Monday, December 16, 2013

Spent. Thankful.

     I am spent. Emotionally, physically, mentally spent. A dear friend said that this past weekend was a gift. I could not agree more. But Carols by Candlelight weekend always leaves me feeling like I've been run over by a Mack truck when I wake up on Monday morning. This year in particular, for several reasons. I think partially because this was the most vocally challenging weekend of my life, and partially because the emotional and physical stamina needed to pull off a weekend like this is pretty intense. As a choir officer I also had some additional responsibilities and wanted to make sure I did it right. I know though that my responsibilities are nothing compared to those of the technical crew, music staff, and anyone else behind the scenes. I don't know how they do it!

But I cannot begin to adequately express the joy and fulfillment that participating in this event gives me. It is in these kinds of situations that I feel the gifts I have been given best come together in service for the Lord. So even though I am exhausted, it is in some sense a satisfying exhaustion. 

We've got a few fun things on the horizon--our supper club Christmas party, which we like to call the Annual Griswold Family Tacky Christmas Supper Club. As you can imagine, it is always a fun time. We do a dirty Santa game that usually gets pretty heated. I think there are still some hard feelings over some particularly cute salt and pepper shakers from a couple years ago. Ha! 

Then we've got our Sunday School Christmas party- also a dirty Santa, but with Christmas ornaments. This one can also get pretty heated! I think everyone does their best though to be on their best behavior. ;).  I love hanging out with this crew anytime!

These are two of my three favorite Christmas parties of the year, and I am pumped! (Come to think of it, my other favorite party is also a dirty Santa. Maybe I'm more competitive than I thought??) 

And the last thing I am SUPER excited about--is a quick but fun trip to NYC! This was my birthday present from Taylor--to go up there during Christmastime. It is my favorite time in New York. It's a little bit magical. 

 So-we are packing all that in before Christmas! I've also got to talk with Santa a little more about what he might be bringing for Christmas. I am not quite through with all that yet!

 I love all of the get-togethers and parties this time of year, but I try to never lose focus of the reason for all the celebration.  Immanuel, God with us.  

   Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

Me and two of the most hardworking ladies I know, Terry and Annerin:

Sweet Brittnye and me:

Don't know what I'd do without this girl:

Angie, Mom, April, and me at supper on Saturday:

Like mother like daughter:

Eva and me. Or "Granna" as T.Mark calls her. So thankful for her.

The choir gave her a football signed by the Ole Miss head coach as a thank you for her faithfulness and leadership. She was rather excited, to say the least:

  Also this weekend, our music minister, Lavon, and his family were called back officially into ministry at our church.  He had been serving as our interim for a period of time while teaching at Liberty University.  I can't say enough how exciting this is for our church family and our choir family!  Welcome back, Grays!  I hate I didn't get a picture of these sweet friends this weekend.  Thankfully there will be many more opportunities!
  It was an incredible weekend, and I am so thankful. 

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