Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It's starting to feel alot like Christmas...

Back in early December I bought a gift. I wasn't sure who it would be for, or if I would even give it away, but at least I had started Christmas.

Friday December 8 was the day of our staff Christmas party. We were given the day off to prepare. Prepare for the evening by making/baking/cooking our dishes for the potluck. And prepare ourselves spiritually for the season by meditating on a devotional given to us the day before.

The passage we were to ponder was the Christmas story in the first chapter of Matthew. Like we did at our staff retreat in November, I was to:
1. Quieten myself before the Lord.
2. Read a short passage silently and slowly, attentively listening for the phrase or word that God had for me that day.
3. Meditate on the passage by reading it over and over and allowing it to interact with my thoughts, hopes, memories and desires.
4. Pray the Word and offer any difficult or pain-filled experiences by repeating the healing words God gave me from the passage.
5. Contemplate the time with God in silence and rest in His embrace.

Here are my not-so-earth-shattering thoughts that probably won't mean anything to anyone but me. For some reason, I was fixated on Joseph that rainy Friday afternoon.

God could have chosen any young virgin to be the mother of His son. But He chose Mary. Mary from that time and that place.
He could have caused her to become pregnant even before she was engaged to Joseph.
But He didn't. He waited til Joseph and Mary were betrothed.
Because He wanted Joseph to be His son's father. He wanted Joseph to raise His son. Joseph's character pleased God.
I love how God spoke to Joseph in a dream AND JOSEPH LISTENED. There is something awesome about a man who listens and obeys God's word.
Even though the rest of his family, his village, his world did not understand his actions, he didn't care. God spoke clearly, and even though the whole thing was inconceivable - he obeyed.

God knew what He was doing when He chose Joseph to be His son's earthly dad. Must've scared Joseph sumthin silly, who was he to raise the Messiah?

Aren't we all God's children? Heirs to his throne? Doesn't He love us as much as He loves Jesus?
Then He must've handpicked our dads too. He chose our dads for us for a reason.

And he chose my kids' dad to be their father for a purpose.
Maybe its because of what he can bring to their lives.
But maybe because of what the kids can bring to their dad's life?
Kids have access to a man's heart unlike any other.

Maybe God chose Joseph to be Jesus' dad because of how Jesus would impact Joseph's life?

What impact has my dad had on my life? Why did God chose him for me?
And what impact have I had on his life? Why did God chose me to be his daughter?

That was the end of my journal entry.
About as deep as my thoughts go.
Stuff to mull over, but nothing to put me in the "Christmas Spirit".

We got our tree, as expected.
Decorated it eventually.
Put up lights, and stockings, poinsettias, door swags, and all the other normal-put-you-in-the-Christmas-mood accessories.

But I just wasn't there.
Is it because Christmas has too much baggage attached to it? (First date, first kiss, he left at Christmas, divorce got finalized just before Christmas?) Or am I too old? Are my kids too old? Is it the financial crunch? Was it the big December push at work that was dragging me down? Was it a spiritual thing? Depression?

Whatever the cause, as has been the case for the past 5 years, I seem to pull myself out of it right in the nick of time.
I started my Christmas shopping on Monday, December 18 after work, listening to my fav song over and over again between stops.
I finished my Christmas shopping today, Tuesday December 19 after work. Again, listening to my favorite song continually.
And I'm happy with every gift I've purchased and am looking forward to giving them out. Really.

We sat down as a family to a home cooked stew dinner at 7 pm and Clint shared how his weekly planning meeting at work had gone, "Jeff put it down."
(Pastors putting things down is a good thing...)
"He wants to call his sermon, 'Things that make Jesus puke'. It's based on that verse where He says 'Like lukewarm water, I will spit you out.'"
We actually talked for, like 7 minutes. With no fighting.
A record.

And then we all went to see The Nativity. Alot of the kids' friends were there, and I got some extra tix for my mom and nephew to join us and now? It just feels like Christmas.


1 comment:

Christine Lindsay said...

Loved your thoughts on Joseph. He was such a human being, and yet so beautifully used by God. He and Mary had a tough time of it -- like us -- eh? And you, too, just like them managed to pull yourself out of the trauma of life just in time to worship Him and see it all from that perspective. Stay close to the manger this Christmas. I'll be right next to you.