Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

With so much hype leading up to December 25th, it's always a let-down when the holiday festivities come to a rapid end. No more tinsel or bon bons, no more lights or "hustle and bustle", no more carols or mistletoe (boo).

The eve of the new year always brings a wave of nostalgia as we reminisce about the year gone by. For me, 2008 was an emotional one! This year I was in 3 weddings, sang at another, and positively sobbed my way through my BFFs "surprise" wedding in June. Standing beside some of my closest friends as they tied the knot was an amazing thing. One of them (Rachel) is now expecting a baby! In July I knew it was time to leave Fargo, but where to go? A long road trip in August brought me through Colorado Springs, where I met Steve! Four months have already gone by, and I'm positively crazy about this man.

Since it's been so long since I posted, here's a December recap. After finishing my nursing contract in Billings mid-December, I high-tailed it back to Fargo so I could spend the night with Sarah and Justin. The next day brought the first of many family Christmas celebrations, and the holidays were off to a great start. Two days were then spent snowed in with my family on the farm, enjoying the worst blizzard since 1997. We spent the day in our pajamas, playing games and making massive amounts of Christmas cookies. Even my dad got in on the frosting fun!! Then there was a flurry of lunches and sleep-overs with friends, seeing new babies and catching up. Somewhere during that week I got in a car accident... my "2nd annual". Hopefully the tradition will end there. Stupid ice!!! Steve FINALLY arrived on the 19th. We spent several days with my family and friends, then headed to Illinois (where he is from) on Christmas Eve. A candlelight service at his home church that night was a moment of peace amidst all of the hubbub. During the service the Lord reminded me of the reason we celebrate. So often I sing Christmas carols and neglect to actually ponder the words. But this year 'O Holy Night' caused tears to stream down my face.

"Long lay the world, in sin and error pining
'til He appeared and the soul felt it's worth
A THRILL of HOPE, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
O night divine
O night, when Christ was born

Truly He taught us to love on another
His law is LOVE and His Gospel is PEACE
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease"

These are not all the words, of course, but what beauty and wonder is captured in this song! Think of the thrill of the shepherds, who knew that the Savior of the world had just been born. Think of the hope of Mary and Joseph, as they held God's son in their arms. Here was the One to deliver them from sin!!! How rarely I fall on my knees in worship. Here is found the true reason for Christmas. It isn't Santa Claus, or buying things or even all of the time with family (though that is wonderful). The reason is Jesus! He was and continues to be the greatest gift the world will ever know.

Meeting Steve's family and playing with his nieces and nephews... Autumn, Caden, Kenzie and Nathaniel... was just awesome! Time passed too quickly and we didn't want to leave. But as quickly as it began, "poof", Christmas was gone. A highlight of our time in Illinois was when Steve took me to see the Broadway musical "Wicked" in Chicago. It was INCREDIBLE!!! If you ever get the chance to see it, you really must.

Anyway, as of a few days ago I am comfortably moved to Colorado Springs and have two roommates... Alecia and her dog, Opie. I'm enjoying time off and job hunting. I'll enjoy my time off a little bit more once I have a job nailed down... I think it will be soon, but time will tell.

At the brink of year's end, I am most thankful for the mercy of God in all things. Though I neglect Him, He continues to pursue me. Though I put my own needs before the needs of others far too often, He speaks gently to do better. He reminds me that He came not to be served, but to serve. My only "resolution" for 2009 is to fight for more of Him every single day.

"Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:24



Jen Price said...

Thanks for the reminder! Happy New Year!

Liesl Kruger said...

Hey Ginna :) Thanks so much for the update. It's so nice to know what has been happening in your life and to see that you have met an amazing man. Your post is an encouraging one. "O Holy Night" is by far my favourite carol because of exactly the same part that you quoted. We needed a saviour, He came and we didn't even realise it. I pray that God will remind you in TANGIBLE ways this year of His love, His plans for your life and for your future. Be happy and enjoy every minute as you bask in His love. It is so easy to feel guilt about so many things, that we never really just enjoy Him. You are such a special person. I miss you a lot and pray that I will see you again one day. If you ever need a holiday in NZ, you're always welcome :)
Lots of love
Liesl (and Pieter and Josiah-Seth of course!)