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Saturday, December 26, 2009

But a Babe

The stockings are empty, the gifts are opened, Christmas has passed for this year (except for our Christmas celebration with Trace's family in about a week). Christmas is truly one of my favorite times of year. I love so many of the things about Christmas. The baking, the decorating, fun with family and friends, and all the tradition that gets packed into a couple of weeks. It is busy and can be stressful at times, but there is always so much laughter and joy. It is good. I also love to reflect on the Christmas story every year and it seems that Lord lays something new on my heart every time. This year it is the humility of the King! Oh, what beautiful humility to become a babe in the manger, to take on flesh, to walk this earth and appear as but a man. To die a sinners death, full of mockery, ridicule, beatings, spit, pain and suffering. May be never separate the baby in the manger from the man on the cross! Humility.

Do we ponder the gift long and hard? The gift of Jesus. JESUS, at this name Every Knee Will Bow. This is the same Jesus, low and in a manger. A baby, lying helpless, full of need, wrapped in human skin. Holy One, Magnificent King! So much to ponder, to struggle to comprehend. Beyond my earthly abilities to understand. Who chooses this? Chooses to come. Chooses to die. To die for you and me.

He comes as a baby in a manger, no castle for Him. He is amidst the animals and the manure. In the middle of the filth. A baby. He came this way, capable of making his entrance any way He would choose. The one who simply speaks and earth is formed. He came with no fear of getting stuck in the middle of our filth, of my filth. He became a man and dwelt among us.

Then He grows and during His time of ministering on earth, He calls people to come and follow. To take up their cross and follow Him. The King of Kings, with no place to call home. He calls follow me, to follow him to His death. Oh what a mighty warrior, who will lay it all down for you and me. To conquer death and its grip...if only we believe!

So I have pondered this humility this Christmas and I can't help but to ask, what does this mean for me? I am to model my life after Christ, to come and follow Him. How do I model humility? What steps do I need to take to become more like my King? To be found low among the people? To not appear great, but small. To not dwell among the Kings, but the filth, and with no sense of disgust but love. I pray that this year Christ holds hard onto my heart and teaches me what it means to become smaller so that He can become greater, so that He may receive ALL the glory. Lord show me how to experience true joy in humility. To be content to be low among the people.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

KARATE

The kids started taking karate early this fall. We signed Aidan up first and after one week of sitting and watching Rebecca decided that she wanted to try it too. She convinced us that she really wanted to do it and we let her give it a try. It cracks me up to see my little girl decked out in her Karate uniform, but she has enjoyed it and Aidan absolutely LOVES it! I cannot overstate that enough. He thinks it is the greatest thing ever and is kicking things (or even just the air) all the time. Here are some pictures that I have been meaning to post for a while.


Here is Aidan getting ready for some sparing.


This is one of the ways that the kids match up against one another. The object is to push the opponent out of the designated surface area.


And here is Rebecca sparing. Can you tell she is smiling while she is doing it. They are actually throwing punches and kicking. They spar about once a month and they get to do it both ways when they spar. This is the favorite night of the month.


And below is a video of Rebecca. It is too cute. I intended to video Aidan but my memory card was full and I couldn't delete quick enough to make room on my camera. I will try to get video of Aidan next time.


video

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Fun

Well, we are full swing into the Christmas Season! We have been busy with life, but we are all very thankful to have wrapped up school on Tuesday and we will be on break until after the first week of January. We are all very excited to have a little more free time, especially with the business of the holidays. I hate how sporadic I have been in my blogging. I often write parts of post in my head, but I never manage to get to the computer with those thoughts. They are either lost before I have time or I am too tired to write when I get the chance. I hope to get better about blogging again! I miss it. Maybe this Christmas break will give me a chance to renew my energies and start writing again...or maybe I am dreaming.

So since finishing up school on Tuesday, we took Wednesday as a day for some fun activities around here. We rented 2 Christmas movies, I gave the kids an early Christmas present from there teacher (a book for each of them) and we made these great little mangers. I found this idea online somewhere and they are perfect. They require little to no prep work and are easy to make. The kids loved them. I have always thought it would be so fun to do ginger bread houses, but we never have. This is that sort of idea, but it focuses there little hearts on Jesus which is my goal in all we do this time of year. Here are there masterpieces (be prepared to ooh and ah!):
Aidan has a Joseph to the left with the green face, Mary is to the right, and baby Jesus in the manger in the middle of them. Aidan wanted hay so we crushed frosted flakes to make the hay for Jesus to lay on. The creature to the right with the green and red is supposed to be a sheep and a shepherd is standing behind him.
Rebecca has Joseph, Mary and Jesus also. She also added a sheep (with its bottom facing you to the left) and a donkey standing to the right. The M&Ms on top are supposed to make a star.

Andrew really preferred to eat the m&ms more than anything else (you can tell by his messy face), but I helped him at least get a Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.

After finishing these the kids ate them for a snack. I was having mixed feelings about making and eating Jesus, but I remembered that He refers to himself as bread and that made me feel better about it. I tried to share this great symbolism with the kids and they looked at me blankly, but at least I felt better about it.

While we were making these, Aidan asked if we have ever made these before. We haven't, but that question warmed my heart. I remember when Aidan was a little baby and I was sitting in MOPS and was hearing all these great ideas and traditions that other families had. I craved this. I wanted to create this type of family and home that would allow them to look back when they are older and remember the things we did together when they were young. To remember us being together and enjoying life together. We started a few things and we have added some over the years, but this is the first year that I am realizing that these traditions are special to the kids too. Aidan has asked if we are going to do certain things again this year. He remembers and he wants to be a part of those fun family activities. It is a great joy to have the opportunity to share these special times with my kids. We may not always get to do all of these things, but I want them to always remember us, as a family, together!

Merry Christmas to all of you! I hope you are enjoying yourself and your family this holiday season!