I am home this morning with a zillion things to do on my to-do list but instead I am enjoying the quiet, a cup of coffee, and music that sings His praises on Syrius radio. I’ve eaten my Fiber One bar and so far have staved off eating the puppy chow Lauren made yesterday or the fragrant pumpkin bread I made on Monday evening.

All is calm. All is bright.

Kary is busy at his business. Lauren is sleeping. The boys have yet to come home from college for the holiday.

Although I love the hustle and bustle of a house full of laughter and fun, I also savor these moments when I am alone in my beautiful quiet house and all is right with my world.

I remember waking up to my mom sitting quietly with a cup of coffee at our kitchen table saying she loved that part of the day. Now I understand.

After a few years of rest, my Christmas village with new pieces, once again sparkles on the buffet. A hospital (of course, and a favorite piece that the kids bought for me one Christmas when they were much younger), two churches–Catholic and Protestant (outside the church that looks so much like the churches we saw in Scotland that I’ve decided it is in fact a Presbyterian Church, a man and woman clutch choir books as they walk home from practice. And a nun feeds the birds scraps of leftover bread in front of All Saints), a clock shop and a Christmas shop share the village square across from the pond where two ice fishermen are frozen in excitement awaiting their big catch. Shoppers are clutching bright packages taking their purchases across the bridge to their gaily decorated Victorian homes.

It is the village of my childhood imagination.

The Village Square

The Village Square

Our tree twinkles with colored lights and decorations the kids have made or collected over the years.

Sometimes I wonder about the boy’s future wives and how they will feel being proudly presented with a box of ornaments on their first married Christmas. The ornaments reflect their interests through the years–Spiderman, sports, down-to-the-tiniest-detail electric guitars and drums, along with hanging ice cream cones fashioned from a white silk ornament glued into a real cone and proudly glittered along with the paint stick skinny snowmen of childhood crafts. My prayer is the young women will love the prized ornaments as much as they love the young men they reflect. And the young man who falls in love with and marries my daughter hopefully will see her dreams through the years in the ballet dancers and ornaments that reflect her growing love of music. “Oh, Lord, let it be so!”

Outside of my house there is a cacophony of voices shouting that Iran has tested yet another bomb, my over-use of toilet paper is ruining the planet, Christmas is just an over commercialized attempt to jump start the economy, and somehow Happy Holidays (which means Happy Holy-Day, btw) vs Merry Christmas is the biggest affront to my faith of all.

Instead, I sit in my quiet house and pray and contemplate Jesus coming to this Earth for me.

You know, He came to die. The shadow of the cross fell over the manger of the Babe in Bethlehem because He came to be the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world.

My world.

As I consider it here on the other side of the world where history that changed the world took place, it takes my breath away.

From the beginning, the Omniscent, Ever-present God, the Father, knew we would continue to choose our own way and would need a Savior.

He sent His Son as the Babe of Bethlehem to save me. HE became, Immanuel, God with us, to save me.

To save you.

He came to die for the sins of the world. More personally, He came to die for my sins.

A world groaning from the heaviness of choosing their own way year after year. A world in desperate need of a Savior.

And the world raged against Roman Rule and missed it.

The people of Bethlehem scurried and hurried and worried trying to accomadate the many visitors to their city for the census and most of them missed it.

The Religious leaders who were looking for Messiah in all the wrong places missed His coming.

“Oh, dear God, don’t let me miss it, this year! As the world events swirl around me, help me to see You this Christmas!”

Since I began this missive, Lauren has stirred and our three little dogs are begging for breakfast and there are cards to send, bread to bake and presents to wrap. But like Mary, I have pondered these things in my heart and so instead of joining in the world’s crying chorus, I can take His peace with me, savoring He who came for me. God with us. Immanuel. God with me, this Christmas and always!

May this Christmas bring peace to you and yours!