Many thanks to Sue C., Angela H., Karen C., and Linda E. for making my mail so much fun yesterday and today. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
I'm still alive but hanging on to my sanity by a thread. My house is finally starting to look close to showable (is that a word?), at least on the the two main floors. The basement is another matter entirely. My car broke on Monday (oy, vey!), and then I paid the staging company Tuesday, the drywall people and the appraiser today, and the inspector tomorrow. Fortunately, George's car's boo-boo is covered by insurance, and hopefully it will be fixed tomorrow because the rental company gave me a minivan and I don't like it. My car is at the airport because George left on Tuesday for New Jersey and left me alone in my cleaning frenzy, which probably is a good thing.
What else can I whine about?
Oh, yeah, the stock market tanked today.
Aren't y'all glad I'm not posting much during this time of traumatic obsession?
Seriously, though, I've actually done something crafty tonight. Our Stephen Ministry wanted to make Christmas ornaments to pass out to the congregation. It's all part of raising awareness of those who aren't happy during the holidays.
Aren't we a cheerful group?
Really, though, Stephen Ministry helps people who are in emotional pain (from loss of loved ones to loss of job to loss of marriage, whatever), and that pain can be made worse during the holidays when everyone expects people to be happy. Some people aren't feeling the joy, often for very good reasons. It's amazing how other people ignoring their pain makes it worse.
I'll give you an example. My friend Liz lost her mother to cancer last fall. Liz was out of work for weeks as her mother was in hospice and then after she died. When she returned to work, not one co-worker offered condolences or asked how she was doing. This hurt her so much and made her feel like no one cared about the pain she felt.
Truth is, most people just don't know what to say, so they say nothing.
Stephen Ministry wants to let people know that it's okay to talk to those who are in pain. Ask how they are doing. Listen to what they say. In all our joy of the season, it's important to acknowledge suffering and sadness, fear and pain. The story of Christ's birth is full of suffering and pain...Mary's unexpected pregnancy before marriage, the long journey to Bethlehem, sleeping in a stable, the flight from Herod.
Anyway, we're making mustard seed ornaments to remind those who aren't feeling the joy that God can take the tiniest bit of faith and turn it into a kingdom of hope. When we can't feel the joy, God can do it for us. We don't have to fake it or pretend. We just need to let His amazing grace do its work.
I designed some VERY simple ornaments that are more meaningful than craftily attractive (though they really aren't bad for something I whipped together in between spackling nail holes and steam cleaning carpet). I got the pieces together for us to assemble at our meeting, and here are the pictures of everyone working to get the ornaments made.
See. We really are a cheerful group!!!!
And yes, we drank coffee. That's how I'm still conscious at 10:42 this evening because my day began at 6:00 a.m. Tomorrow will, too. But getting crafty sure helped my mood. Getting crafty for a good cause was even better!