Tuesday, December 22, 2009

so this is Christ-mas

my mother has the gift of hospitality and it shows.

i think i have it too. she has taught me a lot and i try to be like her. it pleases both of us to open our homes, to bake for others, to cook for others, to serve others. we find great joy in allowing people to relax and enjoy themselves. so it's not hard to see that this time of year we kind of blossom.
we bake. we meal plan. we have people over. we share.

but that is not Christmas.

Christmas is not the perfect gift. it's not the cookies or the trees. Christmas is not opening stockings or slicing the turkey. Christmas is not even about giving or family.

Christmas is the day Jesus was born.

God Incarnate left His throne and became a man, just like us.
and this is the day which was set aside in remembrance of that incident, that birth.
but we've lost sight of that.
this entire season has become engrossed in marketing and consumerism, and it's getting pretty ugly out there.

maybe you've heard about advent conspiracy
and what they're trying to accomplish. or maybe you go to a church that has become involved. and i think it's a worthy cause myself.
but as i said before, i don't even think Christmas is about giving.

it's just about Christ.

i came across this video today and it resounded within me. let's pick up our bibles and get back to the basics. read john or luke with new eyes and ears. don't be bothered with chapter and verse. think of luke trying to share everything he remembers about the time he spent with Jesus.
think of him just bubbling over trying to spill it all. the joy of realizing who Christ was. the awe of His coming. the conditions surrounding His birth. the humility of being scorned as His follower. the despair of His death. and the joy everlasting when you find
He rose again!

please take the time to watch this and consider how we might change how we celebrate this season starting in our own homes.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

the proverbial small stuff

these days my life seems pretty small. not throwing a pity party here, just being straightforward. i live in the mountains far removed from everyone but my sweet family. i often stay on our property (or even indoors) all day long.

i get up, exercise, shower, eat, dance with judah, read a book, watch her watch "planet earth", bake, check facebook to see how the rest of the world lives, do some laundry, etc.

so it's not all that surprising that the little things can make my day. for a good example, today judah read "what's up, duck: a book of opposites" (a momentary favorite) to four wise men from her nativity set.
she finished reading, but left it there for them to ponder while she went off on another adventure.

also, today judah's adorable new sheets arrived for her big girl bed. and since the temperatures were up today (and we couldn't bake since the electricity went out) we had a chance to paint her bed.

as i said, the small stuff is making my days. like tonight when i went to weight watchers and found that i have reached my pre-pregnancy weight! whoo-hoo. that's pretty exciting for me.

sometimes the thing that makes my day is a picture. like, for instance, these:

i also had a particularly exciting evening when i was able to get judah's hair to do this:to me, the small things are filling up the days, and they're amounting to some pretty good days.

counting it all joy,
angela and judah (stink-a-pudah)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

seen at the manger

today while helping my mother set out her plethora of Christmas decor, i was confronted with the age-old question:
"who was present at the birth of Jesus?"
this was quickly followed by a pondering of the time frame for the arrival of the magi and just how many were there anyway. three gifts are mentioned, but surely that doesn't mean only three wise men followed the star. this has been debated for centuries. two, to be exact. but i think i may have come across some valuable information from one of our haïtian nativity sets.

due to a noticeable lack of a staff or a crown, it is hard to distinguish among the players in this scene. let's see who we might find, shall we?

the fellow in the middle seems to be clutching some sort of flower. it's hard to say if this is part of his beautifully stitched robe or whether it might be a gift for our Lord. to his left i see there is certainly a gift-bearer . . . gold, perhaps?

according to the haïtian artist who made these figures, it would appear that at least one hunchback was also present in bethlehem that evening.

not only that, but there were also either some very close couples or two sets of conjoined twins welcoming the Lord to earth.

this guy is pretty much my favorite of the bunch. affectionately termed "stabby mcgee", i have been trying to determine just what kind of weapon he is carrying. fairly sure it's an early machete (aka: shank).

oh, it keeps going.
here are the "beasts of the field" if you will. although i'm becoming more convinced each day that emily was right in guessing the grey one to be the loch ness monster which would mean they are not all "of the field."

lastly, i use this woman as mary since she looks the most bedraggled of the group. i think it's foolish of us to think that after all that time on a donkey (cross country) and then after giving birth that mary would look any better than this:

thoughts? any questionable characters on your mantle?