This picture is pretty symbolic of my December this year.
Who doesn't love baby Jesus swaddled in a trash bag with sharpie on his head (we're having a sharpie epidemic at our house)?
I brought real hay to nursery (a big, fun mess). Each kid had a chance to "sleep on the hay". We used Little People to act out "No room in the Inn," my heart smiled as the little ones happily announced, "Mary can come to MY house" or "We have a crib! Jesus can have a crib at my house!" Sweet children.
Again, I reflected on the fact that I would 100% prefer to have a baby in a stable than a busy Inn. (I mean, I would prefer that IF I didn't need 200 units of blood transfused during my deliveries.)
I do love this time of year.
Our cows are fuzzy and sweet. The sound of cattle lowing is one of my favorites. Cows only moo when they are waiting to be fed or something is wrong. They call Drew to them on cold winter nights when he waits a little too long to go finish his evening chores. It's adorable. I wonder if there really were oxen or cows nearby as Jesus was born? I wonder if they felt the anticipation and welcomed the sweet baby with their gentle moo?
I have asked my children to pray for me this year. I'm tired. They are praying (so sincerely) that I will get the Christmas Spirit. I was hoping that the Christmas Spirit would zap me into the high-performing, super fun and creative mother I used to be. Instead, my eyes are misty as I feel the reality of the story.
Yes! My soul cries out! Yes, the hustle and bustle of the holidays would leave no room for the King of Kings. The shepherds would notice while the Inn Keepers would be too busy.
I want to be a Shepherd.
I want my home to feel like a humble stable, not a bustling Inn.
The Christmas Spirit is not propelling me forward, it is grounding me.
I know He lives.
I know Him.
I know that He isn't money and extravagance, greed, wealth, or busyness.
He is love.
His home welcomed visitors but was never a palace.
Today-- I'm feeling it.
There is magic in teaching this story to children again, for the first time.
I don't believe this is a fable.
I don't believe Jesus was just a good man, a wise teacher, or even a prophet.
I believe He is who He said He was.
I believe He is the son of God.
He lived, He taught, He died, and He rose again.
I believe our lives have purpose and direction.
Life isn't about collecting things, life is about giving and becoming.
We sang together around our hodge podge Christmas tree the other night. Jakob, Todd, and Ellie sing beautiful harmony. Drew and Anna can play the Christmas songs on the piano if they work together. Leah and Lily read well this year, so their sweet singing voices touch my soul. Baskets of folded laundry and ornaments thrown around the room (Ben happily plucks and throws all the "balls" of the tree) surround me with realness.
Yes, these moments are holy- Stable holy, not Temple holy.
And, I feel it.
That Christmas spirit is coming.