Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sleep in heavenly peace

I love to sleep. That very well may be the reason I am not as avid a blogger as I thought I would be. By the time the girls are asleep at night and I finally have time to blog I spend time with Justin and go to bed. It is not uncommon for me to be in bed before 10pm. Not only do I believe in early bed times but I also believe in naps. The girls take a nap at the same time so I spend their nap time having my quiet time and taking a 15-20 min power nap. That is a lot of sleep compared to others I know. I just don't understand how people function on less sleep. Once upon a time I could but I just don't seem able to anymore. But enough about me and my sleep habits.

Preparations for the Christmas holiday have gone pretty smoothly around here. I've had a lot of fun baking various quick breads for gifts and I've been in the Christmas spirit for a long time since I started making Christmas cards in July. I was pleased with all my designs and especially pleased with those that were my own. For those of you who received one I hope you liked it and for those of you who did not I may not have your address or I see you regularly.

I am excited about the Christmas Eve service at our church tomorrow as I will be playing trumpet and the kids will be singing. I love leading the kids in worship and really did enjoy teaching them their song. Although I don't regret quitting my job to stay home with the girls, I really do miss teaching and am glad leading worship with the kids at church helps me fulfill that passion. I will have to share some of the funny stories that you can learn from leading kids in church at another time. I know my sister has shared some gems from her experiences.

On the topic of what I have been learning about the names for Christ I have learned more than I can share here and am not an accomplished enough writer to do justice to what I have learned. I have focused on one more name I will share.. Prince of Peace. There are so many questions that I have thought about when it comes to the word peace and maybe you have some too. How if He was/is the Prince of peace do we see so little peace? What is peace really? Does anyone have peace? How do I get peace? And many more. I know that Christ came to give us peace but not as the world understands it. Peace is so much more than circumstances being without chaos and trouble. True peace is a completeness, wholeness that can only come from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Am I at peace, yes and no. I am at peace with God but I definitely fall into the trap of looking to my circumstances rather than my God. I want my version of a peaceful life rather than finding God's peace in the midst of things I don't understand. Only when I look to eternity and the bigness of God is it that I am reminded that it's not all about me, it's not all about now. As my pastor spoke this last week, we are on a journey and sometimes I ask the questions are we there yet and what's taking so long. Peace can only come when I look to that which has happened at the cross and resurrection, on Christmas and that reward that will come when this life of mine ends. Only then will I experience the fullness of peace. I am just so thankful that I worship a God who allows me to have glimpses of that peace, His peace on earth. I pray that you all experience a taste of His peace this Christmas.

Good night, I'm going to bed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Names -2

Each year at Christmas time I try to read the book "God Came Near" by Max Lucado. It is a nice book that has reflective thoughts on Christ. In the book I find a sense of how real Christ was when He came to earth. "Holiness in the filth of sheep manure and sweat. Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable, through the womb of a teenager and in the presence of a mere carpenter....majesty in the midst of the mundane." God came near on that first Christmas and He is still with us today.

This brings me to the first name for Christ that I have studied - Immanuel. In Matthew's account of the birth of Christ he quotes the prophet Isaiah when he writes "See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated 'God is with us'". Christ laid aside all His glory, honor and majesty in heaven to come to earth and be with us. That alone is worthy of awe but the rich history of the Hebrew nations leads to an even more awesome realization. Through the promise God made to Abraham and his descendants God was with the Israelites. He was present in the most holy place but it could only be accessed by the priest once a year. God made Himself known to Israel through His protection and guidance yet there was no personal connection with this God.

Jump ahead to the time of Christ. The Hebrew nation was awaiting the Messiah that had long been prophesied. God came in the form of a man from Nazareth, of lowly and humble means. His birth was missed and unnoticed by a busy world. Thousands of people were touched by His public ministry yet He did not trumpet Himself to the world, even His own disciples did not fully recognize Him. In human form Christ was accessible yet largely ignored and discredited.

Although yes it is Christmas time it is the story of Christ's death and resurrection at Easter that speaks of how God is with us today. Christ laid down His life for me and for you, for all humanity. His humble beginning was missed by many simply because they were not looking. Let us not do the same. "And they will name Him Immanuel...God is with us". God's presence is with us today through the gift of the Holy Spirit which is given to all who believe in His name. God has made Himself known to His people throughout history but there are no longer hindrances to a personal relationship with Him. What once was hidden behind a veil has now been revealed. We can be transformed from glory to glory. So yes the name Immanuel does have a lot wrapped up in it for I have experienced that God is with me.


O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Names

We have hit a new milestone in the Wright household. I am no longer a mama. Emma now calls me mommy. Many milestones have come and gone as my girls have grown but this is the first that really made me nostalgic. Sure out growing favorite baby outfits, switching to table food and giving up nursing all come with some finality but this one has given me reason to reflect on my parenting journey thus far. I believe it is because there is so much wrapped up in a name. Sure the first word out of Lydia's mouth was mama but when I became mommy to her I knew I would have another chance to be mama with a second child. There is no plan for a third child here so mama I no longer will be.

I had to smile this past Sunday as I went to pick up Lydia in her class at church. As I was going up the stairs I heard a parent ask their child what they learned about today and the child said "Jesus". Now for me the first thing that popped into my head was "That is an obvious answer" but within a few seconds I realized Lydia has talked about God and His creation a lot recently in church but this is the first lesson about Christ. This really was new information to most of the kids in her class. Ah, the innocence of first learning of Christ is spectacular.

Given these two experiences, this week I am taking some time to reflect on the names of God. If there is so much wrapped up in a name and I have lost the newness of learning about Christ then I must take time to reflect on who God is. How fitting for the Christmas season. I will let you in on what I learn this week.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fun and friends




This week I took a trip to Baltimore to visit a good friend of mine. It was so nice to catch up, chat about important things and the not so important things, eat, laugh and have fun. If I was to admit it I am not a person who takes time to have fun. Sure I have fun with the girls and act silly but Justin will be the first to tell you I don't really know how to relax and have a good time. I am so blessed that God has brought 2 wonderful friends to my life in the past 4 years. Carrie and Erin have made a huge difference in my life and I just want to tell them how much I appreciate their friendship. I am sad that they both moved over the last year but our friendship is still strong. Thank you both for helping me learn how to have more fun.