I have to say that on this Monday morning I am beyond exhausted. We have been running hard, working late into the night, and getting up at crazy early hours to pull off our weekend event, "Your Hometown Christmas." The drive through lighting display had lots of plywood cutouts - all painstakingly painted by hand. The band played, we gave away cookies and hot cocoa, and made pictures with Santa. The event came together well, after a few minor issues with lighting on the first night. We met lots of new families and enjoyed being out in our community yet again. I will say that I am voting that our next band event should be in warmer weather. The frost forming on my keyboard as I played was quite chilly on my bare fingers.
Services at the Crossroads yesterday were great. I love to see our people loving on each other. We gathered up our shoeboxes of gifts for the Mexico orphanage. Funny story - I checked my paper at least three times before I went shopping. I would have sworn that it said I was shopping for a 2 year old little girl. $70 later, I had a shoebox full of really adorable stuff. I got ready to attach my label and it said "2 year old BOY" What? Oh no! I had to laugh, it's such a me thing to do. I packed my girl box anyway for an extra just in case we need it, and then I will need to make a box for my little boy.
Shawn brought it with the message this week. He did a great job of clearly explaining why Jesus was born, and why He had to be sacrificed for our sins. He talked plainly about the difference between being nice and being set free from your sin. I love how he makes God's Word plain and easy to understand - even for our congregation who has never been in church before.
After church we attended a welcome home party for one of our friends who has been away at basic training. He and his family will be stationed in upstate New York after the first of the year. I had a great time meeting all the new people at that event. At one point, Shawn realized I had disappeared. He knew to go find the largest group of strangers, and that's where I would be. He's even starting to accept that as normal - that his crazily shy and self-conscious wife is now in the middle of the crowd meeting new people. I am still insecure and lack self-confidence, but I love the diversity and uniqueness of God's greatest creation - people. I am fascinated by how different and yet still beautiful God has made us all.
Last night, a large group of ladies went down to Allen to do some Christmas shopping. I will say up front that shopping is not my favorite. I am a total goal-oriented shopper, and so shopping with large groups is really not something that I tend to do. However, I really did enjoy the night with the ladies. It was good to connect with them and to watch my old friends getting to know some of my newer friends. Another funny thing last night - I walked alone down to the Gamestop store to do a little shopping. The ladies came to pick me up for dinner, and they laughed about having to wait a long time. When they arrived, no one in the store was shopping, they were all gathered around the cash register visiting with me about their children and families and what games they felt were appropriate for what ages. In the 15 minutes I was in the store, I had met all of them and found out about their children and families! (I'm laughing at this - who does that?) Yet again I took a step back and was shocked by how God has changed my personality. Sometimes it's a little freaky, even for me. No wonder it's a little weird to my friends and family.
I enjoyed dinner with the ladies at Uncle Julio's. It was a first time for me. It was good - a little pricey, but good. The bummer is that I had a gift card - at home on the counter! Our last stop of the night was Target. I was surprised that they are putting out bikinis already. It's weird enough for Christmas stuff to be out in October, but I have gotten used to that. But to have swimsuits out in December? That's just really, really weird. The good news is that my bikini boot camp video is coming in the mail from Netflix. I'll be ready! (Not really, y'all this is a joke, my four baby, glow in the dark white body does not belong in a bikini) And yes, I finished most of my Christmas shopping, I just have a few small things left to get today and tomorrow.
Bottom line? It was a great, but busy weekend.