merry CHRISTmas. It is So Much Bigger Than That.

We counted down the days until Christmas and I realize that it so so much bigger than that. Since the fall of man, believers hoped and counted down to the birth of the Messiah.

I have held a newborn to my cheek. It is not something easily forgotten. A parent cherishes the first moment of laying their eyes on their precious child and the touch of their skin is believing in miracles. And I know that Mary and Joseph were favored and blessed among humans because Mary carried God in her womb and she looked upon his face and she cared for his infant body.

Today is Christmas, but it is so much more than that. I LOVE the magic of first stepping into the living room, carols playing, a fire burning, stockings overflowing. Breakfast will be set out and will be much too much for the three of us to eat: quiche, donuts, fruit, sausage balls, cinnamon rolls, orange juice, and coffee. Presents will finally be opened. I can not wait to play with Madison’s new gifts with her! We will feast for lunch and then open more presents. Then we will gather with family and smile and hug, feast some more, and gather on the best day of the year. But this celebration is all a remembrance. This birthday is of my God. Immanuel. God is with us.

I was lost, and sick, blind, poor, and had no hope. But now I am found, and perfect, and rich, and a child of God. Christmas is everything!

Merry CHRISTmas!


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Christmas Haiku

In the manger lay,
The King of Kings, Lord of Lords,

I wish I could have been there for that first birthday!  What a celebration!  The invitation was announced by angels.  Please Please tell me that is not awesome!  I love to plan and throw a big party, it doesn’t get any better than that!  His birth was announced by angels!

Baby Jesus was born of a virgin.  The only one.  Ever.  That has never happened before….I don’t think will ever happen again.  A virgin.  “I am God.  I can break the rules of Science.  Miracle here and now.  Happening.”

There was no room for them in the inn.  Wow!  I like to think of famous people before they were famous and some of the ways that they were treated.  If you were that guy that turned away Johnny Cash.  Ouch!  Just think of him roaming the streets needing a job.  He was Johnny Cash!  Abraham Lincoln.  Defeated for state legislature and house speaker and US Congress AND US Senate.  Really?!  Who didn’t vote for Lincoln?!  So, imagine being the owner of the inn.  You just turned away the God of the universe!  “Sorry, no room for God here.”  Ohh ouch to be that guy!

Do you think they worried?  Mary and Joseph?  I am a mom, I would have.  It would have been ugly.  Caroline breakdown:  I am pregnant.  I am tired.  I need a clean place to have this baby.  This is not what I planned!  BUT!  I have never had an angel appear to me and I have never had a virgin pregnancy SO, I think (I hope) it was overridden.  With all the miracles they had seen, getting a place to stay, not really that big of a deal!

A bloodthirsty king set on murdering their baby.  Getting up in the middle of the night and traveling with an infant.  A new couple, just had a baby, fleeing in the night.  It is the craziest stage for the arrival of the most important king of all time!

Yes!  That is my God!  It is the best story!  Christmas is the biggest celebration!  The God that made this whole entire world being born of (most likely according to history) a teenager and laid where the animals would eat.  That is the story that will never get old!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!

Expecting Faith

The smell of the donkey rose to my nostrils the entire day so that I did not pay it attention anymore.  His prickly, thick, coarse hair rubbed my legs, even through my long robe.  The road was bumpy, we had traveled the entire day.  My lower back ached from pregnancy.  Pregnancy.  I was pregnant.  No doubt about that!  Every bump seemed that it would bring the new babe into this world.  I looked up and smiled at my companion.  Walking slowly and patiently beside me, never complaining, leading the donkey, and carrying another bag of supplies in his other hand.  Such faith.  He had so much faith to just believe the things that I told him.  My heart was overflowing with thankfulness for the man that walked by my side.  Placing my hand under my large belly and gently rubbing, I was lost in thought.  It was worship.  Worship for the God that grew in my belly.

Blameless Whore

For the first time, she raised her eyes to look at him.  She only saw his back leaving.  She didn’t even know his name.  But she had seen him before, in the market, with his wife and young children.  Alone, raising herself, and redressing.

No emotion?  I don’t know.  She could not place the feeling.  She had sold her body for years and years now.  She gave it no thought.  Not thinking less of the men that came to her, she advertised and she sought after them.  But each time she thought less of herself.  She thought she had justified the lifestyle.  But the emotionless love she gave away just felt wrong.  She was a nothing, hate was all she had for herself.  Worthless.

Squeezing her cheeks to add color, and straightening her long hair with her fingers, going through the motions, making the merchandise more appealing, her next client would soon be here.  She adjusted the top of her dress, to show her shoulder.  The door began to squeak and open.  She dropped her eyes, careful to never look in their face.  He entered.

Lifeless doll.  Loveless love.  And then hell erupted.  Men bombarded the room.  Men of the church, holy men.  They seized her by the arm, “Filthy whore.”  Her client ran out the door and away.  No attention was paid to him.

“No!  I beg you!  I will do anything!  Please, have mercy on me!”  She begged, knowing that the penalty for her many sins was death.  The man dragging her by the arm turned and spit in her face.

They dragged her into the streets, passed a crowd of people, and dropped her at the feet of a man that must have authority over her life.  She bowed at his feet, respectfully covering her head to show that she was repentant.  She heard the men exchanging words, but in her terror, she did not understand what they were saying.

Then the man of authority, bent beside her and began to write in the sand.  It was the names of her friends, other prostitutes that she knew.  She did not understand what was happening.

“Let the one with no sin cast the first stone.” This was the first thing the man of authority said as he eyed her accusers.  One at a time, they turned away and left.

Did she dare to turn her eyes and glance at the man of authority?  She remained on her hands and knees with her face to the ground.

Then she felt a hand on her back, he brushed her hair away from her eyes and lifted her chin.  He smiled at her, “Mary Magdalene, Your sins have been forgiven.”

And for the very first time in her life, she felt something she had never felt before, loved.