Christmas Parties Past

Hi friends,

I'm getting ready to attend the annual staff Christmas party for Gateway Church. As I'm getting dressed, I'm remembering last year's party and laughing at myself!

I made a total fool of myself at the party - somehow getting selected to participate in a sing-off with Thomas Miller! (It was my own fault! My competitive nature totally got me in trouble.) What a nightmare! I can't sing and I don't know lyrics. Now Thomas - He can sing and knows lyrics! I was destined for defeat! Wish I hadn't panicked and maybe I could have faked my way through - but no - I just struggled and turned a million shades of red. My husband was in the back row laughing his head off. Only me - Miss Extrovert - could get herself in such a mess! We laughed about it for weeks at the office and I vowed would not compete in another group game again!

Well tonight's the night. Remembering last year's fiasco made my mind drift over all that has happened this year and in the end to settle in a place of sheer gratitude. I am so blessed to serve alongside some of the most fun, anointed, passionated God chasers I've ever known. I am amazed by the steps which have caused me to arrive at this destination today. I didn't plan this party in my journey, nor strategize it or even dream it. My path has been God revealed step by step.

It is only in hind site that I can see that He was positioning me for strength, support and love in one of the most trying seasons of my life. When the diagnosis came, I had no idea that I was so safely positioned to overcome. I am so grateful for His provision, my home church, co co-workers and for the countless friends that I have made over the past three years.

When the storm came I was drawn up in the cleft of the rock - and God used many of those I labor with to shelter me from the worst of the storm. When I am weak, they help share the burden. When I am discouraged, they speak life to me. When I am happy, they rejoice. When I was at my worst, they still believed I had something to contribute. What a gift I have been given!

I am especially thankful for those who walk right next to me each day at Gateway. Ps Debbie - thank you for abundant grace and a continued faith in me. Arnita and Lynda -thanks for always believing I can. Elisa - You bless me everyday, share my space all the time and are a source of great joy to me. Couldn't and wouldn't want to do this season without you. You'll outrun me in the days ahead. Katy, Katy and Megan - you make it fun. You are so brilliant and so much ministry flows through you. Thanks for helping me maximize my time and for making me look good even when I didn't. Chelsea - welcome aboard! I have confidence that the days ahead will be amazing and that we'll get to do some God adventures together. These ladies are all star friends, mentors and faithful encouragers. I am still leaning heavily upon them in this season and they are like rocks for me - a sure foundation.

Mark and I are getting ready for the evening festivities. I'm still committed to avoiding that song competition - but nothing else in me is hidden or held back. My heart is overflowing with thanks and appreciation and gratitude and love for this extended family. God has surely positioned me among kings and generals and drawn my boundaries in pleasant places.

Jan