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Monday, December 20, 2010

All this fuss about a baby?

     For unto us a Child is born,

      Unto us a Son is given;
      And the government will be upon His shoulder.
      And His name will be called
      Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
      Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  ~Isaiah 9:6

All this fuss over a baby?

It’s the last week before Christmas, and I’m feeling a little antsy. I’m disappointed, because I’m usually better than this.  Long before we became parents, my husband and I committed to celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday, to giving within our means, and to having a peaceful celebration. But admittedly, I’m a teeny bit stressed. 
Last night, we decorated our tree.  Decorating the tree makes me happy.  Our family has collected ornaments, mostly black angels, for nearly 20 years.  Every time we unwrap one, and for the most part they are still in the original boxes, I am transported back to the time that we found it.  Each of our children’s first five Christmases are documented, along with my first pregnancy (a kangaroo with a bottle and rattle), the births of our Godchildren, our first Christmas in the house, our collection of Flakeling Tales, and the brass sun catchers my parents gave us our very first Christmas.  In the years since our children have begun taking over the tree, I’m even less nuts about how things get handled and whether they break.  Something broke last night, one of my favorites.  I was so clear that God was in control when I told my son “things break.  Christmas is about joy.” Not only did saying it calm me down, but I was able to repair the break, and I hung it on the tree. I really don’t want to buy into the craziness. Maybe it is not unavoidable. 
My favorite Christmas lyrics are by Amy Grant and Chris Eaton, “Breath of Heaven.” It is young Mary’s lullaby, and she is so clearly terrified by what has befallen her.  Just listening to it now settles me down; whatever I’ve got going is trumped by her plight.  When placed in this context, I’m much better.  All I want for the Christmas season is peace; in my home, among those I love, and that a peaceful spirit might abide in me and touch those whom I encounter throughout the season. 

Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song) 
by Amy Grant and Chris Eaton

I have traveled
Many moonless night
Cold and Weary
With a babe inside
And I wonder
What I've done
Holy Father
You have come
Chosen me now
To carry your son

I am waiting
in a silent prayer
I am frightened
by the load i bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of Heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of Heaven

Breath of Heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me, your holiness
For your holy Breath of Heaven

Do you wonder
As you watch my face
If a wiser one, should of had my place
But I offer-all I am
For the mercy-of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me

I’ve already run, and that makes me feel good.  I’m going to tackle some laundry and house cleaning, and then go find some joy.  Christmas is about the baby.  It is about birthing new things, celebrating friendships and simple joys. I am pledging right here and now to breathe, relax, to seek out and share joy.  Merry Christmas, and may God’s peace be with you.

Lord, I am apologizing in advance if I don’t get it right; it’s not in the intent but in the execution.  I thank You for the baby, and for newness.  Every day brings new mercies.  Every day offers new opportunity; my life abounds with them.

Further evidence that God is good.

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