Some things.

1. Financially, my family is pretty much on the brink of things, but I’ve a gained a strong trust in God for taking care of us all, after going to hell and back with the big guy upstairs and having him save me every time so I’m not freaking out too much.

2. For the record, I am the best Scrabble player in my family. I need everyone to know that because I’m not the best at any other game among them.

3. I’m currently hosting my mom and my three siblings in my apartment for Christmas. My mom and I shared my bed, while one brother got the couch and then my sister and my other brother each got their own queen-size air mattresses, which are lined up end to end between the couch and the TV in my living room. We made it work.

4. I got a free kitchen table from my best friend’s boyfriend, and it came just in time to host all those people. Praise the Lord, Hallelujah! Amen! And, AND!, it even has a leaf in the middle, so it’s totally big enough for all of them to sit around and lose at Scrabble to me.

5. My amazing friend Sarah helped me pick it said table because she’s the only person I know within a 100-mile radius that has a mini-van AND enough love in her heart to drive to Timbucktoo with me and get it. She never once complained — even when the two of us were trying to carry the thing down a flight of stairs that randomly featured a left-turn right in the middle. I love you Sarah.

6. The Bears season is over then, I guess. I knew as soon as I got the text message from the Chicago Tribune that fateful night saying Jay Cutler had broke his thumb that it was all over. It still sucks though. On a brighter note, Tim Tebow seems like a genuinely nice guy. I mean, ya, I was mad when he beat the Bears, but then I remembered that everyone was beating the Bears these days, so I got over it.

7. I hid all of my sister’s gifts in a really good hiding spot and she has no clue where they are. This is especially hard because the two of us share a psychic connection and she can usually tell what I’m thinking just by looking at me.

8. I joined my church last Sunday. I know, I know, you’re all like, “Dude, Crystal, you started going/working there like 18 months ago? And you JUST now joined? What the what?!” But I take that decision very seriously and  I really wanted to make sure everything was a good fit before I said my vows in front of the congregation. A wise man once told me that it takes about 18 months to feel fully accepted as a new leader in a church. Over the past year and a half, there have been extreme highs, but there have also been days when I left there feeling like I’d been hit by a truck because I was so stressed about it all. And I just kept telling myself, 18 months, 18 months, 18 months. And you know what? It’s been 18 months and I really do feel like a genuine part of the family there now.  That doesn’t mean I don’t still stress and worry and whatnot, because you know, I’m Crystal and stuff, but it makes me feel like they’re kind of stuck of with me the way a sister is stuck with her brother. There’s a strange comfort in that.

9. I’ve been off work since Thursday for the holidays, and my company closes its office the week between Christmas and New Year’s because they rock, so I don’t go back until Jan. 3. This means I have a legit Christmas break. At 28. And did I mention the free candy? Best. Job. Ever.

10. I’m saying a formal pastoral prayer for the Christmas Eve services at my church tonight. It’s mostly a mash-up of Christmas and Advent prayers from the Methodist Book of Worship, but it’s my first time doing something like this, so I’m kind of excited about it. Usually when I pray in church, I just wing it, so this is really different. I wanted it to be formal, but also accessible, which is really hard to do. An excerpt:

“When our need for a Savior was great, you sent your Son to be born of the virgin Mary. To our lives, he brings joy and peace, justice, mercy and love. Grant that his Spirit may be born anew in our hearts tonight and that we may joyfully welcome him to reign over us.”

I love that line, “When our need for a Savior is great, you sent your Son.” It makes me think that humanity was just barely hanging off the cliff, with their fingers slipping off the edge, and God came through. Like He always does.

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