On that note, I will admit that I don't always give my worries and fears to God immediately. I often fret and fear and worry and spend too much time panicking over possibilities and probabilities and all the awful things that could potentially happen in any situation. After the Sandy Hook shooting there was a copy cat shooter in a town mall close to mine and since then I have been intensely apprehensive about going to the mall. I was able to temporarily get over that fear last year during Christmas and allow my girls to see Santa but my anxiety was re-enforced when police and security stood watch over the Santa display with their hands on their weapons 100% of the time. It was very unnerving.
Yesterday I was in such a festive mood and I used to LOVE going to the mall for the holidays. So I sucked it up buttercup and pulled on my big girl panties, prayed long and hard that God would keep his angels and his hand around our mall and we went Christmas shopping with my gramma. I will admit I was scared. I felt myself eye each person who was wearing a trench coat or backpack or over sized purse. But I also did enjoy myself and was able to walk the full length of the mall at normal pace, (instead of speed walking to get through as fast as possible) enjoying the sights and sounds and decorations. I need to work on giving all of my fear to God and letting him take away the possibilities and probabilities because he knows what is and what will be.
Today has been an great day. Being the first day of December we also celebrate the first day of Advent even though it may not be the first actual day of Advent - we as a family always start on December 1st. This year we will be celebrating with our Advent box and each day the girls will get a present. Then on Christmas day they will get Santa gifts and stockings and 1 mommy gift. My mom and I thought it would be a nice way to stretch out the season and not have such an overwhelming and 'greedy gut' Christmas morning.
We spent this morning at church learning about the birth of Jesus, the meaning of his name (Jesus meaning Joshua or Yeshua which mean He saves), his birth, the angels that came to Joseph each time the baby Jesus was in danger to move Him, the genocide Herod rought among the baby boys of Bethlehem in pursuit of Jesus' death and his eventual arrival in Nazareth.
I am in love with the lessons our pastor gives. He isn't a milk and cookies pastor which means he doesn't just give the fable lessons that we already all know. He teaches you not only what the Bible tells you but why things happened the way they did due to economic, social and political events and beliefs of the time. It is amazing how pieces of the puzzle that you never even knew were missing, fall together when history is explained in its entirety. And I find myself absolutely fascinated by theological history.
We took Communion today. During praise and worship and communion I always get chills and tears well up in my eyes. I think about Jesus, serving the wine and breaking the bread and knowing that He knew what was coming and that He did it for us, all of us willingly with his head held high. I used to think I was strange for being affected like that, or that something was wrong with me but then I realized that it was the Holy Spirit moving me (again, breaking my heart, softening it for God) and now I welcome the prickly warm sensation that comes over me every time I listen to the music. The tightening in my chest and the constricting of my throat when words like those in the song 'Mountains will bow and the seas will roar at the sound of Your name,' ... Haha, I tear up just typing it. I have tried to sing in service, but I end up crying so I sing silently inside my head and let the tears well - and sometimes drip down my cheeks.
I took a picture of myself today, not for vanity purposes or comparison purposes or even to mark a certain point in my weight loss.
I simply took the picture because I wanted to remember that I felt really good today. Good making good choices and feeling comfortable in my clothes and my skin. I may not look like a supermodel ... I will probably never look like one ... but today I felt good and that is something I wanted to remind myself of.
Happy first day of December ... May this time of year bring you great joy and peace!