I think I'll send this picture out as our Christmas photo card this year. It's a white elephant I got at a white elephant gift exchange this last week. I.love.it. It was one of those gift exchanges where you can steal what someone else has (unless it's been stolen 2 times previously - in which case the gift is frozen and no longer available to steal. [Yes, sing "Let It Go" right now!] NOTHING says Merry Christmas like a party where you get to steal a gift that you REALLY wanted that someone else has!)
In this case, my friend (
Mark Swanburg) who opened this literal white elephant was more than glad to let me have it. I loved that someone ( Andy Frye) brought it in the first place - plus - I really like elephants so it was a win for me!
Sometimes our anticipation of something being great turns out to be less than great. I prayed four years for a live camel to be a part of our living nativity scene at the church. When it finally happened, I found out it was more like a nightmare than a dream. The cars driving by to look at the scene really stressed the camel out. He would only calm down if Dennis stood there and let him put his face next to his. Really? He spit on me. :-P Mary and Joseph were not happy with his need to get rid of the water he had consumed that week. It came out in a hose like fashion a couple of feet away from them. They asked me to get him to stop. Really? He was a Seventh Day Adventist camel so he couldn't work on Fridays. I was never so happy to see a donkey in my life. (The donkey took the place of the camel.)
On the other hand, blessings surprise us sometimes! Like getting a white elephant at the white elephant exchange and being truly thrilled to get it.
The church light display that included the above mentioned live nativity had many wonderful moments, but one that we get to live with for eternity. Randy and Lia Crees came to know Jesus at that light display. Amazing.
This year I will read many perfect-life Christmas letters, and look at many perfect family photo Christmas cards. Our life doesn't look like those wonderful letters and photos. It has change and sorrow in it - and an occasional flea - you don't want to read about it, I know that. But I am looking for wonderful moments that bring joy, and even effect eternity.
Ephesians 3:20 - Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.