Today has been a busy but great day. It started with me being able to attend church and to top it off... Mike preached! His message was shortened to about 15 minutes but it was powerful and challenging. He talked about Luke 14:15-21 (The parable of the great banquet) and how we all make excuses to basically say 'I don't have time for God.' The biggest excuse being I'm so busy... since when should God get our left over time? I know I make my excuses and this was a great reminder to think twice before I say, "I can't because..."
After church we had the youth over to our flat for a spaghetti dinner and to hang out. We always ask for a RSVP now because of the amount of space we have and expected about 5 students to come. PTL that Mike bought some 'extra' food to stock up on because we had 18 people here. I wish you could've seen how we squeezed in... our flat definitely is not made for that many people but it was awesome. The kids had a great time playing video games and watching movies and I just loved the fact that we had that many people show up.
Tonight was the night of the big parade and I was pumped. I didn't care how long we stayed as long as I got to see a dragon dance. Knowing there were to be so many people, we planned to take the ferry across the harbour and check out the crowds. If there were too many people we'd just turn around and watch it on tv. We got there and the crowds didn't seem to be too unreasonable so we looked for a spot. We did find one where I could see enough to take some pictures if standing on my toes but that spot quickly grew smaller as it neared 8pm and the crowd grew. By 8:45 or so, we left our spot because Isabella was extremely tired and having a hard time being squished. I was completely bummed that we waited all that time to turn around and leave but my disappointment quickly turned into pure frustration. We got stuck trying to leave on a sidewalk that had people standing shoulder to shoulder and then people started to push. A lady behind Mike was screaming for us to move (as we all politely told her that was impossible and we were all trying) and soon started to push her way through. But I'm very thankful for a protective Dad and two other men who decided they were going to protect this cute little girl. My frustration grew by the second as I experienced my first HK shoulder to shoulder crowd and fear that my daughter was going to get hurt. We made it through and on our way out got to see a few little things but the pictures we attempted are pretty blurry. Another bummer for me because I spent a lot of time designing some scrapbook elements to use for my CNY pictures but I have nothing to show. And to top it off... we stayed long enough to miss the parade on tv. As disappointed as I was, I am thankful that we made the attempt to go. It was still neat to be a part of the culture in this way and to see what this parade is all about. I will say though... tomorrow night we're watching the fireworks on tv. Don't think any of us could handle another night like tonight.
Note to self: Next year pay the money to sit in the grandstand so we can see everything clearly while sitting!