So, no, I have not completely abandoned the blog, but I confess to severe neglect. No real reason, other than I am suffering thru a bout of "too many gray winter days the do not lend me much upishness" otherwise known as "I'm kinda bored."
Joal travels quite often for work and his preferred airline is Southwest. Fortunately, Southwest *doesn't* go thru Atlanta, and does go to most of the places Joal needs to go, so he racks up some serious mileage with the Southwest team.
My sister lives in Oklahoma City and is about to give birth to her first child. So a few months ago, I started planning when I would make the trip over after the baby's birth, ostensibly to help out, but mostly with the intention of holding that sweet little baby. While deciding whether or not I wanted to fly (as opposed to driving almost 700 miles), I discovered that Southwest offers a special service called *DING!*. By downloading their app, I can be alerted with a special Ding! to any special deals Southwest is running for my particular aiport(s).
For example, today there was a Ding! for a flight from Nashville to Tulsa for $87 for travel after January 5. The deals are excellent money-savers, if you can purchase immediately and can travel in the limited dates given. So far, I haven't managed to capture the right flight for the right dates via the Ding!...but I bow to the genius of Southwest for concept of the Ding! Let me tell you, that little noise brings me straight to the computer every single time it sounds.
Pure marketing genius, it is, because every time my laptops offers up a Ding!, I get hopeful. Will this particular Ding! hold the possibility of *my* ideal flight of Nashville to Oklahoma City for $49 on Dec 30? Even $99 would be a steal. Well, I won't know if I don't check!
Must. click. the. Ding!. note. Now.
So far, it hasn't happened, but I remain hopeful. Isn't it funny how so much hope is so easily wrapped up in such a tiny little *Ding!*. I was thinking about this as we drove across town today. Several families we know are expanding--my sister is weeks from giving birth and one of Joal's friends left yesterday to pick up his new daughter in China. Not to mention that it's almost Christmas--babies are popping up everywhere. Talk about hope wrapped up in a tiny little package--babies bring us so much hopefulness...so much reassurance that there is much to be hopeful for and grateful in.
In this Christmas season, I am hopeful because I remember that the hope of all humanity arrived in a very small package, in a very small town, in a perfectly, normal, small, almost unnoticed way--the child who was God and man, the child who was, in the moment of His humble birth, the Savior of the world. The child who was the ultimate giver of Hope for all mankind.
No Ding! required.