Thursday, December 17, 2009

the three-legged, peg-legged sheep

a long time ago i used to sit at my grandparent's house at christmastime, completely entranced by grandma's nativity.  to be honest i think i have always had a love of nativities, relishing in the role of setting up my families and having my own tiny glow-in-the-dark set by my bed year round.  it was like playing with dolls with the added awe of being close to something holy.  through the years i have collected quite a few nativities of my own.  i'm even trying to win a new one from this blog this week.

this beauty in my living room

this one on my tree

this one i found in Myanmar this year

and this one, that was my grandma's too, just not the one from grandma's.

back to grandma's house.  her nativity was old.  and chipped.  and fragile. and she let me play with it whenever i wanted.  i'm sure she accepted the fact that with 17 grandchildren and, at the time, over 30 great-grandchildren (i was the youngest of the grandchildren, but the great-grands were the ones my age) her things were just going to be played with.  oh, i was ever so careful with them, but i was a child, so chips and dings happened.  there was just something so special about her little cardboard stable and holy family.

a few years later, that nativity was given to me.  and i cherish it.

torn stable. only two wisemen and a mismatched set to say the least.  i borrowed the camel and donkey from the brown set from earlier to fill out the stable.  the shepherd, maybe he's another set's joseph, but here he is an unpainted shepherd.  and then little mary & joseph, bowing, in awe of baby Jesus in his cotton lined stall.

and yet my favorite part of this nativity?  the three-legged, peg-legged sheep.  i know there are no stories about him in the Bible.  but he's a very important part of my christmas.  if you look closely you'll see him there at the feet of Jesus.

he would have been thrown out years ago by any sensible person. he's missing one leg.  the other is only a wire. another leg is badly cracked.  he's chipped and he's ugly but he has become more dear to me in every passing year.

it dawned on me a few years back.  i am the three-legged, peg-legged sheep!  broken, cracked and ugly i dare throw myself at the feet of Jesus.  and i welcomed in to worship.  if you notice the other two sheep, they are proud looking, heads up or turned away.  but this sheep's head is bowed.  i'm sure the original maker intended this sheep to be eating grass and that's why his head is low.  but i see a broken, hurting sheep bowed before a Savior.  One who will bring him ultimate healing.

so every christmas i'm reminded by the three-legged, peg-legged sheep how deeply loved i am by God that He would send His Son to the world, to help broken, awkward and ugly sheep like myself.  and how welcome i always am at His feet.

Merry Christmas Friends

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

calm christmas

my new background was entitled "calm christmas."  i couldn't think of anything i would want more.  i'm trying to sit here calmly for a few moments, not thinking about the 2 pies i need to make tonight or all the errands i need to run for the children's celebration tomorrow.  i'm taking a few minutes to slowly eat my blueberries and not think about how we are going to get the pinatas made in time or what games i can come up with at the last minute for tomorrow.

i'm not thinking about my surgery on friday and how i'm going to be healing still on christmas day.  i'm not thinking about how i'm going to have to tell my nieces and nephews that i can't play around with them like normal because i have to protect my nose and i will even have to be careful about which way i hold them on my lap.

no, i'm thinking about calm this christmas, just for a few minutes until...


never mind.

i can hear the children coming.

time to go back to my happy flurry of activity.

it was fun while it lasted, right??