Monday, January 23, 2012

thankful #11 - good friends in the midst of snowmaggedon

these photos were taken during the big snow and ice storm that left us stranded in our home (the roads were too icy to drive the steep hills safely and our egress routes were blocked by trees that had fallen in the ice storm). that would have been trial enough, but it got WAY worse when the power went out for about four days.

this is my first attempt at a photo of the two of us. kind of hard to set this up in the dark.
that's better. note that the flash makes it look like most photos taken indoors at night; but in reality, the room was totally dark.
after the snow, we had freezing rain. it looks beautiful here, but tore down power lines, large branches, trees, roofs, and more.
it didn't take long for the house to get cold. and when i say cold, i mean below freezing inside. we discovered that our water heater was still working, so we used old nalgene bottles full of hot water to help us stay warm.
i liked the idea and light from the oil lamp. m was afraid i'd burn down the house with it. thankfully, it never came to that!
once the roads were cleared, we received a number of invitations to stay with kind friends who didn't want us to freeze to death. we actually did this on the final evening before the power came back on, and it was glorious to sleep in a warm bed. thank God for thoughtful friends and for his generous provision!
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Saturday, January 07, 2012

epiphany - thankful #10

over the years, our family has made it a practice to try to observe advent -- an anticipation of the coming of Jesus for the weeks of the four sundays before christmas. it's been helpful, though it can feel a bit rushed in the midst of a usually high-demand season.

but this year, our family also elected to celebrate the twelve days of christmas. starting on christmas day and continuing until epiphany, we began meeting in the evenings to worship together by singing christmas hymns and sharing our reflections on the reputed-symbolism (challenged by some as an urban legend) of the song, "the twelve days of christmas," to wit:

  • the partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.
  • the two turtledoves are the old and new testaments.
  • the three french hens are the three theological virtues -- faith, hope, and love.
  • the four calling birds are the four gospels (that one worked out particularly nicely, i think).
  • the give golden rings are the five books of the pentateuch (comprising the five books of moses, genesis through deuteronomy).
  • the six geese-a-laying are the six days of creation.
  • the seven swans-a-swimming are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (romans 12:6-8?).
  • the eight maids-a-milking are the eight beatitudes.
  • the nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Spirit.
  • the ten lords-a-leaping are the ten commandments.
  • the eleven pipers piping are the eleven faithful disciples.
  • and the twelve drummers drumming are the twelve points of the apostles' creed.

it was a revelation (pun intended). it felt so much more relaxed during that less hurried time after christmas, and it was such a joy to able to worship together as a family (a rare privilege now that the girls live out of state) and to sing christmas carols more than one or two days a year. i especially enjoy that our daughters love to worship as a family and to do it in multiple languages -- this year in english, french, and spanish!

those twelve days together praising God were a huge, memorable gift, for which i thank him.