Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Anticipation

Scott and I took Jonah to the mall yesterday to have his picture taken with Santa Claus. We stood in line for about half an hour, entertained by the kids in front of us who busied themselves entertaining Jonah. We declined the picture packages offered by Santa's elves (which started at $14 for one picture), opting instead to try to capture the moment with our own camera. It was made quite clear to us that we only had time for a single shot, good or not. We expected a 'not' shot, as Jonah is sometimes shy around strangers, and we got to the front of the line at exactly 7:30, which is his bedtime. We were pleasantly surprised with the result we got, which captures some of the wonder of a child who finally gets his chance to have a moment alone with the Big Man...

So, what do you think?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Far Too Easily Pleased

I am glad that God saw fit to use earthly analogies to describe our own relationship with Him. How else would we begin to comprehend the vastness of the depth of His love for us? While these analogies are superficial at best because they use finite objects to convey an infinite love, they are helpful nonetheless. I remember, as a newlywed, reading passages that compare us to the bride of Christ and being overwhelmed because I understood them in a whole new way. Now, I am a parent, and those passages that refer to us being children of God or to God being our Father have a far greater impact than they did before I was a mom.
Just last night, I saw myself in Jonah. It was near his bedtime, and I was in the kitchen holding him and trying to prepare his bottle. I got his empty bottle down from the cupboard and let him hold it while I retrieved the formula from another cupboard. Realizing that I could not hold Jonah and pour the formula into the bottle at the same time without making a terrible mess, I set Jonah (still holding his bottle) on his Daddy's lap. Chaos ensued as I took his empty bottle away from him only so that I could fill it up with his milk. As I listened to the screaming of my dear little child, God used that moment to teach me a lesson about myself. I no longer heard Jonah's cries so much as I saw what God must see in His own children from time to time. Sometimes He removes something of no or little value from our lives (though we may quite enjoy it) for the purpose of giving us something needful in its place. I was able to have compassion on my son because, after all, don't I act the same way sometimes?
It reminded me of the words of C.S. Lewis:

Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree,

How artificial are your branches?!?

I guess we've changed our perspective since our first Christmas together 4 years ago. Four years ago, Scott and I bundled up for a drive to the local mountains with friends, where we searched all afternoon to find just the right tree. When we got it home, we spent the evening in front of our fireplace, sipping hot chocolate and stringing popcorn garland to hang on the tree. Classic.

This year, we settled on an artificial tree because after 4+ years of killing Scott's plants, I guess he finally realizes that I will forget to water the tree. Plus, there's no water for Jonah to play in and track all over the house. We get to keep it up for longer, and it's just as fresh the day we take it down and put back in the box as it was when we first unwrapped each delicate branch. It even came pre-lit with 850 mom would be proud of the glow it emits (part of my family tradition growing up was my dad trying to convince my mom that there were already enough lights on the tree and then my mom and me sneaking more strands on when dad was not looking. Christmas trees cannot have enough lights--unless you've been to our apartment and seen the tree on the hill that is so bright that we have to keep the shades drawn at night. But I digress).

Anyway, our Christmas tree is up and there are only 13 more shopping days left. What am I doing blogging? I should be at the mall...