Sunday, December 11, 2011

Advent Day 11- He turns Mourning into Dancing

I woke up this morning feeling heavy, feeling sad; I was getting my kids breakfast, caring for two  little ones with colds, and trying to focus on the Giver of joy.  It was then that God seemed to whisper to my soul, "don't forget joy isn't happiness".  The tears started to flow.  I did't feel happy this morning.  Our dear friends are in South Africa; they are supposed to be celebrating the holidays.  Instead, Tim's father passed away and Chloe is caring for her father during cancer treatment and this week her mom will be under going surgery and be bedridden for most of the week.  We can do so little being so far away.  We started making plans for Marc to fly out for the week, but it quickly became apparent, that a visit right now is just not the type of support Tim needs.  We are too unfamiliar with the country.  We'll be able to offer more support by being with them when they return.  We all prayed about it.  The decision is right, but it isn't easy.  We feel helpless.

I am still sad after saying goodbye to the Campings yesterday.  We are blessed to have friends all over the world.  I don't  know why God has chosen that for us; we certainly didn't plan it.  There was such joy in seeing them, but there is a sadness, a grieving, knowing the probable great length of time that will lapse until we see them again.  It isn't something to wallow in, but I sensed God telling to to allow myself to walk through the sense of loss I feel.  I started to berate myself  about being grateful for the friends here in Sheboygan.  I AM grateful; God is providing friendships that are ever deepening here.  I love these new friends.  Yet, I miss Suzanne.  God is telling me this morning to just acknowledge that.

Yes, there is sadness, there is grief, there is a feeling of helplessness, but not hopelessness.  As I prayed, I asked God to help me walk through this so I can experience celebration today with our kids as we did our next Advent activity.  I sensed God prodding me to be honest with our kids about the grief and sadness.  Advent means expectation and expecting a Savior means there is something we need saving from.  Our world is fallen, there is sadness and my hope comes not in the many blessings we have, though there ARE many, my hope is in the Lord, my Savior.  My hope is one day the little pieces of my heart scattered around the world are all going to whole in heaven.  Tim is going to dance with his daddy in heaven.  We are going to hear Wolfgang read his poetry at the feet of his Savior.  That is the joy Advent provides and focusing on THAT ended up making it very easy to celebrate today.  It is a great day to sing carols about "tidings of comfort and joy".

Advent Day 11's message Read:

Today we will go the the Holiday Memories Exhibit at the Sheboygan County Historial Museum.  Just wait- you are going to have a blast!

 First stop- The North Pole

 All the animated displays were from past Window displays in the old "Prangles" department store...

Phin got a kick out of anything that moved and would state what they were doing (ie.  here he exclaimed, "She's sewing!")

 Chloe by far preferred these animals.  Even after moving on in the exhibit she kept running back here;) Who can blame her- it's not every day you get to see skating bunnies;)

They have an area were kids can ride on antique "ride-ons".  They LOVED it and we were here a while;)

No surpise- Ava tried every single one;)

Chloe couldn't quite reach the peddles, but she loved being pushed around;)

The kids got to make wood boats 

 The old houses on the property were decorated, as well.  The kids (and Marc and I ;), especially LOVED the log cabin.  It was so charming and homey.  The kids loved these wooden homemade toys- who needs technology!?

The day ended as each one in Advent does, reading our Advent book together;)

1 comment:

  1. For whatever reason, I missed this post yesterday. I just wanted to send you a hug and let you know I'm praying for you. My heart empathizes with yours and that helpless, but not hopeless, feeling. A lump formed in my throat yesterday morning as we sang "O Holy Night."

    "A thrill of hope,
    a weary world rejoices
    for yonder breaks
    a new and glorious morn!"

    Praying that Emmanuel will continue to minister to your heart and fill you with hope and joy. XOXO ~ Nikki