I can’t believe Christmas day is already here! Although I should probably already be asleep (since my sisters will be up in just a few short hours ready to open gifts), I’m busy wrapping presents at the last minute and posting pictures on Facebook… and writing this blog post. Every time my little sister Katelyn sees the presents under our tree, she says “Happy Birthday!” At first, I was correcting her and saying, “No, Merry Christmas!” But she’s totally right- it is a birthday, the most important birthday of them all- Jesus’! So now Kate’s walking around saying “Happy Birthday Jesus.” It’s great though, because it serves as a constant reminder that Christmas is not about Santa Claus, reindeer, or my throwback NSYNC Christmas CD that is constantly playing; it’s about the birth of Christ.
“‘You, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven.'” –Luke 1:76-78
I encourage you all to remember that Christmas is about God coming to the earth to save us- the all-powerful, all-knowing God of the universe came HERE. And He came just for us. The precious baby that we celebrate on this day is the same person who hung on a cross, begging God to forgive us, for we did not know what we had done. What a powerful story.
I think often times we reach a point in our lives where we’ve become so familiar with The Christmas Story that we forget the actual meaning behind it– the baby that was born in a manger more than 2000 years ago still lives in our hearts today. He is our Lord and Savior- so when my sisters drag me out of bed at 8 am tomorrow and I start pulling out gifts from underneath the Christmas tree, I want to remember that the greatest gift I could ever receive is the love of Christ- a love so deep and unconditional that nothing will ever match it. What a wonderful thing to celebrate!
So, in the words of Katelyn, Happy Birthday Jesus!
Also, I visited my grandparents last weekend and I wanted to post a few pictures from my visit with my granddad. Seeing him this time around was much better than the time before; I was able to talk to him a little more and he seemed more focused on the fact that we were there, which made me feel much more content. At one point, he picked his head up, looked around the room at our family, and started crying. It was the sweetest thing, because he knew we had come to see him. Today, my mom went and dropped off toys at the Church of God Children’s Home because she said throughout her whole life, my granddad always spent the weeks before Christmas- and Christmas Eve- making sure he had thought of all of the people who didn’t have gifts for Christmas that year. I’m still amazed at the example he is to all of us.
I’m also amazed at my grandma’s strength through all of this. I know this Christmas is going to be so difficult for her because it’s her first Christmas without my granddad at home, and I just hate that for her. When I was visiting her house last weekend, I talked with her for a little while about how she was feeling and it just broke my heart to see that her joy was missing. I told her that I didn’t know anyone else who was strong enough to handle a situation like this; she is a wonderful example of faith and courage and I truly admire her for her perseverance in these tough times.
Anyway, here are some pictures from the visit. Some of them are sad to see because of the condition my granddad is in, but no matter how sick he becomes, I know that he still has fight in him- and I have to treat my visit with him as I would my visit with any other family member, because he is still here and serving as an example to me each and every day.
I really hope I get to see my granddad again soon. I know that God has a plan, and I know that my granddad still has more to teach us because God still has him here for a reason. I just pray that I will listen closely and learn all there is to know from such a good person. I am blessed with great grandparents!
Anyway, I hope everyone has an absolutely wonderful Christmas. Relax, spend time with family, watch Christmas specials, and remember how great our Savior is!