Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Love

Yesterday Matt and I got to talk with friends who shared with us about Paul Miller's book, Love Walked Among Us.  I haven't read it yet, but the summary I heard is etched into my heart....  Here's what Miller (apparently) wrote about the way Jesus lived love:

Christ was always free to say yes, 
always free to say no, 
and he always left room for divine interruption.  

No obligations, no fear of man, no lust for approval and applause?  No deadly iron-jawed insistence on My Plan Right Now?  Man, if I could live like that!  What a beautiful, whole, helpful, happy life!  I sure want to strive after that...

But the good news is that Jesus isn't only a good example for me to strive to be like.  Mohammed, Buddha, Jesus, and thousands of others were good examples to emulate.  Jesus goes well beyond "good teacher" though;  He is Savior.  He lived Love for us, forgiving our failures, fixing our brokenness, cleansing our infected hearts, filling us with his wholeness.

At Christmas, we marvel and worship that our triune God- He who IS love within Himself- would take on flesh to demonstrate love in our broken world to us who are slaves to sin and death.  And to think of this eternally thriving love creating us to know him, making us to be satisfied and set free by His love?  Consider these words from Ann Voskamp  (from her Advent devotional that's free from her site.... oh so sweet.)  

We alone were formed by a huddle of hearts — Let us make human beings.

The three persons of the Trinity, Father God, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit, they gathered close together to imagine us and God in three persons, all full of affection, knelt down and kissed warm life into us with the breath of His love.

And we are made of the dust of this earth and we are made of the happiness of heaven and we are flesh and we are spirit and we are of two worlds longing for the home of His world. The authority of God made all of creation. But it was the a ffe c t i o n of God that made all of His children. (Prov. 8:31)

We were made by Love! For love! Made in the image of God to look like His love! The Christmas story is a love story, the whole blue marble of the world spinning on the axis of His love... Could anything be better?

Yes!  Could there be anything better than this magnificent love?  Rescue from slavery and death, freedom for life,  and eternity ahead full of soul satisfaction and pleasures at His right hand.....  

Christians, we have every reason for bold, confident hope and great celebration!  May this Advent season be full of joy, swelling your hearts with hope and expectation of the coming King.

sweet nothings

I don't want to whizz through these treasured moments and forget them.  They could sound like little "nothing" stories, but to me, they are precious gifts from God.  They are all from you, all for you, God.

*Vivi put her hand on mine at dinner last night, leaned in close and whispered in my ear just like she's seen her siblings do.  She said no words at all... just joy whispers, wordless consonant-breaths, that made her mama's heart puddle.  More whispers today too.  She loves laying down on the grass and looking at the sky or laying on a bed, wiggling under the covers and snuggling her little head into a big pillow.  She also loves her siblings:  "Gege" (somehow she remembered the Chinese word for 'older brother' without us urging her!), 'Ma Lee" (she says it as if her big sister's real name is Molly), and "Do" or sometimes "Joe" (John).  And she loves "baht bam" (popcorn) too.

*John's regular, precious prayers:  "Gank you God, pray for...."  And when we pulled over to admire four deer eating grass near the road a few days ago, how John told me as I started to drive away, "no, mama, I want to sing to them!  As the deer..."

*Marian singing right now in bed, a little aria of kinder-praise.  Oh, but wait, now she's giggling loud, and moving into a "hot dog song."

*Just before bed, the big three were transformed into "Underwear Men" with you-know-what as their face masks.  (yikes)

*And our big guy has been way more into cuddles and kisses lately and I. Love. It.   I love the young man he's becoming.  His stuffed animal Pup has had at least a dozen birthdays, each with it's own party, in just the past two weeks.... They're all growing up so fast :)

Thank you, Father!

our tea & popcorn party yesterday...  we're so grateful for these fantastic neighbors

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

for Christmas

Just seven sweet simple things here... and it sounds like the most merry Christmas imaginable.  Enduringly satisfying (and what toy has ever been that!?)   Oh that Christ might be the glowing Beauty that we all dream of, the Satisfaction and Fulfiller that we rightly hunger for and rightly celebrate, rightly honor this Christmas.  

Oh God, may we give well to your glory this Christmas!

Be praised, our Savior King!