Weaving some Christmas threads

I'm going to start this post without knowing where it will end. Perhaps it will iron itself out on the way. This week, I had the surreal experience of having made a debut in a music video. Seriously! It's not like I'm a rock star. I really truly like singing in choirs and singing back-up, so I'm never comfortable 100% with being at the CENTER of the stage. I just like being ON the stage. There's a difference.
Here's the video:

The guy who helped us with this (Adam Hobbs) did such an amazing job on the video! And God did such an amazing job on the lighting! It had threatened rain that day to the point that we thought we might be making a mud-slinging video. Then, about an hour or so before we started shooting, the clouds opened and the farm was bathed in beautiful sunlight. But wait, there's more.
Fast forward to last night.
I was driving home VERY late from a full day in Columbia. We had spent quite a bit of energy and had eaten a fantastic but heavy meal (horseshoes! YUM!). And, to make matters worse, my night owl had taken over my body the night before, and I was going on very little sleep. I was at the wheel, and trying hard to focus on something besides the center line, dash-dash-dash-dash-zzzz and the hum of the tires.
I began thinking through the words of this song (from the Christmas production I'm in in December). When I'm slated to sing something I really like to meditate on the meaning. A lot of the sentiments expressed are directly related to the Shepherd's perspective on the night of Christ's birth. He is exuberance and excitement. When he arrives at the stable, this rambling and rough-hewn guy is all reverence and humility. He packages all of the mysticism of the evening when he and his friends RUN to the place the star is pointing and says, "Open your eyes. Listen." There's so much wrapped up here, but I think what he's so enthralled by is the sheer overpowering nature of being in the presence of God himself. Overpowering and yet, approachable. What's sweeter in the world than a newborn? But still, the son of God.
COME ON RUN, RUN, RUN! To the eye of the storm.
Where all creation calls His name Emmanuel!

Emmanuel. God with us. We are able to escape the storm by seeking His presence. In the eye of the storm ("Nothing moves. Nothing breathes. Even silence keeps silent."). He came to the storm called earth and changed the course of history by creating a place of quiet rest. The stable became a true sanctuary. One of my favorite passages in all of the Bible is Psalm 63.
1 O God, you are my God;
      I earnestly search for you.
   My soul thirsts for you;
      my whole body longs for you
   in this parched and weary land
      where there is no water.
 2 I have seen you in your sanctuary
      and gazed upon your power and glory.

 3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
      how I praise you!
 4 I will praise you as long as I live,
      lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
 5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
      I will praise you with songs of joy.
 6 I lie awake thinking of you,
      meditating on you through the night.
 7 Because you are my helper,
      I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
 8 I cling to you;
      your strong right hand holds me securely.

All of THAT to say, I am singing this invitation, RUN TO THE EYE OF THE STORM, to invite everyone who can hear to "the shadow of His wings." A place where we can find rest, restoration, joy, peace, praise, help, security...this song is one of the most beautiful I've ever heard. I am honored to sing it this Christmas as I invite folks along to engage the baby whose birth changes everything. Not changed. Changes. Can I get an AMEN!?


Walks Among the Trees

I admit it. I have always had a weakness for tall men and an aversion to shorter ones. I mean, short dudes are fine, but I wasn't attracted. My college roommates faulted me for this. While THEY were allowed to think a guy had cute eyes, nice knees or perfect hair...yes, you see my point. I couldn't help it. When I entered a room full of folks, I was immediately smitten with tall ones. And not because I am brushing 6' myself, mind you. I'm only hitting 5'5" in my low wedge heels.
These girls (whom I love) assured me that it would be just like God to send the man of my dreams packaged in a 5'6" body. I did have a fleeting crush on a 5'8" guy once. He had a heck of a personality and great wit.
You can imagine my sheer delight when a certain 6'10" cutie/smartie entered my life armed with cooking skills, a college degree, and a sweet heart. All this and tall too!? Shut the front door.
Our friend Elisabeth gave him the Native American name 'Walks Among the Trees.' (Mine, incidentally is 'Shops Among the Shoes')
I truly enjoy watching little kids in stores crane their necks in wonder and adults watching him walk by and talking about him as though his ears are too far up for him to hear...not to mention the short tag-along trying to keep up. He takes it all in stride, with his easy demeanor.
Sadly, he met a taller fellow (7'2"!!!) at a festival on Saturday and walked over to strike up a conversation, figuring they could have a laugh, commiserate, pelt things at unsuspecting folks' heads...but the poor dolt soured his face up and promptly walked away without even a word. Apparently, his height and all the attention has made him a little bitter. His girlfriend was kind enough to share a few words and even coerce the mean giant into a photo op. The guy still never said anything.
Bizarre to me, really.
My Tall One isn't necessarily one to grab the center of attention, but at least he knows how to smile, talk, and make the most of the height that God gave him. It's really a gift. I mean, how else would I get down my crock pot, blender, ice bucket, etc.? I'll tell you how, the glass blender would fall on my eye and bruise me. It's happened! We don't have a step stool b/c I can usually count on Jerod to fetch the stuff above 5'9". He can always see the stage at a concert, and can navigate crowds of people with ease. I can always find him in a store. And he makes me feel petite. That's worth a lot!
I can't believe we're closing in our SEVENTH anniversary. Seems like just yesterday he was remarking that our furniture, etc. work work well together on our FIRST DATE (ha ha ha!).  ;)
Love you the ocean, Jerod Jones.