Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas! (or "Happy Seasonal Celebration"!)

It was a beautiful, noisy, quiet, exhausting, and meaningful Christmas. Yesterday my step-kids Peter and Marnie (and her hubba Ryan) came over. We exchanged gifts and ate a traditional dinner.
That's Ryan with Marnie, and Peter with Bobby and Ally.
After we ate, we all went to church. (Well, not all - Peter is an atheist and is unapologetically intolerant of Christianity, Christians, me (go figure!) - so even though we asked him to come along, just to be with us - he didn't have to pay attention or anything -- he said he had somewhere else to go. Well, OK, then... to each his own!

It was a beautiful sermon. Pastor Dan talked about how Jesus is the light of the world, and how when He came, He shined that light not on Himself, but on God, so that we would understand how great God is and know how much He loves us. One analogy Dan made that hit home for me was this: that lightness has an impact on darkness, but darkness doesn't dim lightness. In other words, the darkness can't make my candle dimmer. But if I walk into a dark room with a candle, the light will change that darkness. Relating that to myself, although I am often "unsettled" by Peter, his darkness can't impact me, and if God's light shines through me upon him, well, so be it. I (and my faith) cannot be dimmed if I am around dark people. But it is possible for my light (my faith) to change "darkness" into light.
After church we drove 50 miles to Wisconsin where Bob's brother was having another dinner. It was great to see everybody. All his neices and nephews are growing up - they're adults with "real" lives now - it's all going by so fast. It was fun to see everybody, but we had a long drive back home to get the cookies out for Santa!
I think the gifts were right on. Ally was most excited to get skates and a digital camera. That's her below hugging her camera. We were out and skating on the pond in the woods by about 9:30 this morning. Thankfully, it was covered with about an inch of snow, and the ice underneath was quite rough, so it wasn't too slick for her.... good to gain a little confidence the first time out! She wants to take lessons again, even though she has taken them twice before and dropped out.

Bob (Mr. Romance!), got me an emergency kit for my car. Blanket, flashlight, tire air, ... all the necessities. It's gotten to the point where it's funny... even to me! But where does a guy learn that girls want this stuff as a gift? After 11 1/2 years I know to put stuff I really want under the tree myself and label it, "For Jenny, From Jenny". So I got some cool boots, a couple of Gwyneth Paltrow movies, and I'm going to get myself one of those Garmins at the after-Christmas sale!

Cheers, and enjoy the holidays, everyone!


IM Able said...

Yeah! Great to hear how lovely your Christmas was. I found a little Garmin present of my own under the tree and I can't wait to start using it! My Dad was the gift giver for this one and he was baffled by using satelites to track a morning run. So funny!

Be well

Tri-Dummy said...

Merry Christmas!

Your post reminded me of the song...

"Light of the world you stepped down into darkness, opened my eyes let me see..."

Praying for your stepson.

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

It is difficult when friends and family aren't believers, but keep your light aglow! Remember -

Romans 5:8 (Whole Chapter)
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

...BTW, I received a Garmin 205 for Christmas and tried it out yesterday afternoon. Nifty!!! I think you'll enjoy a garmin something-or-other if you get one for yourself. :)

TriJack said...

wow... i wonder if garmins were THE gift this year - I found one under my tree too!
Your family is beautiful, and I wish I had an ice pond! How cool is that?
Jen, as a former declared atheist turned believer who actually refused to acknowledge/celebrate Christmas for a couple of years as a teenager (much to the dismay of a very disheartened mom...), don't give up hope! Let your light shine, let him see your glow, feel your glow, be radiated by your glow; and seeing you and your examples will be so much more powerful than any blatant proselytizing... Just my 2 cents...

ironjenny said...

Lisa - it's not just that Peter is not a believer in Christ, or God... he doesn't believe in ANYTHING... nothing. It's very dark and kind of creepy - but that's just the way he is. He always seems angry and nervous, and I know that my daughter especially makes him nervous (she is VERY plugged into something spiritually and you can tell it makes Peter quake). She made him an Advent wreath... the candles had peace, hope, love (and something else I forget!)... but he didn't know what it was or what it meant, so he took it home with him... little does he know! ;-)

ironjenny said...

TriJack - thanks for your post! and I am SURE your mom is happy you believe... I am, too!
We never talk about spirituality in front of Peter - he's so dark that you just "halt" sometimes, even in regular conversation. He's a strange bird. Even Bob says he's always been like that... hated Sunday school from early on; never went as soon as he could protest enough to get out of it.
I think that what Pastor Dan said at church on Sunday is something I can apply when Peter is scaring me... that his darkness cannot impact me, or dim my light. Too bad for him, though, that lightness impacts darkness just by being what it is...
Thanks for posting you guys - I am digging this blog thing!

brendaj said...

Lovely sermon and analogy. I'm glad you had a merry christmas!