Friday, December 05, 2008

my Christmas Avon plates

I'm not quite sure how these lovely Christmas plates came to be. I wasn't looking for a new collection. I mean seriously, I have too many as it is. But when I found the first one (the 1974 plate) a couple year ago, I was struck by the significance of that particular Christmas year. And the church reminded me of the little Lutheran church I grew up going to back then. And hello, the aqua color just sealed the deal. Then when the 1976 plate came along, all those Christmas memories came flooding back. So last week when I found 1975, I was thrilled knowing my collection was complete. And I had paid only 2 dollars or less for each plate.
But you guys, how surreal... something very significant happened each of those three years. And what better way to reminisce about them but to share with you on my blog.

*1974 was the last Christmas with my whole family together while still living at home. I was a senior. I had just turned 18. I would graduate the following year and move out. So this Christmas was a big deal. I recently found one of my journal books from that year and read "Kathy came home from Oklahoma so it was a happy family-like Christmas. After us Luther Leaguers put on the Candlelight service (which was cool), we all went home and opened gifts. I was so happy. I mean, the whole family was together! That meant more to me than anything else."
An event that was also significant that Christmas, was that two days later I attended the Luther League Convention in Minneapolis and it was life changing. I wrote in my journal "Gosh, it was a great weekend! I not only learned more about my Lord but I experienced the love and feelings everyone there felt for Him. It was truly inspiring!"

*And then reading what I wrote in my journal the Christmas of 1975 still gives me goose bumps!
"I was very privileged to give the Christmas Eve Candlelight sermon. It seemed to strengthen my faith in You tremendously. I knew right then and there- I was going to be spending my life witnessing to others who need it. I felt so sure as You were speaking through me. I just Praise You for that blessed experience. May You reward me with the opportunity to spend the rest of my life telling others of You through singing and witnessing."
Wow, how profound and providential! I would go on to marry Randy in 1979 and we would be in full time music ministry for all but that first year of marriage.

I also journaled about giving my personal testimony for the Bethesda Lutheran Church Youth Group. Afterwards I went ice skating while huge snow flakes came floating down. The street lights on the shimmering ice was magical. As I skated round and round the rink, I have never felt closer to the One that came to earth as a baby. This was God become man. And He came for me. And I wrote "We went skating at the rink in Eau Claire and I experienced a joy and love for life, nature and people everywhere- I could have burst!"
So, how cool that the 1975 plate is called "Skaters on the Pond".

*1976 was the last Christmas with my family before moving to Phoenix.
I had just turned 20 on Dec. 13th and I wrote "Lord, I am loving you more and more (and more) each day. You've helped so many of us each day, forgiving, loving, giving and understanding us more. And I praise You for welcoming my friend Linda into Your heavenly family of God!"
Wow, that is the Linda that I would come out here to Phoenix with, 9 months later! Who knew the significance of that journal entry. Read all about our journey HERE.

That was also the birthday that I spent the whole day making western shirts for my best buds, Jim and Loren. I even did custom embroidery work on each shirt. Man, was I ambitious or what!

And then I wrote this a few days after that Christmas "Wow, was it ever a beautiful Christmas. I can only thank you Lord for the peace, love and contentment I felt this Christmas of '76. I have changed a lot since last year- matured in Christ, I guess."

I can't tell you how humbled I am by the Lord's faithfulness. Those three years left such an imprint on my life and helped shape my thoughts and dreams and my hope for a future dependent on Him. And He has never failed me. I can't imagine living life any other way.


Amy T Schubert said...

"Luther Leaguers"?

you make me laugh ...

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage said...

Linda ~ How wonderful are your stories that go perfectly with each plate ~ I love to see how the Lord works through our lives in such wonderful ways ~ isn't it neat to look back and see his mighty hand weave our tapestry of life if we depend on Him ~~