Updated: Dec 9, 2022
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This time of year, there's just something in the air
...and on the floor.
What is that?
I thought I just swept.
A tiny, silver ball made of sugar.
I'll be finding these and the like for a few more weeks, I'm sure.
It's just proof that Christmas is here.
And the family is together and we're having fun and we're making...
A GINGERBREAD HOUSE!
These have become quite the undertaking in recent years. As if a gingerbread house wasn't enough work, now there are villages and nativity scenes and treehouses! Ahh! If you can get the structural integrity of the treehouse and it balances on top of the tree, then you've really done something.
And for all my fellow Enneagram 1's, my tip is maybe skip these. I mean, even with our best intentions, we finish and the critical voice inside has to poke through the fun with the realization that "It just doesn't look like it does on the box!" Ahh, yes, maybe save yourself the headache and don't go there this Christmas.
Or, if you do, embrace the beautifully imperfect look of kid art. Helping the little ones in our family work together to decorate this house is one of the simple joys of Christmas.
Y'all, they are practicing SO MUCH self-control.
While I open each of the candies and gum drops and red hots and peppermints and packages of icing, they are taking turns asking with eyes wide in excitement, "Can I eat them?!"
I try to remind them, "We get to eat them at the end. If we eat them now, we'll have nothing to decorate our house."
And of course, we sneak pieces here and there - put a gum drop on the house and one in your mouth, put a dollop of icing on the roof and one ...yep, in your mouth!
It's all part of the fun.
But the best part was seeing my niece tell everyone goodnight later that evening and then reach up to try to carry the gingerbread house to bed with her.
After all, if Santa gets a late night snack, so can she...
Oh, precious girl. How I love her so.
As I read Luke 3, I see a connection to our gingerbread house.
Read the last fifteen verses and maybe you'll see it, too.
Now, in full disclosure, I used to skip right over these verses. The genealogy - why is that important to the Christmas story? So many names. Some I can't even pronounce.
Names like Joseph, Levi, even Er. I got those.
Joshua, Nathan, David.
Jesse, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham.
Noah, wait, Mahalaleel?
Jared, Seth, Adam.
Fifteen verses of name after name after name. Generation after generation after generation.
You may be thinking, "Wait, what does this have to do with gingerbread houses?"
Well, I'm glad you asked.
You see Luke included this genealogy intentionally to trace Jesus back from "the son of Joseph" to "the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God." - Luke 3:23, 38
From the very beginning God made a promise that Eve would have a son which would make everything right again.
There were years and years and years of waiting.
Years and years and years of anticipation.
All for the coming King.
And the King came! The Son of God came just as was promised and His name is Jesus.
You see, not only is the anticipation tangible as we read the genealogy of scripture but we see God is detail-oriented. He cares about the details. He made sure His Word stood true - every prophecy was fulfilled.
This year as you create your own gingerbread houses and the joyful anticipation fills your home with the detailed placement of each candy, let's use this as a reminder of the joyful anticipation building in our hearts for celebrating the birth of Jesus.
May it be so beautiful we want to carry this joy with us as my niece did - everywhere we go!
Fear of the Lord is the start of wisdom and joyful anticipation is the heart of wisdom.
Joyful anticipation is central to experiencing the presence of God. It's the thing that beats within us and leads us to desire more and more of Him.
Let's find our strength, joy, and peace build with every moment we spend in anticipation of this miracle of Christmas. May our souls find rest here.
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
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