Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

One of my devotions ran on Thursday, check it out here if you missed it because you were too busy eating turkey, watching football, or plotting your day-after-Thanksgiving shopping run.

I confess, I was one of those crazy people who went to Kohl's department store at 4:00 am on Friday when they opened! Never done that before, and it was actually a fun experience. I figured I had more time than money on that particular day so off I went with my shopping list. Anyone else out there brave the cold or the crowds for an early bird special? I hit 3 different stores and was back by 7:30 am in time to have breakfast with my family ... and later catch a nap!

Hope your weekend has been a good one, and that you have reflected and thanked Him for your blessings. I'm feeling extremely thankful this year.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fashionista for God

I spent a lovely evening Saturday speaking for the 9th annual Holiday Gala of First Assembly of God in Raleigh, NC. These ladies sure know how to put on a gala! It was decorated to the nines for Christmas, the music was beautiful and the catered food was yummy. The women were just as sweet as the tea and chocolate cake offered for dessert! So let me explain the title of this post...

This formal holiday event had been booked for months and I'd decided what I'd wear. I'd chosen a solid black ensemble with elegant pearl jewelry. In the South you have a handful of appropriate options and colors when going to a formal Christmas event: anything dressy that is red or green, anything black, white, gold or silver that is elegant - and velvet or sequins are always excellent choices.

Then my family experienced two deaths in the two weeks leading up to this event and I just didn't want to wear black again this weekend. So ... knowing this was not in the realm of appropriate holiday gala wear ... despite the fact that I generally don't like to buck fashion expectations and stand out ... and knowing that I was the speaker for Pete's sake ... I chose to wear a full length, leopard-print dress! Let me tell you I stood out out in the sea of black cocktail dresses, red satin gowns, and green crushed velvet for sure!

Early in the program I was introduced and invited to tell about Proverbs 31 Ministries before we began eating. So I went forward to the stage, took the mic and said, "I know what you're thinking...'what part of the words holiday gala says full-length leopard-print dress?!'" And they laughed along with me. Then I added, "Just think of me as representing Christmas in Kenya." And I went on to tell about the ministry.

As it turns out, in this crowd of 300 or so there was not one, not two, or even three but nearly 10 women from Kenya who'd been invited by people in attendance! Many of them came to me during or after the event to tell me how special they felt that I would dress in leopard and mention their homeland. They felt God really was speaking to them. I love when God does stuff like that - has me break a fashion rule that I'm not really comfortable breaking so that someone else can feel God's comforting love.

So, while I'll probably never be the most stylish gal in the room, I've discovered it's worth it to become a "fashionista for God." Can't wait to see what He has me wear to my next holiday booking - look out Baltimore, I just might show up to speak December 18th in a sarong or a kimono!

Friday, November 9, 2007

My Spirit is Soaring ...

... because this morning I discovered a music channel on my digital cable package has begun playing Christmas carols!! You have no idea how happy this makes me. I am a Christmas carol nut... kind of like a chestnut roasting by an open fire. Any time of year Christmas songs have the ability to ring my bell... like the silver bells that declare: soon it will be Christmas day. I just can't help but "hark" and herald with the angels even though Christmas day is over a month away. Truly, these carols draw my spirit so close to God I feel I can nuzzle my forehead beneath his strong chin.

I love all Christmas carols, except the "Grandma got run over by a Reindeer" type which get old quick. So this music channel will play carols in my home approximately 6-7 hours a day from now until January 5th or so. Already this morning I've heard one of my absolute favorites (you'll find I attach that status to about 43 different Christmas carols): The Little Drummer Boy. It makes me cry EVERY time, every since I was a pre-teen girl and we had a 3-foot tall motorized little drummer boy in our entry way at Christmas time. I so identify with that little boy who had nothing of value to offer Jesus except himself in service, so he played for him. And if you know the song, then the little baby Jesus turned his head and smiled in pleasure at the little drummer boy. That just gets me! I've already needed 3 tissues this morning - no lie.

One time I took my family to a live nativity scene. This was no ordinary live nativity, not just a manger scene. No, this was an entire walk with the wise men through the ancient market place, to Herrod's palace and then to the manger scene - with live actors in costumes, elaborate sets and real animals everywhere. It was dramatic and touching and you felt you were there. It was loud and chaotic in the market, it was foreboding and threatening in the room with Herrod, but it was so calm, peaceful and serene when we reached the manger. My whole family lingered there staring at the live baby in the manger in the dark, night air. Then that baby turned its little head and looked at my then-6-year-old daughter and smiled at her. It made such an impact on her little heart - like mother like daughter I guess.

So tell me, what is your favorite Christmas carol?Post it and let's all get in the mood for the advent season!