Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Getting Ready for the Miracle

Several years ago I had the privilege of co-directing a church musical called Getting Ready for the Miracle. It is about a girl named Mary who was born on Christmas Day. She doesn't appreciate Christmas shadowing her birthday resulting in a lack of presents. In the end Mary realizes the true meaning of Christmas is not about getting lots of gifts, but about receiving Jesus, God's gift to us.

Is it really so simple? Could we actually put aside the commercialized view of the holiday and just celebrate Jesus? And what does celebrating Jesus look like?
Is it getting together with family and friends, laughing, feasting, and making memories? What about caroling, gift exchanges and traditions passed down from the generations? Those are wonderful things (traditions make my heart sing) but I'm feeling more and more like we are missing the point.
When I hear how many millions of dollars are spent at departments stores each Christmas while there are children starving and dying from preventable diseases and so many others in need, I am grieved. How must Jesus feel?  We are honoring HIS birthday. Shouldn't we spend our time and money on things He desires?

How am I spending my time getting ready for the miracle of Christmas? Am I spending my days lost in the hustle and bustle of shopping and preparing for my parties? Shouldn't I spend more time preparing my heart for Him?
As I rocked my littlest to sleep today, I got emotional (my new middle name) thinking about how Mary must have felt that very first Christmas Day holding her precious Babe. What did she do to prepare for His coming? How did she feel giving birth in a lowly stable? Did she realize the beloved Baby she was holding would be a sacrifice for all people...including her?

As you go about this magical season anticipating the excitement of Christmas morn, be sure to remember the reason we celebrate. Rejoice in knowing that God gave us His only Son, born as a baby, so that we may have eternal life! Never has there been such a gift of love so amazing!

Merry Christmas, my friends! May God bless you with love, fill your hearts with joy and give you true peace!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

November in a Nutshell

November came in like a lamb and went out like a lion, a big, growly lion. We were spoiled with temps warmer than I ever remember for this time of year. I'm not sure where the month went. One day it is 11-11-11 (I love days that have quirky numbers!) and the next day it's December. The month snuck (sneaked??  Is it sneaked or snuck?!) by without regard for my desire to leisurely enjoy the holiday season. I'm digging my heels in and holding tight onto the tail of December to try to slow it down a bit.
 I love the look of snow! It tells of cleanness and purity. It hides the depressing dead of late autumn.
However,  I'm not a fan of snow covered ice. We had our first ice/snow storm of the year. We were fortunate to keep our electricity. Some of our neighbors weren't as lucky and were without for 36+ hours. This day also happened to be a memorable one for my sixteen year old.
He scored the coveted ticket of freedom. Well, semi-freedom. He took his driving test while the ice started to fall from the sky. What a brave instructor. I think I would have been cancelling if I were her.  This is what our road looked like when we got home.
Not ideal for a newly licensed driver. Or a seasoned driver.

Faith loves to climb on furniture and see what's going on out the window. She was in awe of the snow.
Baby girl likes to do her own hair too. I appreciate the headbands more than her brother's underwear for hair accessories. She'll dig through clothes baskets to find underwear to put on her head. Should I be concerned?
We celebrated Court's birthday mid-month. Okay, we didn't really celebrate, but we did sing to him (I think) and he got cake.
He's loved. Speaking of love, we also celebrated our 17th anniversary in November. Seventeen years?? I don't know how that is possible when it was just last year that I was 17. Wasn't it?
picture taken by Apryl Deeter
Another highlight of the month was getting to go out with my long time (as in since 4th grade) best friend Sheila. Since she lives in Colorado, we only get to see each other once a year when she comes "home" for a visit. I'm so happy that her husband landed an awesome job 2 hours away and they are moving next summer! How appropriate that our date was going to see a musical!

I had such a good time. And I am all the more wiser now since she taught me how an expert orders at a coffee shop!

For one reason or another it has taken over a week to finish this silly little post, from internet problems to busyness to forgetfulness.

So long, noviembre! (Isn't it bizarre that months aren't capitalized in Spanish??) Your holiday is one of my very favorites. Although this year it seemed to come and go without big fanfare, my heart is overflowing with thankfulness. 

I'm looking forward to all December has to offer. And of course celebrating the true meaning of the season. 

It's easier to spread Christmas cheer when you are dressed the part. 

Bring on the jingle bells!