If Mary Would Have Written a Christmas Letter.

Of course, Christmas is only possible because of the birth of Jesus but for a spirited blog today, I thought about what it would have been like if Mary would have written a Christmas letter.

Dear Friends & Family,

This has been quite a year.  Joseph asked me to marry him and I said “yes.”  We were so excited about planning a wedding and hanging out together in our village.  Although it took a while for Dad to accept his little girl was going to get married, he was very glad that Joseph is such a hard worker and will be a good provider.

We also got some surprising news.  Although I had never been with a man, I was visited by an angel in the middle of the night to tell me this news.  I thought I was dreaming but he told me to not be afraid.  I know you believe in angels and God’s presence but this was really a little scary.

His name was Gabriel and he told me all about myself and explained to me that even though there was no way possible for me to be pregnant, I would conceive a baby from the Holy Spirit.  It’s very complicated to explain but I promise you that this baby is from the Lord.

Joseph was really mad at me.  He didn’t believe me until the angel appeared to him and told him the same thing.  It’s truly a miracle.

What are the chances that we had to go to Bethlehem for the census this year right around my due date?!!  It wasn’t really a very pleasant trip as I was very far along in my pregnancy and had to ride a donkey for miles.  My back and tailbone hurt so bad.  Joseph would stop periodically and let me take a rest.

We didn’t make reservations before we got to Bethlehem and when we arrived, all the rooms were sold out!  I couldn’t believe it.  Joseph begged people to take us in but no one had availability.  So we made our bed in this barn on the hill.  And that is when my sweet boy decided to make his entrance into this world.

Oh goodness it was a hard labor but God was with us and we have a beautiful baby boy.  Joseph is so proud of his son and I love being a momma.  His name is Jesus and I’m not exactly sure how much He weighed or how long He was.  He has the tiniest little fingers and toes and a lot of dark hair.  I can’t say that He looks like either one of us.

Word travels fast and we had a lot of visitors from all over the country.  Even some of the shepherds left their sheep and came to see us because an angel appeared to them to tell them about Jesus.

Although I don’t understand it all, I know that for some reason we were chosen to get to be parents of this amazing little boy.  We can’t wait to see how God is going to use Him.

I pray your family is doing well and look forward to what God is going to do in each of our lives.

Merry Christmas,

Mary, Joseph & Jesus

Picture-Perfect Perfection.

Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

The tree is decorated with favorite ornaments collected from travels around the world.
The presents are wrapped with Pinterest-perfect bows.
The Christmas letter tells the multitude of recipients how successful little Johnny was at the spell bowl and how Susie led the volleyball team to the state championship.
The family picture is adorable by the fireplace with Rosco obediently laying his paws at just the perfect angle.
The house looks like Martha Stewart just left and the kitchen smells of freshly baked Christmas cookies!

Awwwww………perfection!

PHEWWWWY!! Who has all that??!!

No one.  Nothing is that perfect.  Cats get in trees and ornaments break; cookies burn; the family picture shows the aggravation of the itchy sweaters and usually the lights have a portion in the middle of the strand that burn out  AFTER they are placed on the gutters.

I love Christmas and the decorations and the sweet spirit that surrounds this time of year but we have to remember that our pursuit of Pinterest® perfection can take away our joy of the season.

What we should be celebrating is the baby that was born over 2000 years ago in a dirty barn with animal slobber and itchy straw.  The manger and stable weren’t Pinterest-perfect for the King of the World.  Why should we pursue it for ourselves?

As you prepare for the most wonderful time of the year, don’t lose site of the only reason we have a holiday called Christmas to celebrate.  Relax.  Remember the manger in the barn with the baby wrapped in rags and a single bright star announcing His birth.  Christmas really can be that picture-perfect.

Gender Reveal Celebration!

The latest craze for a pregnant couple is to have a gender reveal party announcing to family and friends (and Facebook) whether the expectant momma is having a boy or a girl.  There are many creative ways to make this announcement – pink or blue cream-filled cupcakes; a release of either pink or blue balloons; candy bars wrapped in pink or blue paper; the swing of a golf ball revealing pink or blue powder.

These celebrations to reveal the gender of an unborn baby can be quite elaborate.

It’s interesting though that the gender reveal announcement of the greatest birth of all time was actually quite simple.

Luke 1:30 tells us that the angel said to Mary, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus.”

*No cupcakes were needed.  Just an angel with a message.
*No sonogram was taken.  Just a virgin with child.
*No public celebration.  Just Mary and Gabriel.

What a simple way to reveal the gender of the most precious baby sent to save an entire world!

The Misfit Movement.

In the original Christmas classic, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rudolph visits a land of misfits where everyone is very unique but feels as though they don’t fit in with the rest of what the world deems “normal”.

As I’m sure you know the story line, Rudolph’s misfit nose saves Christmas and becomes the icon to lead Santa’s journey every year since.  It seems what made Rudolph different is also what made him stand out for good.

The Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 that we are not to conform to this world but rather be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  In other words, we are to be misfits in this world as we stand out for Christ.  It’s when our Christianity shines brightly that we are able to lead this world of negativity back to the light of Christ.

So don’t worry that you don’t fit in with this world.  God created us to be misfits – misfits for Him. Won’t you join me in the Misfit Movement this year?