In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to his 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 room for them in the inn.
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 of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ 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, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
A few nights ago I was exhausted. I think Bennett and Will had used up every amount of my grace and patience that day. I couldn't wait until they went to bed and I could just collapse and breathe for the first time all day.
So, I took Bennett upstairs for story time before she went to sleep. I sat in her rocker and she snuggled in my lap. Bennett is very particular about her story time. She knows all of books by name and will tell you which one she wants. No, she will insist. Actually, she will demand that you read the book she has her mind set on for that evening. I forgot to pick out her book before I sat down, but once I sat down with her in my lap, I was not moving. I had no energy left to get up and go through the 5 minute routine of her picking out a book.
So I looked on her nightstand and sitting there was, "The Night Before Christmas." I thought that was perfect so I picked it up and began to read. Then Bennett looked up at her bookshelf and realized that she had been had. That was most certainly not the book she had in mind. She wanted her storytime Bible. The rest of our conversation went like this-
Bennett: No no. Jesus. Me: Bennett, we will read that tomorrow night. Let's read this book. B: Okay, Jesus. M: Oh, sweetie. I can't stand up. Let's just read this pretty book. B: Please, Jesus? M: But look at this one. It's about Santa. B: No, Mommy, no, no no. M: But we love Santa. B: Okay, Jesus. M: We will read about Jesus tomorrow. Tonight we are reading about Santa. B: Okay, Bible. Jesus? M: We are reading about Santa tonight and that is final. B: (sighing) Okay, Santa.
The irony was not lost on me. I got three pages into the book and then got up and got the Bible. We read about Jesus and the manger and the star and Mary. Then Bennett said-
You know how everyone laments the lack of time around Christmas? I know I have every year. Every December the most common phrases are, "I don't have time to enjoy the season," "I am too busy to stop and breathe," "Is it December 23rd already? It was just Thanksgiving."
I think I have felt that way as long as I can remember, but thankfully this year has been different. This was the first year in over a decade that I was not involved in a Christmas production at church. I intentionally didn't sign up for it this year. I didn't want to practice every night for the first 2 weeks in December. I wanted to be at home with my babies. I didn't have 10 parties at attend. I didn't have to run tech for a FCA breakfast, a men's pancake breakfast, the youth program, the children's program, the women's holiday brunch, the adult cantata, the dinner theatre..... I remember 2 years ago realizing that Rob and I were only home for 3 days together the whole month of December.
So this year we scaled back. Partly out of choice and partly because we don't know as many people in Kansas and aren't nearly as involved. And can I say that it has been wonderful? I have loved Christmas this year. I have spent many nights holding my kids, singing Christmas songs on the piano, making cookies, reading my Bible and reflecting on the enormity of what it means, and just being with Rob. We have had so many cups of hot chocolate, driven around and looked at so many lights, hung out with a handful of friends that we dearly love, and I have curled up at night and just stared at my tree. I don't think I have ever done that. And I loved it.
It also gave me time to listen to my favorite Christmas song which is, "Welcome to our World," by Chris Rice. It is so easy to just hum along to that song and not really listen to the lyrics, but when you really ponder them, they can be overwhelming. My favorite lines are-
Bring your peace into our violence Bid our hungry souls be filled Word now breaking Heaven's silence Welcome to our world
Fragile finger sent to heal us Tender brow prepared for thorn Tiny heart whose blood will save us Unto us is born
So wrap our injured flesh around you Breathe our air and walk our sod Rob our sin and make us holy Perfect Son of God
I don't know if it means more now that I have a baby boy. Maybe not. But I have spent a lot of time staring at Will in the light of the Christmas tree and just praying. When I think of Jesus and that He really did in fact come in the form of an infant, I want to cry. His little and tiny baby finger was truly sent to heal us. I look at Will's little forehead and think of the infant Jesus whose tender brow was prepared for thorn and his little heart whose blood saved us all. It's amazing. It is truly amazing. His peace was brought into our world of violence and it still surrounds us today.
I still have trouble comprehending that God took on our injured flesh.I think of the Jewish people waiting for their king. Waiting for a soldier. Waiting for a warrior to take on their oppressors by firestorm or by sword. And they got a tiny infant whose perfect blood saved us all. It is mind blowing. And as I sit and reflect I can't help but crying out, "Welcome to our world." Still. Two thousand years later we need our hungry souls filled.
And I am thankful. I am hopeful. I am grateful. And I am saved.
This was the scene after our PB&J lunch today. Rob commented that it looked like the crime scene of a jelly incident gone horribly wrong. I am submitting this photo for forensic evidence. Please note the weapon, the spattered gobs of jelly, and the sandwich parts gone astray and then submit your own verdict. I rest my case.
Santa was a success this year. I was expecting a melt down, but Rob did fine. So did the kids. Bennett looks slightly unsure about things and Will looks like Charlie Brown, but there were no tears and the requisite picture was checked off the list.
