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


  1. all of your photos are so beautiful!♥

  2. Lovely photos.

    It is so interesting to get a feel of what Christmas is like on the opposite side of the world.

  3. This was an awesome post. I love all the pictures and it is always neat to see how other people put into words the meaning of Christmas.
    oh, and I like the song at the bottom. :)

  4. the first photo is gorgeous. loved this post. :))
    -jocee <3

  5. Amen girl! Love the way you you presented the gospel. Fantastic post :)

    Your photos are spectacular! Keep up the amazing work! :D


  6. That picture of the doughnut? Just mean. Mean! All the other ones were gorgeous :)

  7. Beautiful Photos! This is an amazing post, and I love that Taylor Swift song. :)

  8. All of your photos are breathtaking!! I loved them so much that I scrolled through them a couple of times!! :)

  9. This is a beautiful post!! Thanks for sharing! I really love your pictures and your words!

  10. love love the black and white downtown Portland pic. You should get Anna to paint it. :) Or, you could sell it as a print.

  11. ha, those downtown pictures with Sam make me laugh. ya'll always look like you have a blast when you're together!

  12. Okay, so those last three pictures. Swoon. And I loved this post, it was so refreshing to read! :)

  13. Wow, amazing picture's! And I absolutely love that song.

  14. That was my dance song last year. HUGE taylor fan. Love meaning of song. Beautiful photos.

  15. What a great post! You have such a way of pairing your words with the pictures so beautifully! I love your heart for the Lord and for beauty. Following you now:)

    I would love for you to enter the giveaway I'm having on my blog...

  16. I've totally been listening to that song on repeat all day :)
    lovely pictures, as usual! :)

  17. Such marvelously clear photos...

  18. Such marvelously clear photos...

  19. Thank you for this post! It's made me cherish this time of Advent :)


  20. 1. This is cool, because our church is doing a whole series on Advent, and what it's really about!

    2. "Who would kill death." What a perfect line. <3

    3. I adore the traditional creeper picture! :D

    4. Thanks. <3

  21. I love you photos!!


  22. Looks like you are having a fantastic Christmas season! Love all the pictures...especially the "traditional creeper". Ha!

  23. Do you remember your Tangled post when you said that you were searching for tiny unicorns?

    Well, I just found them and I had to share:

  24. Your photography is stunning.
    Let's start there.
    Also, Christmas is my favorite time of year, so this post gets a rousing cheer all around!!
    Thank the Lord He sent His son! What a miracle that tiny baby in a manger was, and still is!

  25. lovely pictures!
    loved your blog - i'm your newest follower :P

    hope you come visit me too sometime. i'd be honored!

    it must be (so)... liberating

  26. Great post! :)
    Also, I love the pictures!

  27. These are amazing pictures! I love your blog sososo much!:)

  28. I loooooove this post! Written with love and the most beautiful photos! And I love that T-swift song! It's so wonderful.

  29. I love the pictures :)

  30. Lovely pics - as usual! It looks like you are having a fun Christmas! It is my most favorite time of year, too - gotta' love all those twinkle lights.

    Those song lyrics are really sweet - Taylor did an awesome job writing that Christmas song. It even has a poignant message...

    Merry Christmas!

  31. lovely pictures! I hope you had a merry Christmas too! Come join me and my sister for our blog party of twelve days of Christmas movies


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