Monday, November 26, 2007

Setting Up the Christmas Tree... Three Times

We got our Christmas tree on Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). Yes, I know Christmas is still a ways off, but I LOVE the Christmas season, and the longer it lasts the better. So we hiked around a tree lot on the beautiful (yet freezing) day for an hour. It was quite the accomplishment considering the tree hunt took three hours last year. Then it was home with the tree, decorations hung, the house decked out, and festive music played. Ah, the sense of accomplishment. But then, at 1 am we had just settled down for a long winter's nap, when down in the living room there arose such a clatter. We sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Down the staircase we flew like a flash... OK, different story. But all that to say, the cats had climbed the tree and knocked all 9 feet of it over. So instead of sleeping, we were re-standing the tree, picking up pieces of broken ornaments and attaching 70 pounds of weights and rope to the trunk to keep the tree up in case the cats decided to climb again.

The tree adventure wasn't finished though. The next day it still felt wobbly so we took it out of the stand, repositioned it and decorated it once more. On Sunday we bought more ornaments to replace to broken ones, and for the third time in one weekend, I decorated the tree.

But as I sit here, looking at its lit beauty, I love it. The cats could knock it over again and again, and I'd rehang the ornaments and lights again and again. It's worth it. Children's Ministries can be the same way. You put weeks, days and hours of work into an event only to have a small turnout. You pour your heart into leading worship only to have a sleepy response. You write email after email of details to volunteers only to hear that they never read them. But you keep doing it. Why? Because ministry is beautiful. Seeing hearts grow in their love for the Lord is beautiful. Hearing a child pray to accept Jesus as their Forever Friend is beautiful. The rewards--the changed lives, devotion to the Lord, genuine worship, and people serving in their giftings--are worth it.


Robyn said...

What a super reminder!

Jill Nelson said...

Thanks Robyn! I was so excited to find a use for my Christmas tree story!

Jill Nelson said...
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Anonymous said...

You, my dear director, are an encouragement and joy to me. This story refreshed my heart and renewed my spirit. I am so blessed to be serving beneath you as you have such a love for the Lord, His children, and ministry. It is evident in everything that you do. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for being a role model. Thank you. In the words of our preschoolers, "teacher, I wanna be just like you when I grow up."
Love, your intern

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