Monday, December 3, 2012


I have a thing for manger scenes.  If I wasn't already so overburdened with stuff, I'd probably own far too many.  As it is I have two, not counting the "kid" ones that Maggie and James had when they were little.
They use to love to unwrap the people and place them in their various locations, arguing, in true Christmas spirit where everyone should go.  Now they don't much care and I miss James's antics of the last few years when he would put pieces in crazy places and see how long it took Maggie to notice.

I don't know what it is particularly about them that endears me - other than the feeling that I might have more in common with the people there and their messy state than the people I go to church with.
I was thinking how far flung we are, our culture, from that scene now.  How little we can possibly relate on a practical level to that event.  Spiritually though there is still opportunity to ask what our own lives look like in relation.  Are they like the Inn, too full, of gifts and activities and people to pay much attention to Jesus?  And who am I most like in the scene?  Mary, pregnant with hope amidst the confusion of a sometimes (most times?) unpredictable God?  Or am I the Wise Men, traveling years to find Him, the one pearl of great price (Matt 13:46)?

This year I will pull out our nativity scenes, not with Maggie and James who are too busy, but with Julia and Ellie.  Making new memories.  That change alone makes me feel that the last few years have made me most like the shepherds - utterly surprised by the turn of events!
I want my life to be the un-immaculate barn that the blog name represents - the stable - the place not too full for Jesus.  A place that while messy (and it is one messy life I'm living right now) is also able to welcome this King of Glory.
This Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)

Christmas a la Julia

The last week of November a common refrain from Julia was, "I don't want it be Thanksgiving, I want it be Christmas!"
One day, having heard this about a dozen times, James says, "Julia, do you even know what Christmas is?"
"Yes," she states with complete confidence, "it's where you go outside and you get a tree and you bring it in the house and then you take it back out again."