My sweet husband asked me last night if I would like some hot chocolate. I was blown away by his generosity and I readily accepted his offer. I heard some strange sounds going on in the kitchen but was too engrossed in the GLEE finale to see what was going on. When he delivered my drink, this is what I got. I give him 10 style points and a few extra for artistry, but he gets -25 for not knowing to warm the milk first before you add the hot chocolate.
I don't have 2 babies anymore. I have one baby and one big girl and it is killing me. Bennett has changed so much from even a month ago. She loses more and more of that baby quality every day that passes and I am desperately trying to grasp every second, cherish every hug, and revel in every smile.
She can speak in 4-5 word sentences. She says phrases like, "Thank you very much," "Help me, Mommy. I'm stuck," and her favorite, "Come on, guys!" She will snuggle and watch a movie with you now. Even a few weeks ago she would only last 5 minutes before she was running around, but now she buries her head on my chest and watches all of Clifford.
She knows 6 letters and can tell you what words start with that letter. She knows M, P, B, L, and S. I didn't push her on this, but we bought her alphabet letters for the fridge a few months ago and she just took an interest in them on her own. My parents are in town and I went to a meeting at my church today and left them with Bennett. When I came home my Dad told me that he had taught her a new letter. He held up the letter "J" and he said, "Bennett, what letter is this?" She immediately said that it was J and that juice started with J. My mouth fell open and my Dad told me that he had only gone over that with her twice. She just amazes me.
But my absolute favorite thing about Bennett is how much she loves her brother. She can be a terror to other kids (Sorry Sutton and Levi) but she adores Will. She is always bringing him his blanket and his paci. She kisses his head, gives him high fives, and cuddles with him. She has never once hit him or been anything but sweet to him. He will be laying on my bed and she will crawl up on the bed and lay next to him and just sigh. I die a little bit every time.
I am just a few weeks late posting these. I thought I should post them before it's Christmas Eve.
Enjoying a beautiful Tahnksgiving afternoon with my girl My family The day after Thanksgiving we went to the Iron Bowl. I almost had a heart attack, but we won in the end. Visiting with my cousin Erin's son, Elijah Brooks.
I know that I haven't posted in awhile. There are 2 reasons for this-
1. My only computer is in my basement and I can't leave the kids alone upstairs and they don't like playing in the basement. And by the time they go to bed at night, I am too tired to do anything but stare at the wall and contemplate whether or not I should have gone with Benjamin Moore instead of Sherwin Williams
2. Too much has happened lately and I don't know where to begin. Does that ever happen to you? When you haven't blogged in awhile you feel so behind on stories, so behind on pictures, so behind on...life. And so you just put it off.
So to ease my way back into the blogging world I am going to start slowly and just post a few things I have learned over the past 2 weeks. I can't post about bike rides, swimming in the pool, playing in the sand, going on hayrides, going to the Iron Bowl, visiting with our dearest friends in the world, hugging my grandmother who is very sick, flying back with 2 kids under 2..... it is overwhelming. So I will sum it up like this-
- Benadryl does not work on plane rides. I don't care what they tell you. It does not. If anything, it has the reverse affect.
-Auburn fans are surprisingly polite. We had a wonderful time at the game and I was so pleased at how courteous everyone was. That is until I got home and got on facebook. I guess the politeness stops in cyberspace.
-My baby girl can and will sleep in a big girl bed. Sniff Sniff...
-The same baby girl likes to sing jazz to poor unsuspecting travelers on a "Hairpane."
-Second helpings of turkey is never a good thing.
-There is nothing like a long bike ride at night through a beautiful beach town.
-Sand is just as annoying as you remember and stupid nostalgia makes you forget this every year.
-Budgets on vacation are frustrating at the time, but you are so grateful for them when you get home.
-True friends can pick right up no matter the time or distance. A good cup of coffee helps.
-Ornaments on trees must start halfway up the tree for the next 3 years.
-You can't put candles in your windows when you have a co-dependent golden lab who stares out the window every time you leave. After the 9th candle was knocked on the floor, we opted for wreaths instead
**Pics to come soon. Maybe. If I can find time to sneak away to the basement. But if I do that, even the ornaments that are halfway up the tree will find themselves knocked down by my toddler who will find a way to climb on something and get them.**
A family of red heads. Of course. And quite a fun one at that. Oh, and our last name is Webster. Hence the name, "The Red Webs." You may now proceed with your blog surfing.
I desire nothing more than a relationship with Jesus Christ. I am a constant Proverbs 31 work in progress. I have seen Gone With the Wind 50 times, watched every episode of I Love Lucy, and read the Anne of Green Gables series more times than I can count. That says a lot. Far too much, actually.
"For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. If you need wisdom-if you want to know what God wants you to do-ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking."