Merry Christmas dear friends and family!
I cannot believe that this day is already here.
I had such high aspirations and hopes of what the month of December would be for us as we celebrated the birth of our Savior by creating an atmosphere of awe and amazement and anticipation.
Instead, I was overwhelmed and stressed with the list of things that needed to be accomplished before this day came and our daily readings often took a back seat to the "to-do" list.
The wonderful thing is that it only takes a few moments to stir anticipation and excitement into a child. So, I relished those little moments where I could whisper to Emma, "Jesus's birthday is coming!"
One other continuous challenge, especially now that we have many young children, is reinforcing the belief that this day, this time of year, this blessed moment, is about everything except presents. Presents are the last thing on the list, not the first.
It is a challenge to remember to pour into our children the truth that we are awaiting Christ, we are anticipating the majesty of His birth, and all that that means for our world and for us, personally. We are not anticipating the next material gift.
But with children that's a hard goal because almost all they see around them are celebrations of presents, many presents.
Thankfully, (yes, thankfully!) Mike is without work this Christmas season and our budget is limited so our children will only receive 2 gifts each, instead of the normal 3. And yes, I AM thankful for this. I'm thankful for this because even if children are enraptured by receiving gifts, another wonderful thing about children (especially young children) is that they are fully surprised and joyful with EACH gift they receive, no matter what it is! And this creates the perfect atmosphere to be thankful and joyful for every small thing we receive (for me as well) and to draw us back to the truth that we open these gifts in remembrance of our Christ, our Lord, who gives us the ultimate gift of salvation.
I set my sights a little high this year but that's ok. Next Christmas we'll try again with our Jesse tree and celebrating Advent and maybe we'll get a little further in that journey.
But I do so choose to praise God for the little moments He gave us this Christmas.
One such moment was last night as we read from Luke 2 and I watched and listened to Emma as her eyes widened and she gasped as I read,
"Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “ Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Beautiful in the eyes of a child.
Remember that this day is a day where years upon years of waiting and prophecy were fulfilled. The Messiah that so many had been anxiously awaiting was finally here! He had come. He had come in full humility and He was ready to give His life to save ours.
"We are not simply to believe, but to watch; not simply to love, but to watch; not simply to obey, but to watch; to watch for what? For the great event, Christ's coming...
With much love, Emma, Diana, Clara, George, Wyatt, and Mike!