...Oh yes, We'll be the envy of all our siblings this year. I recently picked up a dozen one-hour black and white photos I had planned to put in Christmas cards... However, since I am a much better at planning to send cards, than actually following through with it, I had some nice pictures (and cards) I wasn't sure what to do with... when suddenly, SHA-BAM, (some people imagine a lightbulb going on over their heads, I usually just hear the word "SHA-BAM") I had a most wonderful stroke of Martha. The results: a very special (and cheap!) packaging, Grandma's sure to flip for. Already finished wrapping? I was too! (Ok, "finished" may be a generous exaggeration, but I was getting closer.) It's never too late to add some extra "thinking of you" personalization. Now, what to do with these lovely cards? Any ideas?
... and all through the house, not a creature was stirring... except for a bright eyed, bushy tailed, mother of three. (up at 3:11am and feeling strangely well rested... Cue song "I believe in miracles.") The stockings are laid on the floor with (some) care, until I figure out where to hang them, they shall remain there. The children are sleeping all snug in my bed, one with his feet placed against the other's head.
And so on and so forth...
What a gloriously beautiful morning! As I type this blog with steaming coffee nearby, and only the magical glow from the Christmas trees (yeah, I said trees... big new house... lovin' it.) illuminating the night, I am able to think clearly without interruption for what seems like the first time in weeks... Precious.
This moment right here, is what I asked Santa for :) Well, maybe it wasn't Santa... I chose a Higher Source... and it was more like begging and pleading than a simple request. Friday night after I tucked in the bambinos, I dropped to my knees and admitted that I could use a little help. Finances, homeschooling, presents, ministry, photography, parties, housework, unpacking, snow shoveling, and keeping two kids alive by myself... Well, 'nuff said, right? I should've talked to God about it before, but I had a rather distorted view of prayer for a while. Don't get me wrong. I always pray. It's just that I was praying about "noble" things... like our ministry partners, and starving people with aids in Africa, and the stray three legged dog that I maybe shoulda' put in my car, taken home and named, "Stooge". That sort of thing. Anyway, I put my pride aside and asked The Big Man to help a sista' out. I also asked Him to return my five long-lost packages that, according to the USPS were "left on the porch." If only they had been left on my porch... Sigh.
The next morning my Mom called me and jokingly said, "Christina, did you pray for help with the kids and your house or something last night? Because I guiltily tossed and turned all night thinking about how I should be over there helping you out today." Ha! My God is a riot I tell you. (If you don't know Jesus well, you need to get better acquainted with Him... He's totally pro-endorphins.) There was more work to be done than just us two could accomplish though... It's a good thing my dad, aunt, and grandma volunteered too!
Sometime between Dad fixing the vacuum and television and Mom unboxing Lucy's room, there was a knock on the door...
"Hi, you must be Christina Lusk. I wanted to get these to you sooner, sorry. They've been sitting in my front room for over a week." Yeppers! My packages. Thank you kind and honest new neighbor Melissa. I like you.
First Peter 5:7 is one of my ALL-TIME favorite promises from the Bible... It worked for me. I bet it'll work for you too!
"Cast ALL your cares upon The Lord. Because he cares for you."
See you at church this morning?
P.S. Ever wish you could share an Extraordinary Ordinary Me blog entry with someone, who, just doesn't do the blog scene? Click on the envelope below to send it to their email inbox.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
P.P.S. - My apologies for all the wacky layout changes lately... I think I have found one that "suits me". For a while anyway. :)
"Well, nothing was the same when you were away..." - Captain Von Trapp (Sound of Music)
Perhaps I've never been the pinnacle of organization, but really, am I as utterly dippy as my actions as of late could lead me to believe?
Leaving the keys in the outside door overnight? Ok, I can retrace my steps on that one pretty well. Arms loaded with groceries and a toddler, I approach the front door, drop a couple of bags near the entrance, take keys out of my mouth, unlock door, herd children into the living room, unzip their coats and go back to car for the rest of the bags... enter door again to discover two-year-old is missing. Frantically search upstairs, basement and storage ottoman (his favorite hideout) only to realize he escaped out the side door into the dark and vast snow covered yard. Barefoot target located and held hostage, I head back into house and close and lock both exits... Grandma knocks on front door next morn, holding my keys, going on about how me being in my twenties makes her feel better about her forgetfulness at seventy something...
