Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve's Vulnerabilities

Many are posting beautiful meditations on the Christmas story today. Go here to read about 'humbling holidays', here to 'wonder', and here to read about an 'incarnation conversation'. I am grateful for my articulate friends who can turn their meditations into poem or prose from which we can all benefit.

Today, I am finding myself surprisingly vulnerable to temptation. Though I realize I shouldn't be surprised by temptation as my flesh never takes a vacation nor does the enemy of my soul. I guess functionally I did assume I could be carried by the joy of having friends and family near, the anticipation of good food, opening presents and reading the familiar passage in Luke 2 and not have to purpose to depend on Christ, the One we do all this for (right?!). But, I find myself early on in the day on Christmas Eve particularly vulnerable and needing to run to my only Hope...Jesus...thank you for being tempted in every way and yet never sinning. Thank you for enduring this sin sick world and ultimately the cross where you suffered the full wrath of your Father, now my God, with whom you only knew perfect harmony. Thank you for defeating death so that I would one day know eternal life. And thank you, today, for the day you initiated all of this and more: the day of your birth.

Today, I will prepare a turkey and stuffing for my family to eat, tidy up my kitchen, try to set a nice table, bring in fresh pine from outside for a lovely fragrance, address Christmas cards and pack to travel to PA to see more family tomorrow. I want to do it all as a sacrifice to you, Jesus. I want to do it all remembering for whom I do it. I want to do it all depending entirely on your grace and not my self effort.

One day we will not make anymore Christmas dinners, address anymore Christmas cards. No more treking out to the Christmas tree farm for the beloved Christmas tree. No more drives to see Christmas lights. No more Cantatas or Live Nativities to drag the kids to see. We will one day do no more of these things because we will be face to face with the One for whom we do all these things. My dad, 4 grandparents, precious Livi and others are just watching us in all our activity as they enjoy Christ Himself. Thank you, Lord, that one day I'll join them. Help me to honor You today with that hope of tomorrow.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cast of Characters

In our family Christmas pagaent that we're apparently having this year, Judah declared this morning the following cast of characters:

"Mom can be Mary. Papi can be Joseph. Bella will be the angel; Tucker, the shepherd, and I will be Baby Jesus."

Me: "You will be Baby Jesus!"

Judah: "Yeah, I will be Baby Jesus because I suck my thumb."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

As we look back on 2008, we often felt we were in the midst of a storm which came in many forms: late hours for Lawrence at work, 3 crying kids all at the same time while the phone rings and dinner burns, extended family issues to work through, health problems, the nature of friendships change, etc. But, God was and is teaching us how to sleep in the storm… not to be irresponsible, but rather fearless, knowing it is our good God who orchestrates the storms and promises to provide peace in the midst of those storms. It is armed with that mentality that we rejoice this Christmas and celebrate the birth of Jesus, the One who was born to die so that we could know Immanuel, God with us, through whatever storm we may face in 2009!

May God bless you with the same peace which is found in Jesus.

Lawrence, Briana, Judah, Tucker and Isabela

The Holiday Bulge

Apparently the statistic is that Americans will gain 5-7 pounds between Thanksgiving to Christmas. I haven't reached that statistic yet, but I think I must have gained some weight per my sons' recent observations.

Judah: (Playing with my belly, which to a 4 year old probably feels much like a bowl of jello) "Mom, you ate too many desserts."

Yes, Judah, yes, I do.

a week or more later,
Tucker: "Mom, your belly popped out.

From the mouths of 'babes'. :)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Search and Win

Check this out. I just registered with something called "Swagbucks", a search engine site. One earns points for doing searches just like at google or, etc. Once one reaches a certain number of points, he is eligible for gift cards. I learned about it at a money saving blog I read frequently called Money Saving Mom.

Check out this link: and start earning $ today. :)