So I got a really sweet gift in the mail this week. An anonymous gift, at that. A bracelet with Wills' birthstone. The note said..."Some friends are thinking of you." It lit me up inside. It's so humbling and heart warming to know people are thinking of our hearts and Wills. And that they want to help make it better by giving me a bracelet along with their love. Means the world to us.
People are awesome. I know this world is ugly but God knew what He was doing when He redeemed us through His Son and formed the body of Christ after Jesus went home...community in Christ is so rich, so beautiful, so meaningful. Just more marvelous fruit to add to the ever growing list of "marvelous happenings".
Did some Christmas wrapping yesterday. Doing it with a less stressed heart this year...not so caught up in the commercialized lies. None of my presents will have perfectly coordinated bows, or even ugly bows for that matter - because I keep forgetting to buy bows. Oops! Farewell to the idea that all needs to appear perfect so I can feel Merry and Bright. I mostly blame Pinterest :)
Read today in Acts that God doesn't NEED anything from us. Human hands can't serve His needs because He doesn't have any! He Himself gives life and breath. He is not far from any of us - and His hope is that we would seek Him (Acts 17:22-31... HEAVILY paraphrasing). And a beautiful thought sweeps over me... Instead of heaping on guilt as Christians at Christmas time (for over spending, for not doing enough for the poor, for having or not having Santa) I want to just take a deep breath, drink some crockpot hot chocolate, open a fun present, give of myself and smile a deep joy knowing I am His and He is mine. And that's the best gift we can receive this year...being TRULY loved by Him. And a great gift we can give Him back is to sit on Christmas Day and just marinate in His love. Sit until you feel it. Soak it up and thank Him for it. Then if He tells you to get your butt up and out of your flannel pajamas to go give a $143 tip to a kid on roller skates serving cars at Sonic having to work Christmas Day, then you'll go do it because of intimacy with Him. Not out of duty or obligation or guilt. Dancing with Him...the highest calling :)
God isn't threatened by Santa. Or the media trying to phase Him out of this holiday or country, for that matter. Or anything stealing His glory. However, He is jealous for YOUR love and YOUR heart. Choose to give Him all of you. Simple as that. The media can say "Happy Holidays" all day long...but guess Whose Word stands forever. And thankfully 2,000 or so years ago, He called this season "Immanuel" and that name it will be forever... Period.
Oh how I've come to love and depend on that name. Found an old prayer journal from earlier this year. The first prayer written in it was from January 1, 2013. I specifically asked God to invade our hearts, thoughts, plans, goals, spirits and home in 2013. Also told Him I wanted to say YES to sacrifice, obedience and believing faith. Wow. And I am here to testify that Who we are celebrating this Christmas is a LISTENER and a PROMISE KEEPER. Everything is on purpose with Him. Not one tear or heartache is unaccounted for... Hallelujah! What a thought!
So let's celebrate "God with us" this Christmas. Because He certainly is with us. In the big family lunches. In the lonely place. In the car. In the meltdowns. In the family drama. In the bowless presents. In the happy tears and ugly cries. In the broken hearts. And for us and many other moms and dads this year, in the empty cribs... Just whisper Immanuel and feel yourself melt into Him...
Ho, Ho, Ho! :)
Cannot even handle the sweetness of this picture! Thank you to Leah Hendrix for these pictures of our family. She wouldn't let us pay her :) again...the body of Christ is amazing. And we are thankful!
The other night Fenley dressed up as "Mary", daddy was "Joseph" and I was "the wise men" and baby Jesus was "in her tummy". Cutest moment yet this Christmas, hands down...
And this is her rock star altar ego :) haha.
Wouldn't be a good blog post without a picture of my WLB...outside the day of his baby dedication with Jeff. Best. Day. Ever.