Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Love

I've been terribly absent here. My goal is to post once a month, which I obviously failed at in the past few months. I even considered closing up shop on the old blog, but I do love the unique outlet it gives me to express my thoughts and to potentially encourage others in the process.

I've had many ideas of things I wanted to blog about, and perhaps I will do that sometime; lessons learned in the past months, primarily about being light in the world. I do hate that so many of those thoughts I had and lessons I learned have so easily slipped through my fingers because I didn't take the time to write them down. All the more reason to chronicle and reflect...

For whatever reason, I've been feeling especially adult lately (some of you are probably laughing at me). I think it began when we bought our house, something about the magnitude and responsibility of that really resonated with me. But, it's more than that too. Lately I've noticed that my thoughts and feelings about life and the world have changed (in a good way). It's difficult to put it into words exactly, but I find my views expanding, the grace I give to others and myself increasing, and the magnitude of my purpose and the brevity of life coming more and more into focus.

One unfortunate side effect of adulthood I've discovered is how much more quickly time passes and  how much more elusive magical moments have become. But last Friday, I was given a gift. It was my first elementary school Christmas party experience as a teacher (since my previous years as a middle school teacher held only exams on the last day before break). The morning was already wonderful, we were all allowed to wear our pajamas to school (a definite perk) and I had been absolutely overwhelmed with wonderful gifts from students and co-workers. Joy was in the air as our sing-along program commenced. The premise of the program was to collect toys for Must ministries, and as the children filed in to give the gifts, the chorus sang the song "believe" from Polar Express. 

And in that moment, I felt it, that magical Christmas feeling that we all remember from childhood. I was trying to put my finger on what allowed me that moment, in hopes that I could recreate it for the future, and suddenly, it was obvious: it was love.

As I looked over my room full of students, I was overwhelmed with love. A few weeks ago at my home church's homecoming, my mom talked about how she had always felt "covered up with love" at the church. That is exactly what I wanted to do in that moment. I saw a room full of students, many of whom aren't loved by their families as they should be, and I longed to cover them up with love too.  I prayed that they would know that they were loved by me, and infinitely more so by a creator who longed for them.

Later in the program, I probably broke ever good-teaching practices rule there is as I led my students around the room in a Conga Line to Feliz Navidad. But the smile on my new non-English speaking student's face and the exclamation from another student that I was "the best teacher ever" made it all so worth it. I'm so thankful for my daily opportunity to love on kids. What a gift.

I love Christmas: the magic of Santa Claus, the giving of gifts, even the hustle and bustle, because for me, it all points to love.  I pray that my home and my life can always reflect this at Christmas and always.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whosoever shall believe in him, will no perish, but will have everlasting life.

Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, will together with all the saints, be able to grasp how wide, and high, and long, and deep is the love of Christ.

Love one another for love is of God, He who love is born of God and knows God. He who does not love, does not know God: God is love.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite Christmas songs from my very favorite Christmas movie:

It's true, wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas.

Merry Christmas!!

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