I got very few pictures on Christmas Day. I always get a little caught up in the rush and excitement of Christmas and forget the pictures. And to be honest, I've never really cared for photos of the kids opening presents. I can never seem to get the right lighting or angle. These pictures were taken on Christmas Eve when we were dressed up. We go much more casual on Christmas Day.
This was also my first attempt at making her a headband and matching bow. I love putting baby headbands on her, but since she's past the newborn stage, they are all getting a little tight. I found these free instructions on how to crochet the headband and this site that shows how to make bows. I think it turned out cute and I can't wait to make more.
I'm still really trying to digest Christmas and how it went. Our Christmas morning was really nice. We read the conclusion to Jotham's Journey (our advent story), we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, read Luke 2, and gave presents to Jesus...a tradition started when our oldest was a baby...we each write down (or draw) a gift for Jesus on a piece of paper. These are basically promises or resolutions for the upcoming year. In the past I have promised to read the Bible in a year, to pray more, to find more opportunities to serve. This year I have made a commitment to "choose love". Then we slip our pieces of paper into a wrapped box. We each took turns opening our presents. G8 told me that his favorite gift was a set of three chapter books we got him...can you believe it? Amidst wii games, an erector set, remote control cars and more, he chose books as his favorite...oh, my heart swells!
But I can't seem to get a few moments of deep sadness out of my mind...a wife celebrating without her beloved husband, a father who grieves each year for a brother lost on Christmas Eve, and then this moment...
I absent mindedly ask my cousin's wife if she will see her family for Christmas. I have forgotten that she has told me before her family doesn't celebrate it. I have become fast friends with her since she joined the family and Chad and I really enjoy getting together with her and my cousin, though it doesn't happen nearly enough.
"Oh, my family doesn't celebrate Christmas," she says.
"That's right," I say as I shake my head for forgetting, "I knew that."
"I really don't like to either," she continues. "I mean I like the family and the food, but I don't get into all this." She points to a Santa decoration nearby. "You know, the whole Santa thing...and the Jesus thing..." she trails off.
I pause for a moment. She knows of my faith. I smile and say as gently as I can, "Perhaps we can change your mind one day."
You can't see a wall being built up, but you can feel it. "No," she says. "I don't think you could ever do that. Just like I could never change your mind about your faith."
How my heart breaks for a heart that seems so hard...so unchangeable. Am I obedient enough to make a difference? Am I bold enough to speak when God tells me to and humble enough to be silent otherwise? Am I committed enough to pray for her as fervently as I should?
If He can change the heart of this sinner, I am certain he can change her heart as well. What a day of celebration that would be. Pin It Now!