This years lesson on Christmas...
Stop trying so hard to create, and instead, joyfully soak up whatever He brings.
I couldn't have planned a day like today.
The snow has been falling like mad and the farm is covered in pure white.
This morning, there were sleds behind four-wheelers, and speed and snow flying everywhere. And when the treasures flew off into thick blankets of white and the snow soaked through and fingers and toes froze; then there was a nice warm fire and a friends' homemade chile.
After we got warm, we piled into the burb and spent the afternoon at an old folks home in town, singing carols and watching all their faces light up. That simplicity of childhood, how it brings an older generation to happy tears, how it reminds me that when we love others, we're really loving Him.
Nyah, a courageous nine-year-old that I love, has been practicing the piano for weeks now. She leads us all in singing carols, leads us all into servanthood.
I watch a particular woman in the wheelchair parked closest to piano. When the caroling is done and we walk about, and we greet, and we offer each a 'Merry Christmas', this woman, she reaches out her frail arm and she makes sounds, but no words come out. My little Reesie, she asks, "What in the world is she talkin about Mama?" (She's three and she's as real as they come and she doesn't yet know how to protect her words) So I gently lead her. I tell her that sometimes when we grow old we lose our words. But I assure my little girl that this women can understand everything that is being said to her. And I tell my girl that we can show this woman God's love simply by holding her hand. My Reesie, she reaches out and takes the woman's hand and the old woman in the wheel chair, she lights up... I mean literally, her whole face turns into one gigantic smile and she pulls my Reesie's hand close and gently kisses it's top.
And that's just it.
We can't create the moments when we can tangibly feel Love Come Down.
It's only the works of His very hand that enable us to really know. Christmas comes when a child and a wisdom woman hold hands and exchange love at an old folks home in the middle of town on the Friday afternoon before Christmas.
And when we get home, we have pizza and do our Jesse Advent Tree... together.
We're all gathered close in the living room watching this for like the hundredth time, and a friend suggests it and we just go for it... Our own reenactment of Christ come down. The kids pick their parts and scatter all over the house to find costumes.
And the Papa He reads it straight out of the Word...
But the kids do their own version and here's how it goes...
An angel (in pink) appears to Mary and tells her,
"You have BABY in your tummy!!"
Mary is so very happy.
She tells Joseph and Joseph is sad.
Joseph goes to sleep.
The angel appears to Joseph and tells him,
"It's all good."
The angel and Joseph laugh.
Mary and Joseph ride a donkey to Bethlehem. (Or around the living room.:)
Baby Jesus is born and is wrapped in a bright red Christmas onesie.
A star appears to some shepherds and three kings.
The three Kings come to see Jesus and...
They bring him gifts of dry-erase markers.
Everybody Loves Jesus, even the star.
Christmas is near.
And it's so freeing to know that we'll never be able to create something greater than what only He Himself can give.
Make plans... but lay those inevitable expectations down.
Slow down... and open our eyes that we might be able to see His best for us in this season.
Soak up... all that He has already given, the unsurpassable gift of His one and only son.
Pour out... Joyfully jump into whatever He brings.
Today was... great.
Thanks to Him. :)