Our Curious Life: Week 49

Far out… how is the year almost done, and how the heck am I still so behind on these blogs… these were supposed to be an easier way to keep the blog up to date… but it would appear that more often than not other things have taken my time. Anyway, somehow here we are at week 49… what have we done?

Well despite this week only starting on the 2nd of December Christmas is in full swing at the George house. This week Isaac and I attended the annual Ladies night out, Isaac was our special guest, due to the fact that he is not a lady and I sung with the Grammarian Singers Christmas Concert. This is the first year in many that I have been caroling, so to speak, and while it looks different to the caroling that I used to do it has made this December feel a lot more like Christmas.

We’ve also had some non Christmas fun, we started the week with brunch to celebrate Meg’s birthday and a stroll through the botanical gardens. We celebrated Ann’s birthday on Saturday and right in the middle of the week we had out finally Thrive group for the year. We love our thrive group and they have been such an important part of our village. We also had a follow up sleep study for Isaac and you will be please to know that this time I remembered my pillow.

Oh and in a desperate attempt to finish this years list Isaac and I went to a mums and bubs session at the movies… which was not super successful… turns out Isaac does not care to watch a big TV… he would rather just crawl around on the floor. Ideally we would have done this earlier in the year, but it has actually has been very difficult to find a cinema that shows movies that aren’t super adult at their mums and bubs sessions. If we wanted to see action flicks or 50 shades of grey we would have been set, but I just couldn’t bring myself to take a baby with me. So, if any people that run the scheduling for cinemas… maybe stick with PG movies… or chick flics… leave the others for date night.

No Photos this week… too much to do, not enough time…

How November has improved my December

Ok so while I started writing this blog on thanksgiving Thursday… I didn’t quite finish it but now it’s the second week of December, but hey, they Christmas season is like that and I think that it might even be a better time to stop and be thankful… to wrap up my month of deliberate thankfulness.  Not to stop being thankful though… well at least I hope not.  I have really enjoyed pausing this month, and I am hoping that through out December, even thought I am not blogging about it, that I will continue to remember to stop and count my blessings, because there are a lot.

Nov 22:  Worship – I always love worshiping God with music, but sometimes it’s extra good… and tonight was one of those times!  In fact today I am thankful for my church, for learning new things and for having some great time in worship.

Nov 23:  Good Team Peeps – Sometimes I get a chance to reflect on who I work with and today I am thankful for them because they are actually grand! They are hardworking and encouraging and I love being in a team with them.

Nov 24:  Walking catch ups – so the spring time weather has on occasions like today been delightful and allowed for a wonderfully long catch up walk with my friend Julia.  The walk was good but the catch up was even better!

Nov 25:  Glasses – tonight I picked up my glasses and I am just very thankful that some genius worked out how to make blind people like me see… The world is so much more interesting when I can actually see it with crisp clarity.

Nov 26:  Dave’s never ending list of talents – You’ve probably already worked out that Dave is a winner, but tonight at his school’s presentation night I watched him work his musical magic and it was so good.  He is a teaching and conducting wiz and I am very proud of him.

Nov 27:  Wise Friends that tell us where things are at – While it wasn’t quite how we expected the night to go, Dave and I got to hang out with our friends Matt and Fee  which is always fun, but they also speak wisdom into our lives, they are honest and loving and push us to be our best selves.

Nov 28: Holy City – even though it’s only November  Christmas can now happen, I have heard someone sing ‘Holy City’… all is well and I am ready… we not really, but if it happened tomorrow, my heart would be ok because I have heard this song.  This song that seems to be so ingrained in my Christmas experiences that it simply doesn’t feel right without… even if it is sung by David Hobson… my love-hate relationship with him and this song only seems to make the nostalgia attached to this song worse.  Oh and I am thankful for the Langham and it’s deliciously wonderful dishes, both actual dishes and food dishes.

