lessons fairly soon. Of course, we have this idea that Lora, being blind, will be some musical prodigy. She may look at us and say, "I want to play football!" and Will might be a musical genius. But this way, they can take lessons and we can find out. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Will is very excited for Christmas...he is being a very good boy. Mark won't let me threaten him with Santa, he doesn't like that idea...but we do remind him of the haul that is coming and if he doesn't straighten up, WE will not give him any presents. I've been amazed by how he's picked up on the Santa thing, darn that TV, and all the Santas I have around the house. We have tried not to play the idea up too much. We don't really have anything against Santa as an idea. I think the big hang up that we've had, Mark mostly, is the idea that we tell him about Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and that they are real and then someday, he learns that they are not so what does that do to his concept of God? We tell him that God is real, you can't see him, is He different. I don't know, I believed in Santa, etc and I turned out okay....

I was laughing this morning about the poor job that we have done so far of telling the kids about the Nativity story. Last year, my mom sent them the "Little People" nativity set and when we opened it, Will saw the angel and said "Mom, a Fairy!" Well, I thought we had told him a little more this year, but this morning, he was playing with a bunch of little people and animals and he was naming them all including "The Fairy (angel still)" and "Baby Jonah". I'm sure we've told him about Baby Jesus......

Anyway, I pray that you all have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. Find moments to experience the simple joys...a child's excitement, a great piece of toffee, a carol played on a new piano....remembering the Baby that was born so long ago. Welcome to our world Baby Jesus:

"Tears are falling, hearts are breaking; how we need to hear from God. You've been promised, we've been waiting, welcome holy Child, welcome holy Child.

Hope that you don't mind our manger, how I wish we would have known, but long awaited holy Stranger, make Yourself at home, please make Yourself at home.

Bring Your peace into our violence, bid our hungry souls be filled. Word now breaking heaven's silence, welcome to our world, welcome to our world.

Fragile finger sent to heal us, tender brow prepared for thorn, tiny heart whose blood will save us, unto us is born, unto us is born.

So wrap our injured flesh around You, breathe our air and walk our sod. Rob our sin and make us holy, perfect Son of God. Welcome to our world." Chris Rice

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Namaste Ghandi

Mark and I watched the movie "Ghandi" this afternoon. I had never seen it before and was incredibly moved by the life of this man. He was an amazing human being who stood up for people and urged people to stand up for themselves and others using nonviolent resistance. Much like Dr. Martin Luther King. It was a great movie and I highly recommend it.

There is a word that is used in India and other Eastern cultures that I've always wondered about. The word is "Namaste". It is used as a greeting often said with a bow and hands put together at the person's heart. I wondered what it meant, so I looked it up. There are many meanings, but in a spiritual context, here are a few of the meanings I found:

I salute the Light of God in you.
I bow to the divine in you.
The God in me sees and honors the God in you.
May the God within you, bless you

A beautiful phrase with beautiful meanings, if I do say so myself. Just another example of something that we can learn from other I say to you all, my friends, with my head slightly bowed towards you and my palms pressed together in front of my chest..."Namaste"