Friday’s Fave Five Dec. 27, 2012

. at . 7 comments

Saying and meaning “Thanks” leads to a crazy thought: What more can I give? By Anne Lamott

fff winter button (1)This past week has been one of anxiety and tender moments. The anxiety turned out okay in the end and made the tender moments that much sweeter. Read on for Five Blessings from this week.

One. Daughter. It is always a blessing to have adult children home for the holidays. This time was no exception. What made it even sweeter is that she helped me with the Christmas Eve Service. I was anxious – heart-hurting anxious. Elizabeth encouraged me. She soothed me.

Elizabeth made signs, passed out props, and acted as stage manager by telling me details that needed care during the service. Like, “Ask Rusty to announce that folks can put their signs on the floor so that others can better see what’s going on.”

And then Elizabeth was with me experiencing the interactive service . . . . Reading and participating along with the other “stars” in our section. Afterwards it was fun to go over the evening’s highlights. (#5 will explain more of what this is all about.)

 Two. Traditional Christmas Eve Dinner. Elizabeth and I went out to a Chinese food dinner with a couple after the Christmas Eve Service. We’ve been doing this for years. I love tradition. Elizabeth is not so keen on it but holds this one tradition very dear. Spending time with this couple is meaningful, fun, and loving.

 Three. Family Time on Christmas. Elizabeth and I went to my sista’s at 6:45 a.m. Stockings, presents, food, chatting, others playing games while I napped) all filled our time. Too soon it was 1pm when Elizabeth and I headed to my apt and packed to leave for a meal and festivities with Tim (son), Daniella (daughter-in-love) and her people (sister, brother-in-law, and niece) – who are now my people too. More food, pressies, and a game of Pigs – which I did not sleep through.

 Four. Books and time to read them. I am on vacation until Monday. And since my daughter does not have internet, I am spending time reading  – physical books. This is opposed to internet hopping. So far I’ve read three books:

  1. Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott: a just because pressie. Go here for my impressions & some of my fave quotes from this book. 
  2. Plastic Polly by Jenny Lundquist – a win from a drawing by the author.
  3. Love at the Speed of Email: a memoir by Lisa McKay – a Christmas present.

 I recommend all three.

Five. Christmas Eve Service. A while back, our senior pastor asked me to be in charge of the Christmas Eve Service. Since I am the children’s pastor my thoughts turned to making this service meaningful for the children. Some years ago I read on the internet about a church that made their service interactive. Of course, I couldn’t find any reference to this even after much searching.

But God dropped the bits and pieces of the service into my view. This video, An Unexpected Christmas, opened our church-wide narrative, interactive time. The script was mainly from the Jesus Storybook Bible. The closing song was a video by Go Fish, It’s About the Cross.

I divided the story into portions to be read by 6 groups. Each group’s dialogue flashed on the screen as the story progressed and they stood to read their part. Each group had props to help them get into their role, to remember the evening, and a couple of props were edible so some had a snack. The groups and props are as follows: narrator (hmmph, I just realized he didn’t get a prop), stars (glow stick) and one giant tinsel star was framed by glow sticks, angels (little angels on a string), shepherds (staff in the shape and taste of candy canes), animals (baggie of animal crackers), and wisemen (tiny present).

We placed signs throughout the sanctuary indicating which role the folks were to read.

The worship team started the evening with I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day and led us in traditional Christmas songs throughout the narrative. I concluded by sharing how we can respond like the different groups. At first I was a little panicky because I couldn’t see my notes (because of the lights). So I told God, “Help.” He did help me with the words and I don’t have a sense that I embarrassed myself even though I cannot really remember what I said. Then Pastor Mike did a great job wrapping everything up.

As soon as I sat down, I felt an immediate sense of relief. And THEN I enjoyed the previous 50 minutes or so. It turned out like I envisioned. It was a great group effort and a meaningful time for all.

Here is last week’s FFF. I got so caught up with stuff that I was waaaaay late in posting.

Your Turn . . .  Share your Christmas favourite blessings in the comments. Or write a Friday’s Fave Five Post on your blog and link up at Susanne’s Living to Tell the Story.

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Entry filed under: Friday's Fave Five (FFF), Gratitude List, Main. Tags: , , , , , .

Friday’s Fave Five Dec. 21, 2012 Favourite Quotes from Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Barbara H.  |  . at .

    The services sound meaningful, and how great to have your daughter’s help with one. Glad it all went well!

    It’s funny what things turn into traditions that mean so much to the kids.

    We’ve been blessed to have some great family times as well.

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  • 2. Faith  |  . at .

    OH I LOVE certain traditions at Xmas time!!! How awesome for you that your daughter got to help out with your service. We were blessed this week too with special gifts, family time and traditions. I’m on vacation until Wednesday and have been doing lots of reading as well!! Happy New Year, Susan!!

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  • 3. Ellen  |  . at .

    I’m glad things turned out as you envisioned it for the Christmas Eve service. That is a lot of responsibility. Glad you could sit down in relief. It is great to spend time with adult children, glad you were able to do! Happy weekend…

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  • 4. Susanne  |  . at .

    Good for you for pulling off the Christmas Eve service. It sounds like it was really neat with the interactive stuff. Your Christmas sounds busy but very nice with all your loved ones.

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  • 5. lynette  |  . at .

    Good thing you are on vacation after all the December activities.
    Perfect Christmas Eve service! Happy New Year!

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  • 6. willowknits  |  . at .

    I’m sure everyone else was confident in your leading the service–I’m glad it turned out so well. Enjoy your days off–reading and reading and resting.

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  • 7. nikkipolani  |  . at .

    I like that you carefully thoughtfully planned the service and had help from your daughter, too. I have friends who have been keeping the Chinese dinner tradition for decades — they love it! Glad you enjoyed your unplugged time with books and family.

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