Saturday, December 24, 2011

I've already got that.

Yes. I know it's Christmas Eve. I know tomorrow is the big day worldwide. For me though, it's another day.
My Christmas was December 3rd, with a dinner at my dad's with all my brothers. My Christmas was Dec. 20th for snacks and dirty Santa with all of my grown children and my grandchildren and my Mom and Poppy. Though the space was tight, it was crowded with love and warmth. It wasn't uncomfortable crowdedness, but that familial safe tightness, like puppies tucked tightly together in a box.
And Christmas was tonight, December 24th, with my family, with my nephew the soldier, with my brothers, wives, daughter-in-laws, grandchildren, great grandchildren...all of us crammed in together with smiles and laughter and hugs chinking in the cracks.

On the way home my husband asked: "Are you okay that I didn't get you anything?"
Oh- I am so okay with that. We were able to get small gifts for the loved ones and watch little ones open toys. We watched our first grandchild tear the paper on his tugboat. We hugged a long-missed soldier tightly, knowing he would again leave us to go to the other side of the country. I ate my brother's orange fluff and my sister-in-laws fudge. I brought home pumpkin rolls and peanut butter balls. I watched Mom, with her face flushed, flurry around the kitchen and serve food, happy to be with her children again.

"Honey, I got so much this year. I don't want another thing."
And I meant it. What could a person buy me that I don't have? Could you buy priceless treasures of family? Can you buy a smile or pay for a joke from a brother? Can you put a price on that soldier's hug? Or the look on his mom's face at having him home? Can I sell the memory of Zoe's smile at her giant Dora book or Constance's face when she opened her leopard pocketbook? What would I tag the worth of hearing Constance's quiet whispered 'Thank you' ? I'm a new mamaw to her too and that starting bond was priceless. She picked me a clover flower. That will be a cherished memory of our first Christmas together.

"Yes, honey. I am fine that you didn't get me anything (although he gives me everything). I already have it all."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Carolynn Claus and the Zumba sleigh

Twas the week after Christmas with no Zumba in sight
My scales trembled in fear. My weight was a fright!
The dresses were tossed on the floor in a heap
Cookies and cake balls-- added weight made me weep.

Zumba buddies nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of ripped seams filled them with dread.
Mom in her Spandex and I in my Spanx
Polished off the cookies and forgot to give thanks.

When out on Facebook there arose such a chatter!
Our fearless Zumba leader was getting hold of this matter
With Ipod and speakers she blasted the sound
"I'm Sexy and I know it". It was time to get down!

Quick as a wink we were sweating and lunging
Flab rolls a jigglin' and knee joints a crunchin'
More rapid than gunfire the instructions they came
Lower girls! Tighten those abs! She called us by name.

On Shelley, on Pat, on Amber and Sharon
On Cynthia, on Bekah! The music kept blarin'
From the tops of our heads to the tips of our fingers
Everything ached and yet we still lingered

Finally it was cool-down' she said a nod.
Maybe we wouldn't all die- thank God!
And I heard her exclaim as we exhaled together
"Lay off the cake girls! Almost bikini weather!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fervent prayer

Prayer life been dragging a little lately? Are you missing the fervent need to talk to God?
I have the solution:
Drive home from the Charlotte airport in 5:30 bumper-to-bumper traffic with a bunch of clearly suicidal people driving the vehicles around you. Try not to hit the gas or brake pedal with your knee as you bow with your head under the steering wheel and honestly, earnestly, and loudly, pray for mercy!
You will also find your heart moved to pray for others as you never have before. "Lord, have mercy!" you will find yourself screeching as the car beside you dives underneath the nearest transfer truck.
I found I was very encouraging to other drivers too. Hurry up- jump in there- go! before that truck gets your spot! Oh for goodness sakes! Why didn't you go already?!
And thankful? Oh, thank you Lord for the 'Welcome to Iredell County' sign. Oh Lord! Thank you for the Claremont exit! Oh, thank you Jesus for my church parking lot and relative safety!

But the best part of all? Walking late into my little church and hearing my deacon whisper "we prayed for you" and seeing people smile at me when they saw I had arrived safe and sound. Knowing people really care. Knowing the Lord does answer prayers...even when we are praying from under the steering wheel :)