Monday, December 24, 2012

The Reason

In those days Caesar Agustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)   And everyone went to t heir own town to register.   So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.   He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.   While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.   When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

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Monday, December 17, 2012


My dearest Annaliah,

How I wish you were here.  On this day six years ago, you were expected to arrive.  We thought that this day (or one close to it) would go down as the day our lives were permanently altered for the better.  We thought we'd have a child - you - and that we'd have someone we were responsible for for the rest of our lives.  We had visions of holding you and dreams of sticky fingered hugs and slobbery kisses and heart warming giggles.  We had faith and hope and expectation.

Today, we don't have you.  We don't have any children living with us on earth.  We don't know what it is to get up at night with a crying baby or to struggle with a car seat or to have to put a child's needs above our own.  We don't know sticky fingers or slobbery kisses or giggles or smiles or cries of delight.  Your voice doesn't fill our home and your body doesn't fill our arms.

We are without you.

And it hurts.  It hurts to be without you.  It hurts to be "just us."  It hurts to not know parenthood.  I remember when you were on the way.  One day in particular stands out.  Your daddy and I were driving around, thinking about looking for a different apartment - one that would be better suited to life with a child.  We had a CD playing, from your Grandma Arlene.  The sound of children singing filled the car, and I smiled as I looked at your daddy.  We were both truly happy.

I miss that feeling.  The feeling of unquenchable joy mixed with anticipation and a hint of fear.  I miss knowing that regardless of what went wrong or right, in just a few short months we would have a child of our own.  I miss the way it felt like everything was going to be just fine.  Because since you've left, we've known a lot of heartache.  We've cried a lot and spent a lot of sleepless nights.  We've held hands as doctors deliver yet another negative report and we've scraped and scrambled to make ends meet so we could have just one more chance at parenthood.  We've weathered a lot of storms, sweet child, without you.

But this is temporary.  We will not spend eternity without you - we will spend it with you.  The day is coming when we will get where we are going.  And on that day, we will see you face to face.  We hold onto that hope and that dream, and it gives us light when everything around us looks dark and grim. 

You make heaven feel real.  You keep eternity on our minds and in our hearts.  Child of mine, even though I am without you, I am grateful for you.  You have changed me, and your daddy too.  We aren't the same and we never will be.  Even without you, we are with you. 

We love you.


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