....I was getting our house ready to put on the market and welcome Hamp and our Boston kids home for Christmas. In looking back over a couple of blogs from then, I felt like I was reading a story about someone else. Very surreal.
(Speaking of blogs, I've wondered again recently whether I should keep one going, if people are reading, etc. But I've realized that it's become my journal to some degree and it even has pictures. So for now, I'll continue it and it's cheaper than therapy.)
One of the pictures I came across shows what I probably miss the most about our house and is one of the scenes imprinted in my memory forever.
Having heard me mention this once or twice, the Prince family gave us a DVD last night that made me smile and helped bring a little of that homey feeling to our apartment.
It must be somewhat realistic because Kit had no trouble napping in front of the "fire" today.
It even came with the option of listening to Christmas music, so we spent a quiet afternoon working on paperwork inside while it was cold and rainy outside. We've decorated the apartment a little bit along with putting up our tree but it was strange to know that none of our kids would be in our home for the holidays.
We only have a little over a week before we leave to drive to GA for Christmas and I'm starting to feel the time crunch now. There is a lot to do with work, wedding planning, Christmas prep, and general living that threatens to raise the stress level to undesired levels. I'm trying to remember what God really brought home to me this past week as I went to see the Chris Tomlin/Louie Giglio Glory In The Highest Christmas tour near DC on Thursday.
On the almost 3 hour drive there (for our friends who still might have to deal with Atlanta traffic on I-75, just know that compared to DC traffic, GA interstates look like Sunday afternoon drives by comparison), I asked God to prepare my heart and give me ears to hear what He had for me. And amazingly enough, I came away with...ears to hear. If you think about it, there's nothing new anyone could say about Christmas. But what Chris and Louie did was make us all stop and really listen - to the words of songs, to the story in Scripture. And you know, it really was a "holy night" and "good news for all people". Think about it - Creator God left heaven and invaded earth to become one of us so we could become His. After 400 years of silence from God, He reconnected with His people in the cry of a newborn baby. It was messy and He came to a world full of hurting and broken people. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
So my prayer is that in the busyness of the week ahead, I'll remember why we celebrate this season. Gifts, food, clothes - they're not the point. The point is people. To quote the heartbeat of Gallery Church in Baltimore, "what if we decide everyone matters"? That's what Christmas is all about.