Saturday, December 15, 2012

Welcome! Please come in. :)

For anyone who might not know... I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

It's by far my favorite holiday. I have always looked forward to it the whole year, since I was little. Not because of presents or anything. I love having my family all together in one place. Every year we go to my Granny's house for lunch and dirty Santa. Because none of my family lives in Montgomery with me, this was special. All my aunts, uncles, cousins gathered together in one house. Then on Christmas my sister, who either lived with her dad, away at college, or in Birmingham throughout my life, would be home for breakfast and presents. :)

When my dad passed away last year, we drove to Brimingham with my brother and had Christmas day at at my sister's house with her and her husband. I loved it. We were still together.

But this year, it's my turn! :) I never realized until I actually had a house big enough to host people in, how much I love having people over. :)

Decorating was a full scale endeavor this year because (a) there was actually room to decorate, compared to our sardine apartment we lived in last year, and (b) we can have people over to see them!

Strangly enough, I haven't been too terribly stressed out about the fact that there is SO MUCH TO DO and so little time. In addition to my siblings staying over Christmas Eve, We will be gone the three or four days before Christmas Eve seeing my husband's family (and frankly just having a small get away before the baby comes.) This gives me THREE days nest week to do EVERYTHING!

But I am nothing but excited. :) Well I'm tired, but who can help that at eight months pregnant. :P

It occured to me recently that perhaps I have a gift I never discovered before now. I have always admired a few friends of mine: those friends that were always welcome to open their home to people at any time. This might be because while I was growing up I often needed places opened up to me. But now I see that perhaps I have this same gift. I love to have people over. :) I love for people to know that if they need anything, they can show up on our doorstep. There is always a couch bed for anyone in need. Jesus called us to be open to such spontaneous ministry:

"For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you didn’t take Me in; I was naked and you didn’t clothe Me, sick and in prison and you didn’t take care of Me.’  “Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help You?’ “Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you:  Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either.’" Matthew 25:42-45

While we should obviously be open to those around us at all times of the year, the holiday season kind of gets up in our face about giving to others. So how will you open up to those around you that could be "Jesus in disguise," as Brandon Heath's song says? 

In addittion, how about some Christmas-y pictures? :) 

"Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20
"Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”" John 8:12
"When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough. After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told." Luke 2:15-20
"As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.” Joshua 24:15

My very favorite christmas decoration. My grandfather made it out of stained glass and lead.  It somehow has survived all of these years in my family. :) "Teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
"Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved." Acts 2:46-47

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