Dec 28, 2010

Merry Christmas

This is what Christmas looked like in our house this year. Cozy, huh? I took a lot of "sparkly" pictures. Sorry. I was obsessed with the lights, and the ambiance, what can I say. Not even the cat can escape me and my camera. :) She looks pretty annoyed by it, huh?

Christmas came and went like a flash of lightening! I can't even believe it has been here already, let alone already passed. This year has flown by! We had a wonderful Christmas, the girls got everything they wanted and then some, how's that for lucky? It was a great day.

Here is Chrismas before the girls came downstairs:

And here is christmas after:
(please excuse the horrible picture quality, it was still dark out and the lighting in our house STINKS!)

Hope your Christmas was as wonderful as ours was!

Dec 21, 2010

Away in a Manger

Have you ever really thought about Jesus's birth? What really happened that night? I mean really thought about it?

In answer to my own question I'd like to say "Yes, duh! Of course I have!" butttt if we're being completely honest here, I guess my answer would be, sadly enough, not really. {cringes}
I know...sad, right?
Please don't judge.

Oh I've heard it, a million times, I know the story. I could probably tell it to you by heart (please don't test me on this! haha) But I never truly let it sink in. I believe it with all my heart. I love Jesus even more. But it's always just been a story to me. The beginning of the history of everything I believe, albeit a very important story, but nonetheless...just a story that I could never relate to. Honestly though, I never tried very hard to relate to the 'characters' before. To really think about who they were, what they were experiencing, or how they might have felt that night. Until now.

There's a video circulating around facebook called A Social Network Christmas. You should watch it. You can also youtube it. Just something about that video touches my heart. And I won't lie, I shed a tear. Cheesy as it may be, I think that video is powerful! It reaches people on a different level. It makes you (or maybe just me?) really feel the story in a different way.

They weren't just characters in a book, they were real people like you and me.
Just think about it for a minute.
Mary, a teenage girl engaged to be married to her love.
A virgin.
I imagine she had her whole future planned out, after all don't we all?
But God being, well, God likes to remind us that it's not our plan, it's HIS plan.
So an angel comes to her and tells her she is with child, with GOD'S child.
I try to imagine what on earth she must have said and felt in that moment.
What the dialogue between her and God must have been.
"Me? Lord why ME? Who am I that you have chosen me...This is not what I had planned, what will people say? What will I do?"
Just put yourself in her shoes for a minute.
Imagine her confusion. Imagine her fear. Imagine having to tell everyone. To tell Joseph she was pregnant but it wasn't his child. The disbelief. The ridicule. The heartbreak she must have felt. But the strength and faith in God she had to possess to have been chosen by Him...
What an honor!
What an amazing woman!

Joseph, a lowly carpenter, engaged to be married to the love of his life.
High on life, high on love, aint' nothing gonna burst his bubble.
But then Mary comes with the news that will shake him to the core and forever change who he is.
He's going to be a father, but it's not his biological son, it's God's son.
What did he say? What did he think? What must he have felt?
Betrayl, anger, confusion..
Surely he thought he was being punked, right?
How's this even possible!?
Visited by an angel, told that it's in fact realer than real and again left to wonder "Why me God, why me?"
What a man he must have been to love a woman so much, to love God so much..
Being a teenager is hard enough as it is, add to it this magnitude of responsibility. Wow.

Fast forward 9 months.
What's the last thing anyone wants to do? PAY TAXES! But it's gotta be done, even back then. So off they go, as if this is something they really need to be worrying about now, of all times.
I'm a mother so duh, I've been pregnant a couple times. It isn't easy!
I imagine Mary, stressed about taxes, scared to death and about to give birth, traveling hundreds of miles by donkey, giving birth on the dirty ground amongst animals with only your husbands hand to hold.
How scared must they have been?
But how much they trusted God.
And holding your baby for the first time, it's pure exhilaration. Looking down at the face of a little miracle that you brought into this world. Experiencing such overwhelming and intoxicating love, a love like you've never known.
But Mary's son was no ordinary baby.
What was it like looking into the eyes of the Son of God. Touching his baby toes, kissing his baby cheeks, breathing in his beautiful baby smell?
What must she have felt in that moment.
Was the weight of the world on her shoulders, literally?
Holding that precious miracle in her arms, knowing he was the Son of God.
Did the crashing reality of who He was and who He was to be make her cry at night when no one else was watching?
I imagine she might have, but then again, I'm imagining she was just like you or me.
But she couldn't have been, she wasn't though, was she? She was chosen by God, she must have been braver than brave and stronger than strong. She must have possessed qualities that I can only dream of possessing.

But that's only the beginning of the story...
There's so much more than that.
So this Christmas I am going to try to focus more on Him and less on what Christmas has tried to become, because He is what it's all about!

Merry Christmas, xoxo