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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas ~ 2012

Ponder the incarnation in a house full of 10-11 month olds and you end up with a lot of questions about practically mothering a baby in the first century BC (or AD, dependent on what you think about that portion of history).  I think of my babies and then consider Jesus.  It may seem unholy to speak of the Savior, teething, drooling, pulling up, and saying first words, but that is precisely what makes Him so perfectly lovely. He wrapped out injured flesh around Him, breathed our air and walked our sod ~ to borrow from Chris Rice.  I also read this quote on another blog this morning:
That man should be made in God’s image is a wonder,
but that God should be made in man’s image is a greater wonder.
That the Ancient of Days would be born.
That He who thunders in the heavens should cry in the cradle?
Thomas Watson

And what a story of parenting~ considering Mary and Joseph knew with each decision as a mom and dad, they were interacting with a child who in a perfectly, developmentally appropriate way knew everything.  Instead of a child who sinfully just wants to be his or her own boss, they nurtured the Word made flesh Who is the Boss ~ Omniscient and Wholly Wise.  I certainly don't have clear ideas on how this all worked out but my first thought is, what pressure!  I wonder if Mary felt the weight of getting it all right all the time.  Or maybe, she of all mothers, understood grace in a far deeper way.  I do know that when the angel of the Lord appears to her, she is called, favored one ~ one who was met with favor (Luke 1:28,30). Later, she expresses awareness of her lowliness or humility when she begins the Magnificat (vs. 48).  Then she turns to the One who has been so gracious to her.  She so concisely and gloriously proclaims what God has done in her then in past and future generations.  Sounds like she knew grace to me ~ and she found herself to be the object, not the Subject. 

That is where I pray my heart rests as the mystery of the manger is revealed.  While my role in the drama of history is different, I resonate with my own humiliation compared to God's great love for me in Jesus.  Because of Christ incarnate, I am too have found favor with God Almighty. That is something wonderful to celebrate.  I think particularly of Ephesians 1, and the inheritance those who are united, according to His will, receives.  God has pursued me with grace and honored me with blessings.  I can sing with Mary, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." 

This Christmas in this full house, we celebrate so many milestones.  This year is quite different than last. 

Isaac surprised us this past week by greeting us, standing in his crib peering over the rail, after nap time.  He is in that I am up but I can't get down! phase.  He is so strong and just wants to go places.  He can army crawl his way anywhere.  His first tooth broke through just three days ago.  He loves to laugh, play, and be turned upside down.  He is such a boy:)  

Elijah is "in love with Mommy's Secret Recipe Macaroni and Cheese".  He thinks 1st Grade math is for babies and is determined to see how many ways he can write the number 4.  We took him and Andrew to see The Hobbit and it was so funny to hear Elijah cackle and see his facial expressions during the movie.  He feels things very deeply and there is something endearing about that quality in him.  If there was one word I could use to describe Elijah, it is passion. 

Andrew is growing up.  I think I have seen the biggest change in him over the last year.  A while back during our visit to MN, we attended an Andrew Peterson concert.  When it was over, Andrew met me in the foyer with tears in his eyes.  "I asked God to forgive me during that song, mommy.  And I think He did."  He breathed a sigh of relief as he melted in my arms.  Andrew has heard the gospel many times.  He has struggled with questions more mature than his 8 year old brain can contemplate.  There has been no lack of sincere struggle in him, but in this time and space, God broke through.  Micah and I both have seen evidences of faith in him and are humbled at the work God is doing.  And we plan to hold Him to it in Andrew (Phil. 1:6). 

Isabella continues to be the smiliest, most content baby.  She wears her middle name, Joy, well.  She is quite capable of feeding herself finger foods and holding her own bottle.  She has been meticulously practicing getting up on all fours and crawling on her knees.  She may not have speed, but precision is her forte.  Her bright two bottom teeth make her look like such a big girl. 

Eliana is also most content, until she gets a bite of something sweet.  The other evening, I was eating a chocolate ice cream bar and she was really struggling with sore gums.  She also has one little tooth breaking through.  I thought it might be nice to feel cold on her little gums.  It was obvious she had never tasted anything so delicious in her whole life.  She grabbed the bar out of my hand and shoved the whole thing in her mouth!  She is a very sturdy sitter and will crawl when she wants to:)  She and Isabella both have the heart of their big brothers.

As far as Micah and I are concerned, we are tired in all the good ways.  I am thankful to share this life with him.  In the past month, God has shown His love for him in a way we can appreciate.  Our church recently called him to serve as a lay elder.  When Micah left vocational ministry in 2006, I prayed that God would continue to use his gifts to serve His church.  This call is an answer to that prayer.  He continues to serve his customers and employees in south Louisville.  The kiddos and I recently attended a Christmas party for all the mall walkers that visit with him in the mornings.  This same group of people gave the babies a shower earlier in the year and it was good to reconnect with them and hear about their many prayers for us. 

Micah's gift to me this year was a trip to Nashville to see Amy Grant.  We had a 6 hour, round trip drive and evening full of good music.  It was a wonderful gift. 

So that just about wraps it up for us this year. 

From our home to yours!
May you find love, joy, and peace in the person and work of Jesus Christ, our most precious gift, this Christmas.  Rob our sin and make us holy, perfect Son of God (Rice). 

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