noah2016As leaders in ministry with children, we are all running this week to celebrate, to labor, and to gather. We are also shopping, planning, printing, phone-calling, texting and waking up staring at the ceiling wondering how to get 48 hours of productivity into the next 12. So, I’m going to hit the brakes for a few and give a shout-out to three of the many things I’m thankful for this week:

1. Drug Stores…Yep. There doesn’t seem to be enough Vitamin C, essential oils, or magic soap to keep some crud away. When the grands attend a birthday party at a place I am renaming “Catch Stuff Here,” we’re asking for trouble. Antibiotics and half a row of cold remedies can keep even a rhinoceros moving. Maybe not up to regular speed, but who in the world has time to be sick…it’s the week before Christmas!

2. Amazon…Do we have enough glow sticks? What are the items that make an interactive service with kids an interactive service? How many is really in a gross? Hate is a really strong word, so let me confess instead that I LOATHE shopping. Running around from store to store hoping to find what sold out in November just makes me more susceptible to “Catch Stuff Here, Too.” But in the comfort of my office chair, or the Doctor’s office waiting room, I can order whatever I need. In two days it’s sitting on my desk in plenty of time to glitter blast before Christmas Eve.

emma3. Family…Church family, extended family, and the the-ones-I-live-with-family. The family Christmas letters that come in the mail sharing life beyond what’s told on social media. The private Facebook messages from new family that makes me stop and offer a prayer of thankfulness and wonder at God’s mercy. The Christmas tree decorated by two toddlers with napkins, trucks, tshirts, baby dolls, and anything else they can get to stay in the branches. The family who sent out an invite to their open house on Christmas Eve ALONG WITH an invite to service times at church. Little people singing in their first church Christmas pageant. The many hands that make for light work where and when it’s needed most.

I could go on and on, but it’s the week before Christmas and there lots to do. A baby’s coming! And I am SO thankful.

“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” Luke 2:15b