Alright, so that one is somewhat understandable. But, leaving the keys in the ignition, WITH THE CAR RUNNING AND UNLOCKED as I merrily drool my way through the aisles at Hobby Lobby, in FLINT for TWO HOURS!? Ashamedly, I was alone with no toddler to blame... That one made me question my sanity (not to mention stand in awe of God's miraculous protection). Searching for answers as to how such a thing could happen, I pondered the sleepless night spent battling the possessed smoke detector (Note - Buy the cheapo alarm. You do NOT want the talking CO/smoke test-once-a-week-at-random-it's-better-because-it's-ridiculously-expensive detector - It's pure evil.), and the stress that comes with moving into a new house, homeschooling, running a business, and single-handedly preparing for Christmas. But, let's face it, I've fried bigger fish before, with a respectively clear head even...
What makes this time different? It's the grace factor. I don't know how to explain it. Previously, every time my husband and I have had to separate in order for the Gospel to be announced in the uttermost parts, there has been this strange sort of peace and easiness about his absence. Sure we all missed him, but there was an excitement of "roughing it" by ourselves. I call that peace, "the grace factor"
Well folks, the exhilaration is gone, and I want my husband back. Is the sacrifice worth it? Without a glimmer of a doubt, YES. I'd do this for five years if I knew people were getting to hear about Jesus because of it. But, what I really feel, is that, God is moving us in a new and wonderful direction, to a place where we can travel together, as a family, making an even greater impact on the world. There's a stirring in my heart, distracting me at all times, causing me to... leave keys in the ignition, and place dirty socks in the refrigerator and the milk on the washing machine, and all the unmentioned absent minded things that I'll discover later. It's there. It's constant. It's unmistakable, unshakable. He wants us to go as a family. No financial burden will stand in the way, no excuses. It's big, to have your family travel like that for the purpose of evangelism. I only know one other living human who has done it (besides us, on occasion). I say, "What the hey!" Pioneers make the way easier for others to follow in their footsteps, and I'm not only willing, I'm happy to do it. Future generation of evangelists, You're welcome! Christina and Michael Lusk love you!
Christina Not Nearly As Arrogant As I Probably Sound Lusk
P.S. This is the one other human I was referring to. Thank you Dr. T.L. for your inspiration. We love you dearly.
"Christina, are you for real blogging today? Because, we totally thought you were in a foreign country or something,... in a coma." No, no, fair readers, I have been deliciously ambitious, that's all. In the last month, I have moved to a different city, begun homeschooling my daughter, and vice-versa when it comes to arithmetic. (Do any of you remember how to do long division?) And, for the moment, my husband is trekking the globe, bringing Joy to the masses. (That's not sarcasm folks. It's fo real, notice the capital J.) I love that man. (Check out his blog at http://michaellusk.blogspot.com)
So anywho, I may not be able to post as often as days of yore, but you're in my thoughts... especially those of you who are retired and have houses that you can place anything you want where you want and it will be there until YOU move it... I think of you often...
Oh my goodness, I wish I could write what I had purposed to write! Just looked at the clock and I need to go to bed... so here's the gist of it until it can be better edited (you know my track record so don't hold your breath).
Keep the Christ in Christmas this year. Kids especially, are trained (by parents, GASP and EGAD) to focus on toys and the 300 pound crisco consumer in the red suit this time of year. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take this beautiful opportunity to help them learn about God's Perfect Gift He gave to mankind 2000 years ago. Here's a few healthy ways to help them keep the true Spirit of Christmas in the forefront of their hearts and minds.
1. Volunteer with your children at a local soup kitchen. (They'll be a lot more appreciative at the end of the day - believe me.)
2. Attend with your family every Sunday service at a church this month. The things they hear will give them a better understanding of Christ's birth and purpose for it. You'll hear the same things too and will have some great discussions!
3. I hesitate because I don't like negative feedback, but here goes...
BE REAL about REAL, and BE REAL about NOT REAL... This engenders trust.
I never want to hear my kid say, "Yeah, my parents taught me the myth about the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. They told me the myth about Santa. And, they taught me the myth about Jesus Christ too."
Whew! For those of you who haven't just removed yourselves from my followers' list... (and even to those of you who did),
I love you. Have a very Merry Christmas! Until next time,