Building our first ever gingerbread house with sweet Cooper
There was something so fulfilling and exciting about hanging stockings up this year. The babies we have been dreaming about and praying for the last few years are here at last, in our little home, ready to experience the joy and love that surrounds the holiday season. Andrew & I have been a married unit since April 2004, but now it finally feels like we are really a family. I guess I can't really describe the emotions all that well in words.
Lucy was hardly aware of Christmas last year, but this year is a whole other story. She adored getting to decorate the tree and has really enjoyed reading Christmas stories, ranging from the nativity story to Santa Claus to Olivia. She has helped me roll out and decorate sugar cookies for her school's holiday party, declared that she wants a "train, princess, and football" from Santa, and sung bits and pieces of random carols (like Frosty the "No-man"). But I think she's most impressed with the bling and keeps asking to go see the lights in our neighborhood! It's such a blast to see the magic of Christmas through a little one's eyes, especially since she has yet to be caught up in the commercial aspect of the season.
I love Christmas -- not only is it a special time devoted to celebrating the birth of our Savior, but done correctly, it's also a time to express generosity to friends and families and those in need. Plus, I've always been ministered to through music so the simplicity and passion expressed through a beautifully-sung Christmas hymn gets me every time. You will never see me with dry eyes after a room full of people sing a candlelit, a capella version of Silent Night during Christmas Eve service.
However... our extended families are "broken" by divorce, our grandfathers are celebrating without the long-time companionship of their wives, and the amount of hurt and need in the world sometimes seems cruel and overwhelming. So my prayer for this holiday season is for LOVE. Love to heal hearts and relationships and bodies. Love that mirrors that of a Father who gave his only son to bring hope to the world. Amid the rampant chaos and spending and loneliness and hurry, I'm trying to make this Christmas all about love, love, love. Join me?