Tuesday, December 25

the greatest gift:

life. within all the trappings and ridiculous nature of this holiday, there is a greater truth to find. even if you don't believe in the christian tradition behind this holiday, it is hard to argue that this isn't the season of giving. as christians, it is really easy to get overcome in the rush and hurry of this time. last minute gift shopping, wrapping, shipping, re-gifting, returning, the list goes on. and while we received wonderful gifts this year, ** i can very confidently say that the second best gift i have ever received came a little early this year. namely, february 2nd. the birth of our daughter. and the best gift i ever received came when i was a young girl. when i learned of another baby, who was born to die... i know this is not the traditional place for just wearing your religion on your sleeve, but it is christmas, and i promise, it won't happen too often. so listen to my heart on this one.

the best gift of all is not wrapped in fancy paper, but in flesh, and blood, and the sweet smell of a newborn child. the reason i celebrate the birth of Christ, is because i owe my life to His death. and His life resurrected. this is not the time to look only on the infant lying in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes, but the Man, torn apart, hanging from a roman cross. hanging on that cross so we could be given the greatest gift. another chance. a life no longer out of control. a life worth living. the life given to us when we believe in the Messiah. the Savior of the world.

when i look at zoë, i think of what mary, Jesus' mother must have felt about Him. laughing as He learned to take His stumbling first steps. telling Him stories, and watching His face light up as children raced by, or a puppy stopped to sniff His feet. and every time i see her, i am reminded of the love my Heavenly Father has for me. Jesus said that if we, as wicked and sinful people can give good gifts to our children, how much more so the Father of all of us?

today i am reminded anew of that gift. He gave His only son, His only child to die for a world that hated Him. in the hopes that they would one day return to Him. return His love. i won't try to answer all the questions that people pose about the sovereignty of God. why bad things happen. He knows. i don't. i know one thing, and i am still learning that one thing. God loves me. even when i don't feel like He does, He loves me. because if i can feel like my heart is breaking open from being full of love for zoë, then i know that He loves me more.

This post was just a thought on christmas. it's trite, and i feel, a bit overused, but the REAL reason for this season is Jesus. not presents. not nintendo wii's, not x-box360's, or cadillacs or gift cards, or limited release nike sneakers. it's only because a child was born half a world away in a slovenly stable, surrounded with animals and hay, 2000 years ago, that we celebrate this day. we celebrate the love of a Father that was so great, He would sacrifice everything He held near and dear to Himself, to buy back His children from darkness and death. and so with that, i can say, Merry Christmas.

May the grace of our Lord be with you, now and always. May you stay blameless until He comes. May the Love of our Lord be with you.

Merry Christmas from the Mills. We love you, and so does our Father.

**pictures to come on the 26th, since i have about 160 to sort through, and about 22 videos to post as well.

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