This post, from a few years ago….
This morning I was all excited about my plan. I wanted to put up the Nativity set and some lights. I wanted to involve the kids in preparations for Jesus’ birthday so they would understand a little bit more. I put up the lights with help from Kaelan, who was interested in examining the lights closely and pulling the cord. Then I decided to read the special lift-the-flap Christmas story book that I keep in the closet for 11 months per year to avoid destruction of said book.
After the pushing and jostling about for positions on and around about me, we started. I knew I was in trouble on page 1. Dawson wanted to lift the flaps. So did Kaelan. And of course, Eden too. So now we have screaming about who is going to open the flaps. I’m trying to impose some order to the chaos, trying to shout above the shouting about “taking turns” and being “gentle”. My other stress was the twins’ propensity for ripping pages and flaps from books. Several books recently have met their fate in this way. Eden begins hitting me out of frustration. Kaelan and Dawson are still struggling and screaming about the flaps.
I was exasperated.
How could the Christmas story turn out so wrong??!
Determined to push through, I endured the pushing, shoving, shouting and hitting and in the end, despite all the activity in the living room, Jesus was born.
My next mission was to get the Nativity set up without any pieces being broken. I explained to Dawson that he could watch but that he couldn’t touch. One by one the characters emerged from the box and we put them in place. That was until the moment when Kaelan decided to kidnap a shepherd and run down the hall. I chased him, fearful that the poor shepherd might meet the same fate as a baby lamb did when Dawson was almost 2. The lamb now stands in the stable on his two broken legs. Having successfully rescued the shepherd, I finished setting up the stable in haste, lest something else happen to another piece of the Nativity.
Upon reflection of my Advent activity this morning I had a thought. There was probably lots of noise, activity and chaos in Bethlehem the night that Jesus was born. After all, it was packed full of people for the census. There was likely even some fighting, screaming and hitting too. This could have been right outside the stable door even, since it was behind an inn. And isn’t this the reason that a Saviour was born anyway? Because we mess things up. We get stressed out. We sometimes hurt the ones we love with our words or our fists. And Jesus came for this reason. Our intentions might be the best ever. But in reality, our dark hearts need Him, this Light of the World.
Happy Birthday Jesus. I know my dark heart needs you. I’m so glad you came!