I was having a tough time here at Christmas. It was my first time being away from family and friends. I was even having a hard time finding a local church that I enjoyed. I was floundering and I was getting a little depressed. Honestly, a girl could only take so much rain and all it ever seems to do is rain in Hot Springs, AR. I had to get out and about so we were heading to Lowes and we took a wrong turn on a back road. It wound all over and around. I thought we were leaving the state and then we passed a small Methodist Church. The church was advertising their Christmas Eve service at 5:30 pm. My heart started to melt and I knew this was the church.
We came for the Christmas Eve service to a congregation of about 25 people total and that included the reverend. It was a very traditional service, but well served. We were asked to stay for some refreshments afterwards and to visit for a bit. We sat with the Reverend John Walker and his lovely wife. We made small talk of where we were from, how we like the area and such. The reverend was well into his eighties, but well spoken and articulate. He explained that this was his first church out of seminary school. He met his wife, of 60 years, from this church and they retired to this church. Interesting how life can come full circle. The table started to clear and Don was heading for the desserts that the ladies of the church made.
Then it was just the reverend and I sitting at the table. I told the reverend that this was my first Christmas away from my family. I was trying not to cry, but my eyes were watering a bit. The reverend shook his head and said that I must be all out of sorts. I shook my head in return. Then the reverends eyes stared to water. He explained that last Christmas they lost a son. We chatted about the pains of missing family and of loss. We were both out of sorts for different reasons this Christmas.
Sadly, we will be leaving in less than a week and not returning to this lovely little church. I always believe that God puts people and places into your life when you need them the most. I needed that church and Reverend Walker for Christmas it seems. I hope and pray that I was of service to Reverend Walker this Christmas.
After a heart full Christmas Eve, I awoke realizing that I was an hour behind my family on the east coast. I FaceTime'd, a bit, with my niece and nephew to see what they got for Christmas and to find out what was going on with the family. My nephew was all over the place. I swear that kid is the energizer bunny. My niece is in the beginning teenage stages of dragging a conversation out of her. It seems they got almost everything they wanted. The fart diary that Don bought my nephew was a huge hit with him. Knowing him, he might fill that diary up in a day lol. It was great to catch up and chat a bit.
We had Christmas dinner with another couple in the campground, Suzette and Bear. Bear smoked a whole turkey, which I have never had before and Suzette did the cooking for everything else. I think we spent more time trying to get the club house oven to work than actually cooking the meal. The oven kept going to reheat from cooking. We could not get the stovetop to light either, but everything eventually cooked. The food was awesome and the company was even better. I enjoyed the comradery, the laughter and genuine enjoyment of friendship during this Christmas holiday. I needed it more than I knew, it seems. God had a plan and all I had to do was listen. Which, we all know can be a challenging point for me lol.
Much love to all of you this Christmas!!!