It's been a magical week. Celebrating Christmas, the birth of our Lord, is always the best time of the year. The time with family, the beautiful music, the delicious food, seeing the joy of children as they discover their new treasures on Christmas morning--there's really nothing like it. And this year, we were blessed to celebrate from two perspectives. The twins were Christmas-obsessed this year. From ho-ho lights, to ho-ho trees, to the ho-ho man himself, B&F have been overflowing with Christmas spirit. Watching them anticipate the big day, seeing them learn that Christmas is Jesus' birthday, was a new and indescribable experience. At the same time, though, nothing really compares to a baby's first Christmas. Sharing my favorite holiday with Shepherd for the first time was such a privilege. Getting Shepherd's first Christmas ornament, telling him the nativity story for the first time...these are moments I will treasure forever.
As always with three under three, things weren't always picture perfect. Shepherd managed to poop himself, my dress, and the church floor during communion on Christmas Eve. While decorating Jesus' birthday cake, B&F decided to eat icing by the handful directly off the cake, leaving the cake looking more like the surface of the moon than a kodak-ready dessert. There were meltdowns and boo-boos and moments of extreme overstimulation. But in the midst of it all, this Christmas more than ever before I was struck over and over again by how much God must love us.
We say it so often--God sent his Son to earth--that maybe it loses its power at times. You see, God sent Jesus here, to our world, to be born as an infant. Jesus was a newborn. He was squishy and had that adorable newborn not-quite-cry. He and Mary had to figure out breastfeeding and sleeping and all the other things new families muddle through. And God watched all of this. He saw his little boy, who I realize he already loved fully, as a newborn baby. And I can't help but imagine that He fell in love with His son just a tiny bit more. And Jesus was a toddler. He wobbled as he learned to walk, he bumped his head on everything in sight. He began uttering words, then stringing words into sentences that probably only his parents could understand. And God watched...and fell in love a teeny bit more. God watched his precious Son grow from a tiny baby into a man, all the while knowing his fate. Through every sweet moment, God knew that Jesus was destined to be killed.
As I watched my three kids this Christmas, nearly paralyzed by my love for them, this fact kept running through my mind. God sent his precious newborn son to us that first Christmas day knowing how the story would end. I know the depth of a parent's love. I know the future I hope for for my little ones. God must love us so very, very deeply.