Monday, December 8, 2008

A Christmas Creche

Last weekend I went to a Christmas crèche exhibit our church put on. Hundreds of borrowed nativities were displayed from around the world, and to enter the transformed gym stilled me.

Initially, I was most touched by the volunteers who gave this gift to any and all who wanted to receive it. December has a natural way of filling up with shopping and Christmas parties and gift- wrapping and Santa Claus and other wonderful things, and logically, I couldn't understand how anyone could squeeze a week of setting up and taking down nativities into all the other Christmas festivities December claims. I wish I could hug each person who caught vision of what a sight like this could do for a person. I thank you, every last one of you. I was touched by the true spirit of Christmas on Friday night, and it felt wonderful after my frenzied day of shopping.

The scattered thoughts that tumble round my brain tirelessly stopped as I hushed at the scene before me: live Christmas music swirling around a beautiful Christmas tree, the carols dancing between the countless scenes depicting Christ's birth. There were nativities of all kinds, both big and small, inexpensive and ornate, crafty and elegant.

The lighting was dim, but Christmas lights speckled the low light, reminding me of the star that led the wise men and lit the heavens the day Christ was born. I had my camera, thinking I might like to snap a picture or two--what an understatement. I couldn't stop taking pictures. I went from nativity to nativity, first trying to find the baby Savior in each scene. I’d find Him and then fiddle my camera’s settings so He was in focus. I'd crouch down low or tippy toe higher to try and find Him in the perfect light or most appealing angle. I did this hundreds of times, and each time I found and then focused on Him, I was moved, my teary eyes often bringing everything back out of focus.

I couldn't stop thinking about how analogous this process I was going through with my camera was to life. I really believe that this life is a test to see if we will find the Savior in this busy world, and then focus on him with our all. I believe the story of the baby Jesus and his perfect life filled with the most meaningful types of gifts—primarily gifts of healing. Whether he healed hearts, eyesight, or skin diseases, always, he was healing. And always he is healing. To notice his healing hand, all we must do is find Him, focus on Him and follow Him. Taking pictures of an array of Christmas creches reminded me of that.

*Merry Christmas to all of you! This will likely be my last post for the year. Until next year, have a wonderful Christmas with your loved-ones. Squeeze them, kiss them and heal them when they're broken. And most importantly, remember Him who has taught us so perfectly how to love.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I Won!

Okay, so you guys, if I think of another to-do to accomplish before Thursday's flight home for Christmas, I think my head will burst. I don't have time to blog, but here I am blogging. My heart races a bit at my irresponsibility, but I just got the greatest news that makes my heart race more. I bounced into the living room to tell Magnet my good news and I didn't get the girly reaction I needed. (And I'm fine with that.) So, now I'm announcing my good fortune to the blogosphere.

Anyway, I won! I won a giveaway, an awesome giveaway! Stuff like this doesn't happen to me.
I can't even believe it. It's from this professional photo blog I follow. Jamie Sampson is her name, and she is my photo idol. I want to be her...minus the pet photography. I mean, she does a stunning job, but I am not a pet person and I can't even imagine the day I'll be photographing pets. Jamie is such a lovable personality and photography talent, and she did this photoshoot for Happy Little Artist clothes and I won a cute, cute, CUTE skirt and headband of my choice. Problem is I can't decide which one I want! Any input on which headband/skirt combo? It's for Maggie.

So, that's my fabulous news. A big smile for giveaways. I think this makes up for my bad week. :)
PS. If I were wise, I'd tell you that this is my last post before we head out, but there's this post in my brain that needs to come out. So, you're not rid of me yet!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

When Daddy Comes Home

This is such a happy sight--when Magnet comes home. It was especially sweet today, so I thought I'd share some pictures. While getting ready to post this, I asked Maggie what she loves about her daddy. She broke out into song and these were the lines I caught:

"I love meeeee when Daddy comes home."

"My daddy is about thanks."

"I love my people, I love my people."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

First and Third

I got my first speeding ticket on Sunday---boohoo. I was driving my sister to the airport, and we were running late. I had no idea I was speeding, but I was going 55 in a 40 zone, thinking it was 60. I never speed! There were six cops loitering in this construction zone, reigning swarms of speeders into their money trap. It was just plain mean, the way they were ticketing people. They were pulling people over by the dozens.

A cop made eye contact with me, jabbed the air in my direction with his pointer finger and reigned me in with his thumb. I wonder what he would have done if I had pretended not to see him. And I hate it when they always say something about how they could have made it double, but didn't out of niceness. They always say stuff like that. I should have cried.

I did cry this week--the ugly cry--(and I rarely cry) when I got mastitis for the third time since having Liam. I'd like to blame speeding ticket stress on why I got sick with mastitis--how's that for dramatic? If you don't know what mastitis is, google it. That's what I should have told my twelve-year-old brother to do when I was chatting with him earlier today. He asked me how I was doing. I told him I was sick. He asked me what I was sick with. I said mastitis. "What's mastitis?" he wanted to know. "Uh, an infection you get from nursing," is what I said. Not exactly accurate, but whatever. The truth would have been awkward for me to spit out.

I'm feeling lots better today, and quite accomplished. I got dressed. I bathed my kids. I did a couple of loads of laundry, and that's about it! I'm excited for the old me to return. Until then, I'm thankful for my Magnet who's helped carry me through this cloudy week.



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