strange surprises and delights

Many things are strange about this Christmas, flowing from the fundamentally odd and GL IMG_1347new situation of my husband not being with us in the flesh. I keep remembering that he is with us in Christ, and in the Holy Spirit, and he would say, if he could speak from the grave, “Christ is born! Glorify Him! Rejoice evermore! And again I say, Rejoice!”

Mr. Glad loved Christmas. He loved buying presents for people, and wrapping them, with special notes and hints on the gift tags. He liked to dress up in his best clothes, to eat oyster stew, and to sing carols around the piano or while strumming his guitar. He would want us to carry on in that tradition; so we won’t be glum.GL IMG_1362

When I headed out to church yesterday, a block from my house a rainbow appeared and stayed with me all the way. I kept stopping (sometimes just in the middle of the street) to take its picture, and it was still there when I reached my destination and walked up to the doors. I could see the whole bow, but not encompass it with my camera. I felt God speaking from the image, “Good things are ahead for you.”

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I’ve been wrapping presents like mad, and not baking cookies. Maybe my cookie art, of which I have written many times on my blog at Christmastime, will be superseded by GL IMG_1369creative wrapping? I haven’t made any cookies at all this year! And I’ve had to wrap all the presents by myself, which has been fun, actually. I’m making just as much of a mess as I normally would in the kitchen.

But amazingly, I had time to go for a walk this morning, too (or did I?) and I saw this manger scene with very folksy and friendly animals who wanted me to take their picture.

GL IMG_1375 GL IMG_1379 When I got back I inspected the greens in the front yard…the smallage, chard, kale and collards are all doing famously. As I bent over to snap a picture, Whhoosh… a mighty breath exhaled nearby, and I thought, Did the neighbors just deflate their front-yard Santa? But when I looked up, it was a hot air balloon!

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One delight of this week was being able to attend the Christmas play that the church children put on, a story of the betrothal of Mary and Joseph, and the birth of Christ, written by one of our teens. After the children changed out of their darling costumes they had a visit from “St. Nicholas,” who told them stories about his life and gave out presents.

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Another strange and new thing has been shopping and cooking, cleaning and decorating, singing and eating, not alone, but with my housemate and friend Kit. Kit is a young woman who just moved to this area to be part of our parish. She had her own reasons for coming here, and I invited her to live at my house without a glimmer of foreknowledge, just because it was something I could do, while I was still somewhat paralyzed with grief.

But within a month, I came to believe that God brought her here just to be a comfort and joy to me. I thought I would want to live alone, even while I believed that it’s generally not good for people to live alone. This whole arrangement, with Kit and Susan living here (Susan is house-sitting elsewhere this week) has been a great surprise and gift.

Glory to God for all things! Christ is born! Glorify Him! And may your Christmas be merry.

11 thoughts on “strange surprises and delights

  1. I’ve actually never spent a Christmas without you and your dear husband since I was born again. Either with your family – my first “Baby Christian” Christmas” – or in spirit. My husband and I had been given a Christmas Bear couple. My husband immediately named them after you and your husband. He cuddled them close to each other in the back seat of the car for many years! They now sit side by side on the couch, dressed for Christmas with charming faces!

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    1. I never knew that we were riding by proxy in your back seat! That makes me very happy. πŸ™‚ I still look at pictures of you with our family on Christmases past, and am looking forward to our next reunion!! ❀

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  2. I also thought I would want to live alone, but I’m finding that too much aloneness isn’t good, even (or especially) for someone as introverted as myself. I look forward to that future time when my daughter and son-in-law build a new house with a space just for me. It’s good to have “family” around. We need to be needed. In the meantime, I visit them a lot. πŸ™‚ You’re doing great! You have a sweet little church. πŸ™‚

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  3. What ? No cookies??!!!! Pearl is making them, right?

    I have been thinking about you, without Mr. Glad for the first time at Christmas. And I’m glad you are still feeling his presence. I wish I could be with your family to sing carols!

    ….I am happier than I have been for years at this time of year….finally.

    It is very, weirdly, warm here. People are getting sick, and it just feels wrong at Christmas! But I guess it is pretty warm in Jerusalem.

    Lots of love to you and all your family — Merry Christmas!

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