Merry Christmas, from us.

merry christmas from usThe knitted stockings have been hanging for a month. The tree twinkles with colorful lights, topped with a star so simple, discretely hiding a few wrapped presents begging to be opened.

home made stockingsdo not open until christmas

The morning has arrived and it is perfect. By many standards, one may snicker at my calling this perfection: the windows drip with condensation, inviting mold to make its home in ours; the tree leans a little to its right, inviting your head to tilt as you gaze upon it; the twinkling lights don't match - there is a literal red strip in the middle as we ran out of the multi-colored; crumbs pile high in the corners of the kitchen, despite my husband's faithful sweeping; and the place our hearts call home is filled with chilled air. But I love it and it is perfect and my heart is warm. I am with my husband, he with me, together we sit cozied up on our love seat, under grandma's quilt. Grandma makes the coziest quilts.

simple star tree topper brown wrapping

As we wipe sleep from our eyes, our hearts are happy, warmed, because: Emmanuel. He is with us. God himself - the Creator of all things, the universe, you and me - He squeezed Himself into the body of a baby. The most helpless and needy form of humanity: a baby. It is our third year as newlyweds, our third year reading the story of Jesus together on December 25th. Though most of America's today is filled with chaos, presents, and more more more...I hope you'll spend a few minutes to read this entire story - the story about Jesus, His birth.

I cannot imagine the awe, the reverence, the fear Mary must have experienced when the angel said these words to her:

"'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What's more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God!'

And Mary responded, 'I am the Lords servant. May everything you have said about me come true.'"

Luke 1:35-38

For nothing is impossible with God. The entire story of His birth recorded in the book of Luke is mysterious, bringing stinging tears to these joyful eyes. This deep feeling heart can only imagine the heavy presence of glory that was revealed that night; and as I imagine, my heart burns with passion and I am forced to raise these hands and this heart in awe and honor and acknowledging that He is greater and He is with me and He is for me. For you, with you, rooting you on. Yes, violence and war still rage on...but in this brokenness we have access to hope, joy, freedom. Emmanuel.

Jesus. I fall madly in love with You as I read the words You spoke, the heart You shared, the way You cared and drew people to your Father. I cannot help but love You more, because of the way You love me. I cannot help but want to be near You, pulled in close to Your chest where I can lay my head to rest, so fully, so deeply, so real-ly. You are with me. You are for me. You inspire me.

We hope that you find His heart for you - we pray that you experience His deep and very real, life changing love. What a powerful day today reminds us of, the birth of our Savior.

Merry Christmas.

family photo, couple kissing under the misteltoe