Christmas Eve service at my new church was interesting for me. In the middle of it all I became aware once again of how much I miss my previous church ~ I'm definitely grieving the fact that the conflict became so awful that I decided to leave. When we got home last night I said as much to D, and his comment was that I had done the right thing. Then he said, "You took one for the team." I do hope that my leaving there has stirred up some Spirit-filled energy, but I wish I could have been with all the wonderful people there I love so much. I miss them.
I hope my feelings don't interfere with my ability to make connections at the new church. I'm feeling disconnected, but thinking that's because it's too soon for anyone to really feel connected in any meaningful way there. Yet there's also a detached feeling, and that's not good. I preach the next two Sundays, though, and that will probably help a lot. I cannot preach and remain detached; that's for sure.
D and I attended the 11 pm Christmas Eve service at the church where we were married. D still attends there about half the time. It was amazingly beautiful. I was bone tired, but ended up so thankful that I decided to attend. Lynda Poston-Smith sang three solos. Ohhh, her voice ... well, it is one of those soprano voices that you just have to hear to believe. Like a crystal bell, but powerful. The sermon was good...he spoke about the meaning of "home." Communion was by intinction, definitely my favorite way to receive. Lovely. Lovely. Lovely. (She has some beautiful CD's by the way, if you want to Google her.)
And then we awoke ~ well, D woke me up ~ at 7:30. The five of us opened presents and then enjoyed a hearty breakfast of Belgian waffles, D-style.
All three children are on a flight now, as I write, to the east coast. They're visiting relatives on their mother's side and are pretty excited about the trip. D and I took them to the airport to see them off. After about a twenty minute wait through the security line, we hugged them goodbye, and they entered the inner part of the terminal. We waved another goodbye to them through the throng of people. But then D walked down to where he could see them through a glass wall, and we watched the three of them get settled in some seats to wait for their flight. After a couple of minutes, and murmuring something about not wanting to embarrass them, he said it was time for us to go.
It makes me smile to think about how much D loves his children, and how easy it is for him to show them that he loves them. He shows that love by teasing them, sharing his wisdom (which is not always the same as giving them advice), putting them first when it comes to issues with their mom, making himself available to them, cooking for them, etc. And he also shows his love by this kind of presence. Although it's a 90 minute drive one way, D attended his children's highschool events and award shows, even in the middle of the week. And he never misses one of Beautiful Genuine Drummer Girls' Saturday piano recitals. He went to the college football games two hours before they started so that he could watch Young Man with Integrity march through campus with the band. And whenever Lovely Passionate Feminist leaves home to return to her dorm, D stands outside on the sidewalk, waving, and watching her drive away until she crests the hill.
These children have no doubt that they are loved. What a gift he has given them.