The holidays are in FULL SWING and here I am, writing my final true confessions, Advent Thought and Final Post for 2011. There just is not enough time and energy for more posts this year - BUT, I will be returning on January 3, 2012 with my True Weight (get ready...it won't be a Pretty Sight) and new blog posts, pix and heaven only knows what else, not to mention the Further Adventures of Weltha.
I have been swigging Coca-Cola (the Real Stuff, not that Diet Travesty) as if it is exiting Planet Earth in the next 7.3 minutes. I've eaten sweets and Lord knows how much fat and grease and bad combinations and not nearly enough fresh foods. You know, no matter how busy Poodle is, he includes a salad with his meal every single night.
Choir Practice last night - and boy, was it a big one. We practiced with the Brass Quartet that is providing some 'before the service' music and then accompanying us on one of our anthems. And naturally, we are finishing the evening with The Hallelujah Chorus - or as I call it now that it has totally ragged out my lower notes [I keep tell Jeff the Choirmaster that I am NOT a natural alto and that I need to sing SOPRANO and he keeps IGNORING me...], the "HELL-lelujah Chorus."
My apologies to the appalled.
Tonight the Altoid Triumvirate (as we Three Altos like to call ourselves) are meeting at Kat's house and working on the H Chorus until we are either satisfied or so exhausted we can't remember the way home. We're almost there. I am so glad. Kat is determined that we just nail this thing, and that's good. Jeff the C. said that the altos are the one section he is never worried about - we are solid on our music, and we make an effort. And there are only 3 of us and we all read music to some degree. This is extremely helpful.
Today is my last day of work until December 27 (Tuesday) and I have been putting in extra hours this week - and will next week and the week after - because it is a 4-day week and yes, I've already explained all this to you. But, I get to leave at 5 today, and off home I go, until it's time to pick up Virginia the Alto and go to Kat's house.
Tomorrow morning eeeeeeeeeeeearly, I am going grocery shopping for the cooking that will comprise my Christmas gifts. This is not a big Christmas gift year because I gave a big gift to someone who needed it, a small gift to someone else, and then registered and insured the car. Can I be honest here? With the $$$ woes I have had, I went two solid years without being registered OR insured. Now, this is against the law, and it wasn't what I wanted to do, but it was what economic necessity forced on me for a while. And then, I accumulated the moolah to register (and pay fines...) and insure my own personal vehicular transport, and I am so glad. So...big money out the door but much peace of mind in the door. And after Christmas, I am off to the doctor's for an exam, a year's worth of prescriptions for my bipolar med, and then ordering it from Canada on the cheap (because me havee me no insurance, and why I'm talking in pidgen can probably only be explained by the embarrassment of such...oh well, this is not forever, I remind myself.)
One of my Christmas gifts to myself - in addition to a registered and insured car - is the recognition that I cannot make it without my meds. Someday, there may be an Alternate Plan B for me, and that will be great, but right now, I'm on prescription meds, and that's just how it will need to be. Funny thing. I have been back on them for 1 week - and although in theory that's not long enough to create a therapeutic level in my body, I feel much, much better. Other people notice it. I don't think it's merely the placebo effect. I think there is a difference. So, this is another Christmas gift to myself - being back on my meds. Permanently. When I order from Canada in January, I will receive a 3-month supply for a very good price. And I will take it every day. And yes, I'm happier and easier to be around (and it's easier for me to be around people and just deal with life) when I'm on my meds. World without end. Amen.
Anyhoodle, back to the Christmas gifts. I'm giving food that I made this year. Most of us middle-aged folk have all the 'stuff' we can use (my friend Poodle certainly does...what he does not have, he can easily buy) and having a homemade gift of goodies is...special, I think. Next year, I'm getting going with it earlier and making more goodies. My ideal is to be able to make about a dozen gift bags or mailing boxes to send out to everyone. Of course, the local folks get things that go in the freezer. My folks elsewhere can have the canned things. And yes, I can...can. (but not do the Can-Can - can't kick that high any more...)
And now, My Advent Meditation. Spoiler: She's gonna talk about Jesus. Again.
I always give my disclaimer, but here is the deal. I am a Christian. I have been one 42 years and counting (ignore the statement at the bottom of the blog. I turned another year older...), and that's what I am. At the core of Weltha is a Christian. Big "C." It's not that I'm the most devout or holy thing you've ever met (I'm not.) It's just that I'm desperate. I need God. I need a Savior. I found one.
At the heart of Christmas - a Christian holiday ['holy day'], not the commercial holiday - is the Christ child. I believe the classical, orthodox teaching that He was and remains fully God and yet fully man. That He was born of a young virgin in Israel, a Jewish girl, engaged to a man but not yet married to him. That He was and is the firstborn Son of God. The 'only begotten.' I believe He bore my sins and the sins of the world and that His sinless life and perfect death - and yes, I believe He was raised from the dead - paid for my sins and allow me to enter into a new life with God my creator and heavenly parent. I believe it all. I believe He lives and reigns today with God and that one day, I will be with Him. And that meantime, I am here to tell the good news of Him - of Jesus - and how He transforms lives and gives meaning to our existence. I simply cannot do it all or even any of it without Him. He is, as one translation of the Bible says, Source, Guide, and Goal of all that is, and of all that I am.
Today, I think on Him. How He entered the human existence in time and space. How God brought the King of the Universe to this world in the form of a baby, born in an animal stall. Born of a humble human family, in a not-very-important town in an outpost of the Roman Empire. He is not an idea or a set of ethics or teachings. He is a person. I can know Him and know His goodness and His power in my life. I am deeply thankful to Him for all He has done for me - through the good times and through the difficult ones.
And He taught of love. Love for God first, and then love for one another next. Let us do our best to love - truly, unselfishly love - other people, and in that way, fit ourselves to love the One Who has made us, our Creator and Parent.
I close today with the words of my favorite Christmas hymn, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing:
Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"
Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our EmmanuelHark!
The herald angels sing"
Glory to the newborn King!"
Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing"
Glory to the newborn King!"