Smelly Stable

A sweet man once asked me why I read the Bible over and over. Hadn't I already read it all the way through? Well... I had, but I truly gain new insight almost every time I read it. Not every time, because my heart and mind are not always in the right place to hear from God, but very often I find either passages that seem brand new, or ones I've memorized that have completely new wisdom to impart.  Now, with new children's versions floating around my home, I'm actually seeing familiar stories with fresh eyes. Take the Christmas story for instance. Silas has a picture version of the nativity scene that seems a bit more involved than I remembered.
Instead of just the camel, sheep, and donkey, there are real barn animals pictured. There are rats running around the manager and piles of mud and manure, which struck me as uniquely realistic. That's when I started imagining an exhausted pregnant teenager disgusted and frustrated with the environment of her first labor and delivery. I wonder whether she (being only human herself), complained to her new husband about the conditions in which she was going to give birth to the long awaited Savior. That's when another amazing reality hit me.
I knew that God's entrance into humble circumstances was foretelling, I just never realized how humble the circumstances. No one except the smelly animals, and the simple shepherds were there to witness the arrival of a king. How completely counter-cultural to our world today. When royalty or prestige is entering a room, we all have well-understood behaviors and traditions to uphold. But Jesus has been telling us since he his birth that we are never to belong to the world, look like the world, or accept every cultural standard. We are to be set-apart, different, and radical when it comes to our lives here on Earth. Only then can we become more like our perfect Jesus Christ. 
What this practically looks like for each of us is different, but I continue to pray that I will not only be counter-cultural in a way that resembles Christ, but that I will willingly seek a humble existence.
To quote my favorite Christmas song... well my favorite song... "Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Heaven's love reaching down to save the world."

Our little Levi certainly helps keep me humbly on my knees. Neither medicine seemed to fully abate Levi's incredible vomit, so we are now trying a continuous feed in the evening and less feeds during the day. As I sat defeated with Silas after praying God would help Levi, the Holy Spirit spoke right through my little-big man. "Mommy," he said with an uncertain smile. "I'm proud of you mommy. I'm proud of you for checking on Levi."  Wow..... the tears came, but so did my joy with them. How thankful I am for the humility and for God speaking directly to my heart this Christmas!

Sweet Levi at a very early bowling match (tried to get it in early before the crowds)

Silas at the same bowling match.

Silas came in first place! (I think we all should get to use the dragon.)

With the hot weather, some fun snow activities were in order to get us in the holiday spirit!

Silas loved his first time ice skating at Avalon!

Although he only lasted about 30 minutes.

But he didn't even have to take off his shoes!

It's no wonder both my boys have been sick recently. They just love each other.
~Coffee CubBuster