Disconnected. Disheartened. Dicombobulated. Those words could describe how I have felt this Christmas. Trying to condense our stuff so that it is out of the way of the projects, then trying to find it has been stressful. Our remodeling project has also resulted in our living room furniture being stacked and tarped. My room where we had set up the Christmas tree. The room I normally go to each December at the end of the day to unwind and reflect. While people may rock around the Christmas tree, I can tell you that standing around it is not relaxing. So, I have hardly enjoyed the tree this year. My husband gave me an unexpected gift the other day. When we were discussing where to have our early family Christmas, I said that I still wanted to have it around the tree. He managed to find a way to carry the tree downstairs to our family room, decorations and all. (Thankfully we didn’t use very many fragile ornaments this year!) So, now as I am typing these last Christmas words to you, the glow is reflecting in my computer screen, and I feel like Christmas. I am sure I will forget many of the gifts that I unwrap this year, but I won’t forget that one.
Today is also causing me to reflect back on the births of my 4 children. No – I promise I will not go into any detailed birthing stories. Due to some extenuating circumstances, I ended up with4 c-sections and basically helped pick my children’s birth days (already chosen by God). So, talk about getting to pack. Especially after my first one, I knew exactly what I wanted at the hospital with me. My blue blanket. My neck wrap. My own shampoo and conditioner and shower gel. Dr. Pepper. You know – the essentials. Due to this scheduling, our families were able to meet our babies – together. Not there during the birth, but they definitely shared the experience with us.
I started to wonder this year – when Mary was told by the angel that she was going to have a baby, did she recall that a trip to Bethlehem was in her future? Did she remember that was to be the birthplace of her child? I personally feel that they must have gotten the notice fairly late in the pregnancy that they were to trek to Bethlehem or the timing must have been determined, otherwise I think they would have gone right away. Wait to travel when you are very pregnant? No way. She would have wanted to get back to Nazareth. Back to home. Back to mom. Back to her own room. To her favorite blanket.
The Bible only really tells us about Mary’s feelings about this whole ordeal twice. In Luke 1, when she was confused at first with the angel’s announcement. And then in Luke 2 when we are told that she treasured and pondered all of these things in her heart. Always interesting to read the story when you know the end. We know that there is no room in the inn. Did Mary know that end result? At least we can stay in an inn. At least we can stay in an inn. This would have been my traveling mantra. At least we can stay in a … stable? Discombobulated. (Just had to use that word one more time 🙂
As you celebrate Christmas this year, pray that God will give you new eyes to see this story of Christmas in a new way. I know that I am more thankful than usual that the people in Luke 1 and 2 and in Matthew 1 allowed God to interrupt their lives, so that a Savior could be born in an unlikely way, in an unlikely place, to unlikely girl. I am most thankful that Jesus was willing to carry a tree many years ago – the act which resulted in the ultimate sacrifice. The real reason for Christmas.
In addition to reading the above passages, here are twelve additional verses that have to do with the incarnation. I thought about copying and pasting them from an on-line Bible source, but then you wouldn’t have the joy of discovering the verses for yourself. Enjoy celebrating His birthday today and tomorrow!
John 1:1-2, 14
I John 4:14
Have a wonderful Christmas! Love your friends at First Free MOPS!
P.S. I think the blog may be closed for the next few weeks, so that I can catch up from all of the remodeling and other things. I will also not be checking our MOPS e-mail very often either. So, if you need something, please give your FGL or a steering member a call. We look forward to seeing you on January 12th!