It's beginning to look alot like...

Sorry for the lapse in posting...the holiday season is here and as a mom and a pastor's wife it truly seems that the to-do list is never-ending! But I am really excited about Christmas this year! I've had our tree up for about a week now, which is the earliest I've ever put it up. The halls are finally decked and I have been in the Christmas-crafty mood for the last week too! Now, I must say that I am not a crafty person. I am the girl who wanders around in Michael's saying, "What do they use this stuff for, anyway?!" But so far I made a new wreath for the back door, cinnamon-applesauce ornaments with Nathan and a ton of bows for the church and our house. Could I possibly have picked up some kind of crafting virus last time I went in Michael's?

I think one reason I am so full of the Christmas spirit this year is that I have little two-year-old eyes to see the holiday anew with. Having my daughter around is definitely making this Christmas more fun than any other I've had so far! I stayed up until 1 a.m. decorating the tree, just so I could see her face when she came down the stairs in the morning and saw it for the first time. And I must add, it was so totally worth it!!

Also, this is the second year that we have celebrated Advent as a family. Growing up in a Pentecostal background, I had never heard of the Advent season until a couple of years ago. Chris and I felt that celebrating the anticipation of the coming Christ child, which is the focus of Advent, would be a great balance to the secular anticipation that has swallowed the holiday season. So we have an Advent wreath and candles, and each night we light the candles and have a small devotion, sing a Christmas carol, and pray together as a family. It has birthed in me a new, giddy awareness of my soul's longing for Christ and a childlike anticipation of the joy in realizing that He has come for us all! As I decorate the tree or tie bows, I feel as if my soul is singing out John's words with renewed wonder, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us."

You see, it is so easy to celebrate and worship the miracle of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross or His triumphant resurrection, but if we are to understand the fullness of those miracles we must also fully realize the miracle of His birth. All the world was looking for a warrior to come to the rescue of the Jews, and eventually us all! But eternal, omnipotent God himself stepped through the portal of unending time and space and squeezed into the tiny, squirming form of a baby boy. He gave up his limitless authority over all of the heavens and the earth to take on helpless flesh in order to become salvation to us all. The knowledge of it transfixes me, as it must have those cold, lonely shepherds two thousand years ago, when the hosts of heaven appeared singing "Glory to God in the highest!"

So I hang lights and bake cookies and twist bows, all the while humming beautiful songs of a baby in a stable while joy steals over my very existence! Merry Christmas!



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