Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

It's hard to believe that this is my third Christmas in Atlanta.  The first one was really exciting.  It was Bruce and my first Christmas together.  A few days after Thanksgiving we drove to a tree farm south of the city and cut down a tree.

We watched the Polar Express and went to the 11:00 service at church.

On Christmas day we drove north and stayed at a Bed & Breakfast in north Georgia.  (Bruce went fishing and I accidentally locked us out)

Last year I think we were both a little bit exhausted by the time Christmas came.  That semester had taken its toll on me and I think we both really NEEDED Christmas.  We needed to look at the Christ light shining in the middle of the Advent wreath.

Kari came down for a few days after finals and we spent an entire day baking cookies.  And then an entire night taking pictures of them.  It was such a relief to not be thinking about school - but there was definitely a part of me that was still worrying about grades, about making it through the next semester, about planning the wedding and about preaching my first Christmas Eve sermon.

This Christmas - our third Christmas in Atlanta - has been different.  Finals were certainly stressful, but I didn't feel as drained coming out of them as I did last year.  My grades were much better and I feel much more confident going into my last semester.  The wedding is over and Bruce and I are enjoying starting new traditions with one another - without the thought of centerpieces and invitations hanging over our heads.  Bruce worked this morning (and I did some last minute shopping) and we are heading up to church soon.  It's not the big family dinner and party, but - in our own little way - it's quite perfect.  We definitely miss our families, but we are enjoying this time together, just the two of us.  We know that with me going into the ministry Christmas is going to be absolutely crazy for the rest of our lives - so we will take the quiet for now!!

For those of you out traveling tonight, please be safe!!

with hope, peace, joy & love,
(p.s. is it just me or has our Christmas tree gotten bigger each year?)

Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

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