N.

Not A Typical Sunday

Today was not a typical Sunday. I’ll start with church.

We got a message on Facebook the other day from our Czech friends telling us not to go to church this week because apparently no one would be there. They explained that the entire church would be going to another town to celebrate another church’s anniversary. Church is hard enough as it is when it’s in our town, so we decided we wouldn’t try to navigate that this Sunday and that we would stay home (this actually turned out to be a good decision because we got a lot of snow last night and it probably wasn’t best to be driving out of town!). Bethany and I talked and thought we would sing some worship songs at our house and read devotional just to make it feel like a Sunday with time set aside for the Lord.

A Different Sunday (1/25/15)

Bethany also thought it would be nice to invite some of our friends over in case they too were wondering what to do with their Sunday morning. The Yorman family was excited to join us and after a little snow shoveling today they made it over to our place where we congregated in our living room. I had prepared a few songs and printed up some song sheets for everyone. We started with modern song “10,000 Reasons” because it’s a tune everyone knows, especially the kids. Above you can see Bethany and the kids on the couch and “Grandma Linda” (Kristin Yorman’s mom) in the background. Below are Casey with his son Caleb, and me on guitar. Many thanks to Kristin for sharing these photos with us!

A Different Sunday (1/25/15)

I believe we sang about four songs and then I ended up reading a little devotional from Paul Tripp’s latest book New Morning Mercies: A Gospel Devotional (which is a phenomenal book that we highly recommend–we have been reading it daily). For me, it felt really strange not to be congregating with a large body of believers today, but it was also nice to play and sing worship songs in English with friends. The kids were a little restless, I think mostly because of our the casual environment (e.g. our living room). At the end of our time I played the song “Pharaoh Pharaoh” and we had fun dancing and playing. Below is another photo while we were laughing and singing that song together.

A Different Sunday (1/25/15)

Outside it was and is a winter wonderland. It has snowed nonstop almost the entire day. With the Yormans over we decided just to do lunch together, but we were out of a few things. Casey and I walked over to a little local grocery market and on the walk I was overwhelmed with the beautiful scene of the square near our apartment (shown below). Sadly, the little market was closed and we had to walk back, but it was so amazing outside it was well worth it. We ended driving to another store and got lunch for our families which we prepared back at our place.

Snow Day (1/25/15)

After lunch the kids, Casey and I all headed outside for a little snow fun. Our landlord had a man shovel the driveway so the snow was piled up nicely for grabbing and throwing at each other. Avery kept bringing me “big snowballs” so I could attack Titus, but she was quick to note that she was basically off limits from the snowball fight that the boys were enjoying. I guess you gotta set boundaries like that when you’re the only girl outside with all the boys.

Snow Day (1/25/15)

Below is a photo of Benaiah (the Yorman’s youngest son) about to hit me with a snowball and one of Casey with the boys across the yard during the big snowball fight. We had a lot of fun playing with them and it was a special treat for the kids to be together.

Snow Day (1/25/15)

Snow Day (1/25/15)

We’re still expected to have a lot more snow this week, so we’ll see how things work out with driving and getting around. For this California family, it’s the first time we’ve really lived in snow and I know we have some more adventures ahead of us!

R.

Refreshed

Shane & Shane with Phil Wickham

Thanks to my roommate from college who invited us and the graciousness of his in-laws who watched our kids, Bethany and I had the unexpected blessing of attending the Shane & Shane Christmas Tour with Phil Wickham concert right here in our own town. We’ve been blessed by the music of Shane & Shane and Phil Wickham for a long time and seeing them live was a double blessing. The concert was Christ-centered and worshipful as we sang Christmas hymns and worship songs as loud as we could. I was brought to tears a few times during the show mainly because the music was beautiful and it was refreshing to have a focused time of singing with a thousand other people.

One of the blessings of being a Christian is that we sing. We sing in our homes, in our churches, and when we gather together. We are commanded to sing (Ephesians 5:19) and we do this as an expression of worship of our great and merciful God. God has given us the gift of music to a blessing to our souls and that’s exactly what it was for us last night. The final words we sang last night were perfect. To the melody of “O Come Let Us Adore Him” our hearts and voices sang loud:

We’ll give You all the glory
We’ll give You all the glory
We’ll give You all the glory
Christ the Lord