Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I write this carefully, hoping you will be able to look past us and see Him...please do.

We have been rethinking Christmas here, wondering about doing it differently. We aren't searching for a perfect Christmas, longing for a nostalgic event that never quite seems to be, nor are we searching for more a religious Christmas, attempting to do the holiday "right" in some legalistic adherence to tradition and liturgy.

We are looking for ways to turn our hearts heavenward, to remember. With three little ones watching, learning always, doing Christmas as we always have, just because, doesn't work anymore. And so, we are wondering and thinking and those little ones keep watching and asking, and we are hoping to understand what it looks like to answer questions like, if Christmas celebrates Jesus' birthday, how come the presents under the tree are for us?

You won't notice a big difference walking in our door this year. Candles line window sills, fresh fir branches are wreathed on the table and piano, and the tree, bedecked with Jesse Tree ornaments, sparkles. But the packages under the tree? They are the gifts to Jesus, the reason for this celebration. What fun it was to wonder aloud with the children, "What would Jesus want for His birthday?" And you know, one of them actually understood. He pored through the catalogs and came to me with his tally. We needed $69 to spend. And how? Under our tree you will find boxes, carefully wrapped, reading Feed a Hungry Baby for a Week (Samaritan's Purse) and Christmas Care Pack for a Child in Vietnam (Voice of the Martyrs), and they rattle with change from the piggy bank of a 7 year old who is beginning to understand.

And so, we are looking for Christmas, hoping that as we seek Him, we will remember how His heart beats. For an inspiring read, please visit the post at this link. You will be blessed and challenged, and if you are looking for a fresh way to see this season advent, The Glorious Coming -- a Jesse Tree Advent Celebration, is a beautiful perspective on this counting down to Him.


Abbie Laine said...

Stated beautifully. Love it and love that you encouraged bravely. Thanks. And YAY for His birthday! He CAME! To US!

Anonymous said...

Once again the life you and Alex purposefully choose makes me relfect upon the way I live. Your walk of faith is a light to many. I so appreciate your honesty and openness. It encourages in ways you will never know this side of heaven.
God bless you real big:)

Carrie said...

Hi Riann,

It is so fun to have our paths cross yours! We had fun meeting your crew last night. I love your blog, and your pictures are beautiful - as is your family :)

It will be fun to read your blog and get to know you better!

Mine is www.willinghearts.blogspot.com if you have time to come over for a visit. Hopefully we will be able to meet up in person again soon.


Anne said...

Wow. My first thought. Then after my husband read your blog, that was also his exact response. It goes right along with the sermon series our pastor is preaching through, based on this movement: http://www.adventconspiracy.org/

Hope you don't mind, but I shared the blog with him on FB and want to share on our own page for our other FB friends, as this has inspired us, along with the sermon series and just a general desire, as you say, to celebrate Christmas differently. We plan to incorporate your idea on a smaller scale into our own plans this year.

Thank you for sharing!

Not So SilentDea said...

Yeah!! Just a big old "YEAH"! :)