After that, despite a sparkly, slippery snow we drove over the river and through the woods to a Journey to Bethlehem. The church that put on the journey to Bethlehem did an amazing representation of what a marketplace would look like in the day of Jesus's birth. We got to smell the stable smells, see Roman soldiers walking around, and even see little girls stomping grapes in their bare feet.
After we left the site of the manger and the new born king, we walked back to our "metal camels" in a steady snow fall.
Despite the slippery roads and the snow fall becoming a bit heavier, we decided we would go visit a few friends and family and share with them in song about the glory of what we just saw in Bethlehem! The twelve of us Christmas caroling to country homes that would rarely ever get a caroler, spreading the beautiful news of Christ was so beautiful, so meaningful. And the way our voices all wove together, in a rich way...well, I know it blessed my heart. I hope that God was honored in it.
The thing I love about Christmas is it lends magic to everything. Even a snowfall. While finishing up at the Journey to Bethlehem, the rest of our group had walked ahead, and I was holding Lydia's hand as we walked. The lanterns from Bethlehem were lighting Lydia's little face as she said, "Momma, the snowflakes are stars visiting us."
Oh, be still my beating Momma's heart. Moments, so precious like that, are tucked away in my heart forever, being cherished.
Last weekend I read a lot about Mary and Elizabeth as they prepared for the births of their sons. (Elizabeth was John the Baptists mother...he was a very important part of the story of Jesus.) It amazes me how much reflecting, pondering, and secluding of themselves they did. They knew the moments they were experiencing were meant to be treasured.
That's why I love the soft glow of a Christmas tree, or the gentle flickering of a Christmas candle with silent night being played softly on the piano. They are reminders to slow down, to treasure, and to enjoy the promises of God in your life. It also reminds me to reflect on the truths in God's word that are so easy to overlook, especially in what has become a hustle and bustle kind of season.
I'm thankful for good, godly women that God has given me as friends. They encourage me to slow down and take a break from Christmas "stuff" and instead enjoy Christmas reflections. They help reinforce what God is teaching me. That Christmas hope and magic is found in the most simple of blessings. From the birth of a baby in a manger, to walking hand in hand with my little girl in the snow, to worshiping God with a heart of thanksgiving