This year, I am practicing more contemplation, more reflection, more wonder, and entertaining less anxiety, less rushing, less stressing.

My girls, who are five and seven, are in a season of need and that need stretches over the hours of both day and night.

So, I take to soaking in God’s beauty in the darkness and the quiet as I sit on one or the other’s bed in the deep hours of the night. There, gazing upon the faces of my own children, I contemplate the night Jesus was born.

I wonder what it must have been like to hold the Creator of all things and gaze at the face of love there in my arms. My mind cannot truly imagine those first tender moments. But, still, my breath catches.

In not-quite-quiet stillness, I reflect upon the events of Scripture surrounding that incredible, glorious event. I wonder what the angels’ voices sounded like to human ears there in that field. I wonder how bright the light that shown upon those lowly shepherd now wrapped in God’s holy song and presence and pronouncement.

I contemplate the glory that filled the night sky and their hearts. For how could they be in the presence of God’s angels and not sense His glory overflowing into their hearts?

I wonder, did they stand, or kneel, or fall to the ground?

From the warmth and comfort of my girls’ cozy bedroom, I think about Mary in that cold, dirt-floored stable cave birthing Jesus; young and afraid, awed and amazed.

I contemplate the messiness of Bethlehem and birth and the messiness of my own life. And I breathe deeply, eyes closed, and walk through Bethlehem, embracing Christmas in its beautiful messiness.

And then I write.

I write to wrap myself in the moment of those events so that I can step out of the Christmas bustle and into the quiet contemplation of this amazing idea that God came into this place of weariness and brokenness.

I write to embrace this amazing idea that Christmas is how God came near so that He might embrace me always. I pray that you feel the Savior’s embrace as you celebrate Christmas this year.


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