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Nov 29: The Salvos – it’s who I am, and even though there is lots about it I would like to change, there is even more that I love and cherish and today was an army day of celebration… Commissioning and the festival of mission.  Thank God for the Salvos.

Nov 30: Thankfulness in November – This month has made me stop and actually look at my days and to be thankful for what I have.    But it’s actually been more important than that, it has given me a little attitude adjustment just in time for December.  I am not really sure how, or when it happened, but it has.  Leading up to November and December I had found myself cringing every time I got a text message or looked at my diary because there was so much to do and no more time to offer.  I hate saying no, but I also hate not having time, time to prepare, time for Dave, time for me… just time and December makes these two parts of my being feud in ways I never imagined they could.  But I have decided that I just need to change my perspective… I have to look at it differently.  So instead of looking at my diary full of things I need to do as obligations, I have decided to celebrate that I actually get to catch up with people that I might not see regularly, I get to hang out with friends and family and celebrate all that they mean to me and I get to practice generosity and be blessed by being a blessing.  It doesn’t always work, but so far it’s made a pretty big difference.  I am finding that because I have changed my perspective on why I am going, I am open to enjoying things more, so it’s a double bonus.  So while this whole month of reflection hasn’t changed my daily practice as much as I perhaps thought it would, it has helped me face December with much more Christmas joy than I have had in many years.  Here are some of my Christmas joys so far in December…

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… List adventures, fun runs, special birthdays, family Christmas celebrations, church nativities, Myer windows, light displays at the Town Hall, catch ups with friends  and work Christmas parties… And there is still two weeks until Christmas, but at least now I feel a little more prepared to face it.

Really listening

Tonight at church we had our annual carols service. This service is a particular favourite of mine as it brings everyone together and it is always a lot of fun. Tonight was particularly special as I got to be involved in a number of different items, in fact some may say that last night I preformed the triple threat… Dancing with my timbrel girls, Singing with 6pm group and acting as part of Benny’s dramas. It was a lot of fun, and with a vocal number from my favourite group of singing sisters, it was a bit magical too. But this blog isn’t actually about the carols service, but it does give me a nice little segue to my blogging topic… as it is about carols…

One thing that has really hit me this Christmas is the words of the carols. I think for so long I have just been playing, singing and listening to the carols that there meaning had become lost, but a little while ago, actually back in November I was driving between sites at work listening to my Christmas playlist and O Holy Night come on and the words of this really beautiful carol really hit me.

I think it was the first time, perhaps ever with this song, that I had actually take the time to really hear the lyrics as I listened… this is unusual for me as I am actually really into lyrics… I am constantly annoying Dave with songs I want him to listen to the words of, so I was almost shocked that I had never noticed before. Or perhaps I had noticed, and I did know the words but I hadn’t fully comprehended their meaning until that moment in the car. Just in case you aren’t familiar with the lyrics… check them out…

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

It is such a refreshing version of the Christmas story… a reminder of what actually happened and more importantly what it means for the world. I think some of the lines that hit me hardest were:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

And I think that the reason these words hit me so hard were that the words are still true today. We still live in a world that pines for something better than the sin and error that we live in daily, yet we can’t experience that ‘thrill of hope’ which makes our tired and worn out souls rejoice until we allow ourselves to understand the worth of the Christmas story and God’s sacrifice of his son. But I guess what excites me most is that when we know its worth… there is a new and glorious day waiting for us, one of love, forgiveness, peace, hope and joy and that is the reason for all of this.

I guess it is so easy to forget and get caught up in Christmas as a commercial event, one which even without its true meaning can be a satisfying time to stop and appreciate family, friends and loved ones. But it’s so much better when the true joy and hope of Christmas helps the weary soul to rejoice… it’s the way it was meant to be… in fact when I think about the real reason I celebrate, all the other things that make Christmas exhausting seem to fade into insignificance.

I guess the reason that I post this today is to serve as a reminder… mostly for myself, that I need to make sure I have my focus right as the next week get a little hectic.