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Posts Tagged ‘imagining’

images-10At this time of year, I am looking for many things … free time, peace, relaxation, togetherness as a family, and a holy night experience.

This holy night experience is one which the Christmas Carol describes. It is one when “the stars are brightly shining” (that means no rain).

It is one that, if you go for a nighttime walk, you can almost imagine being there, in Bethlehem. The stars are brightly shining, and you follow quietly behind that young couple; he leading the beast who is as burdened as the young woman atop it, both feeling the weight of what they carry.

You see them enter the town gates, you see the relief flash on Joseph’s face, the relief that allows him to breath deeply, just as his lady beside him, breathing as the women in her hometown instructed her to, when the pains began.

As you follow along behind you feel the disappointment from the lack of vacancy in the first inn that Joseph inquired. Ah, but there are so many, he will just try again … and again … and … again.

There is no room for them. Mary tries to put on a brave face through the physical pains, feeling hope slip away. Joseph tries to put on a brave face, through the feelings of discouragement at not being able to provide for his increasingly suffering wife.

Finally, an option. An innkeeper offers a warm, dry, safe place … I wonder if Joseph felt the relief of finding a place, and the regret of having to tell his laboring wife that all he could find was a cave-like stable … I wonder if he felt thankfulness for the provision or failure that he was only able to offer a dirty animal refuge for the arrival of the son of God.

“Oh, hear the angel voices” … could Mary and Joseph hear and what was happening on the hillside outside of Bethlehem as it flooded with the light of the angelic chorus singing “sweet hymns of praise”?

As I imagine crouching in the corner of the stable, I try to read the expressions on the faces of the new parents. Their eyes filled with relief, and delight, no longer aware of their rustic conditions, no longer aware of anything except each other and the beautiful new child in their arms.

What were they thinking as they gazed into his eyes? Were their thoughts simply the thoughts of all new parents since the beginning of time, or were they looking at this child and seeing him as Christ?

Then the shepherds arrive, falling on their knees, telling their story of angels on the hillside. Praising his name, as the one who will “break the chains … cease oppression.”

If the new parents showed no acknowledgment of their son’s paternity and purpose earlier, I can almost imagine them looking at each other with wordless acknowledgment of what the other was thinking. Oh, the holy ground that they were on!

“Oh night divine,
Oh night,
Oh night divine”

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Hubby and I have been married for almost an eternity and we share three children … ages almost twenty, fifteen and a half and almost thirteen (funny … almost and halves are never added to the ages of parents … I, for instance, am thirty-nine … with three four years experience).

Just a few weeks ago we said farewell to our eldest for a semester at an East Coast University. Our youngest daughter entered grade ten, and our youngest is in his last year of Middle School.

For the past couple of summers I have had moments when I can see into the future.

Our home would frequently be vacated by our kids. Dinners in the summer are often just three of us, or, if we are lucky, two. Those times when it is just us two, we feel are treats, and we enjoy the peace and quiet that our kid’s busy social lives allow.

But, peace and quiet, as delightful as it is once in a while, reminds me that it is coming in a more regular fashion, and very soon. These moments of alone time for hubby and I remind me that soon it will be hubby and I more often than not. That the laundry will not take all Saturday. That dinner out will not be Subway. That grocery shopping will be a short stop rather than an evening affair. That my vehicle will not be a minivan, and it will not go through fuel like that of a taxi.

Recently, when the house was empty, except for hubby and I, I just sat and imagined all that extra time to do as I pleased. Hubby was tapping away at his laptop, watching something on television. The beast was having her after-dinner nap. And, I was still and imagined.

I did not like what I was imagining, because it seemed so very … quiet.

As I sat, imagining, I realized that this phase of life is the one I dreamed of most, back when it was just hubby and I, dreaming together of what our future would be. I have never been a ‘baby person,’ although I loved our kids as babies. I always dreamed of having a house full of adolescents and teens, filling our house, and my days, with noise, and laughter and the challenges of growing up. I imagined just what I have, right now.

How blessed I am to have this dream fulfilled. And how blessed I am that God whispered in my ear, to be still, so that I didn’t wish this most desired phase of life to be over without fully immersing my heart into it.

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