Thursday, December 22, 2011

a short post with an awkward photo at the end.

All of my shopping is officially done. I rampaged through about fifteen stores at the mall today, amidst the mile-long line for Santa and the frazzled moms and the shirtless Abercrombie models (sheesh). 

Buying lots of stuff for people is one of my favorite things to do. :) It's an addiction inherited from my Christmas-junkie mother. 

Like I said, I love Christmas. At the beginning of the season, sometimes I'm like "oh boy. I don't know if I'm ready for all the business/stress/craziness" but then I get neck-deep in everything and I'm like "THESE ARE THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE."

Crazy-beautiful stars tonight, sprinkles whenever I want them, and hot chocolate always & forever.

Life is very, very good.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

here's something you should know that is for sure.

I'm sitting here painting my nails bright red with sparkles on top and listening to loud music with my strawberry cupcake earbuds. Christmas is roaringly alive around here.

We slogged around in the mud and got our Christmas tree, a long and glorious tradition, painfully brother-less this year. Benjamin and Rebekah got home from Mexico (I fell apart at the airport... I don't cry at goodbyes--I cry at coming-homes. that's Airport Scene Number Two) and are tanned and gorgeous and fun-to-be-around newlyweds. 

Christmas has a way of kind of jumbling up things and making you rethink things and/or be extra emotional. And this is an especially jumbly year.

the refugee.

But sometimes the weirdest, different-est things turn tough into good. 

When stuff changes, it makes some stuff more important, and makes the less important stuff fade into the background. Sometimes, this is really hard, and sometimes, it is really beautiful. Usually, it's both.

I definitely fight change tooth&nail sometimes (and I have the nails to fight it, trust me), but I'm learning more and more to accept everything that comes as something that God has given me to help me grow.

I think that every year, I start to fathom an element of Christmas a little more.


an arrival or coming, especially one which is awaited

This year, it's advent. I love reading through the Old Testament and seeing all the confident hope that they had for the coming of the Redeemer. They were waiting, waiting, waiting. But not waiting by sitting around and whining and getting depressed because things weren't happening as fast as they wanted them to. 

They were waiting like warriors. They were glorifying God by loving and serving Him. They knew their Savior was coming, and they were confident.

And they weren't waiting for a sweet baby king who would kick out the mean people and give them a day off to buy presents for each other.

They trusted God's promise that He would send His only Son, who would kill death. That makes me giddy. Jesus' saving work not only enables us to serve Him instead of continuing in our sin, it also
frees us from the fear of death.

We serve a beautiful, risen Savior, who destroyed death itself so that we could live. And simply because Jesus loves us. It's easy to think that we earned Christmas somehow.

But really, all we did was make a total mess out of everything and then sat around neck-deep in blood and tears, until He came and snatched us out and said "because I chose you, I have sacrificed everything to give you everything."

He came to die. He came to give us life. He came to save us from something worse than we can ever imagine,  by sacrificing more than we could ever imagine.

And that is why Christmas is more amazing than we can ever, ever understand.

downtown with the last-remaining "brother"

my sister Bethany

traditional creeper picture. :)

It's been a beautiful week and a beautiful month and really, it's a beautiful life. I love Christmas.

"We get so caught up in all of it
Business and relationships
Hundred mile an hour lives
And it's this time of year
And everybody's here
It seems the last thing on your mind

Is that the day holds something special
Something holy, not superficial
So here's to Jesus Christ who saved our lives
It's something we all try to ignore
And put a wreath up on your door
But here's something you should know that is for sure
Christmas must be something
Christmas must be something
Christmas must be something more"

-Taylor Swift