Wednesday, December 28, 2011

THAT birth.

to live as a permanent resident. to exist in a given state or place. to inhabit. to populate.

Ezekiel 37:27
My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Well, the hustle and bustle of Christmas has come and gone.

I've spent most of my morning cleaning up the aftermath, and trying to put things back together in their normal spaces.

my glowing Christmas tree?
pretty white lights trimming the outside of my home?

They are all still up.

We normally don't take them down until after New Years has passed.

I'm THAT woman.
The one who prolongs the taking down and un-doing of the Christmas season.

We are THAT neighbor.

The ones who leave the lights up through Febuary and possibly March.
(okay, in all honesty, maybe even April)

And to my own surprise, I really don't want it to end or to take any of it down at all.

I could even become THAT woman.

This year,
Christmas became something new at our house.

Not the gift opening or the stockings hung or the crazy cooking or the stress filled or the shop til' you drop or the "It's Jesus' birthday so let's make a cake and celebrate His birth just for today", Christmas that I usually have.

This year, 
it became what it was supposed to be.

It became about a birth.

THAT birth.

The Birth.

Isn't that what it's supposed to be about?

God sending His Son to be born on this earth, inhabiting within us, so that we may be born again in  Him.

So that He may dwell among us.
within our hearts.
within our lives.
within the birth of Him within us.

He in us. Us in Him.

I sat relaxing last night with a warm blanket, the soft glow of a lamp, and my laptop.

I exhaled, as I began to snuggle in my comfy spot, and think of the past few weeks and all of the wonder He had unveiled.

I thought of how much I enjoyed Christmas this year.

How It reached down and swooped me up on Its lap, where I could see, truly see, all of Its beauty and miracles within.
Not missing anything,
and whole heartedly knowing and feeling the Christmas season.

A smile took over my cheeks.

It had been a couple of weeks since I had caught up on my favorite blogs, and I looked forward to the quiet of the moment.
 Me reading, and taking in the words that so often feed my soul.

As I read the words of Ann Voskamp, my heart rejoiced,

All day long I pray to be a womb for God.
On the way to town in the morning I whisper to the Father, "Come dwell in me Lord. Come dwell in me."
When we come home from errands and appointments, to crusty bowls still on the table and the entrails of scarves and mittens and boots flung everywhere, I remember.
And I pray it in earnest, as I pick up, put away, the words coming breathless like a woman made heavy, "A womb, Lord, a womb, a dwelling place for You."

The words engulf me and gather me up within their embrace.
I cup my face in my hands and allow the tears to fall.

I read on, through soaked eyes, and the next few words bring forth a loud sobbing within my heart,

I pray for those pregnant with Christ this Christmas.
I pray for the stretching--that I will give way and let God enlarge me.
I pray for the soul stretchmarks.

My heart is burst wide open with these last words and I can no longer read, but only cry in heart felt gratitude to my Father.

That He would inhabit us, and be born in us, and stretch our souls, so that we may live and dwell with Him.

John  1:14
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

As we welcomed the Christmas season this year,
we celebrate His birth within us,
His dwelling among us,
and the stretch marks that come.

We celebrate the renewed spirit and heart of my husband, yet another womb for Jesus to grow and dwell.

We celebrate that, because He was born and resurrected, we are also reborn and become resurrected.

We celebrate the stretching of our hearts to house the Savior.

We celebrate His birth,
His death,
His resurrection,
His living!

We celebrate Him and all that He is.

 I ponder a moment,
and know with all of my knowing,
that I do not want Christmas to end.

Galatians 2:20
I no longer live, but the Messiah lives in me, and the life that I am now living in this body I live by the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Lord Jesus,
we humbly give You our lives to be Your birthing place.
grow in us.
dwell in us.
create in us.
inhabit us.
stretch us.
enlarge us.
be born in us.
We praise You for who You are.
You are Christmas.

All this time we’ve waited for the promise
All this time You’ve waited for my arms
Did You wrap yourself inside the unexpected
So we might know that Love would go that far?

Be born in me, be born in me
Trembling heart, somehow I believe that You chose me
I’ll hold you in the beginning, You will hold me in the end
Every moment in the middle, make my heart your Bethlehem
Be born in me

I am not brave
I’ll never be
The only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy
I’m just a girl
Nothing more
But I am willing, I am Yours
~~Born in Me lyrics, by Francesca Battistelli

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