What a great evening! It started at church tonight. I was the assistant minister, which is always a joy and an honor. It is truly a calling and I feel privileged to serve, particularly on the Holy Days. I usually serve as both the Christmas and Easter assistant minister. One of the prime functions of the role is to write the prayers of the people. I feel tremendous responsibility doing this, so I usually say a prayer before I start to write asking God what He would like for me to talk about. It sort of flows from there.
After church it was my best friend's annual Norwegian Christmas Eve Family Dinner. This was the third year to attend. I love this and treasure my invitation. I am in on all of the family jokes and get to be a part of the large family at the dinner. The food is amazing. The men in the family make Norwegian meatballs from a very old family recipe. It takes about five hours to make them. There is also salmon, potatoes, red pickled cabbage, a fancy salad, and lefse, which is sort of like a Norwegian tortilla that you eat with butter and brown sugar. For dessert we had homemade krumkakke with peppermint ice cream. We were absolutely stuffed afterward. We just laughed and laughed over dinner. My friend's hubby read a piece that he had written for the evening (he is a retired pastor) which was absolutely beautiful and heart touching.
Afterward, while still in our food coma, we opened presents. My best friend gave me a gift certificate to Home Depot to use for paint in my new house. She also gave me a pair of the most beautiful slippers that she got on her trip to Turkey, an amaryllis and a new little tote that is the perfect size for my lunch. She also made sure that Liesl got a little bag of special dog cookies.
I had such a good time and felt surrounded with love. I am so thankful for my closest friends. I have the kind of girlfriends that are just loyal, honest, kind and funny. They are my every day gift. I am really amazed at how much we really know and understand about each other. What I love most about my friends, is that we tell each other the truth and not what we think the other wants to hear. One of my friends said that while she may be blunt, she will never lie to any of us. This is awesome particularly when I need some feedback or advice on something really important. I think my friend said it best when she said that our friendship within our group is just so easy. I think that it comes from the trust and the support to say what you think. Love and family come in many forms and I am so fortunate that I got to experience that again tonight.