Looking Back

Thursday, December 31, 2009 3 Comments A+ a-

Wow! The decade is almost over. Seriously, where did the time go?

Ten years ago, I was a young coed living in a house full of other girls, living a life that was… well… hmmm… not so pure or Christian-like. No excuses, that’s just where I was in life. And thank goodness He can meet us anywhere, right?

What’s happened in these last ten years?

I’ve lived in five different homes/apartments, not including moving into and out of my parents’ house three times.

I’ve had three different cars: a gray station wagon, a blue Honda Civic, and now a bluish-greenish Kia Sedona.

I said “yes”, and then I said “I do”.

Numerous health issues, including finally getting a diagnosis of fibromyalgia after living for years with symptoms and no answers. And I can’t forget having a lump removed from my breast mere months after our wedding.

We’ve owned three dogs; losing two of them to a tragic accident.

The excitement of seeing two pink lines for the first time, scratch that, the excitement of seeing two pink lines any time. And the beautiful, healthy children we were blessed with.

We became the proud owners of a new house.

We’ve been to Mexico, Wyoming, North Carolina, Florida, and California.

This list doesn’t even include all the lessons learned, experiences shared, fights fought, compromises sought , make-ups enjoyed, friends lost, friends made, deaths of loved ones, births rejoiced over, tears shed, memories created, laughter shared, achievements celebrated, fears suppressed, or prayers answered.

My God has been good to me!

I can’t even begin to imagine the journey God has in store for us in the year and decade ahead. I’ll tell you this much though, I’m excited. And looking forward to 2010!

Have a safe and blessed New Year.

Land of Denial

Thursday, December 31, 2009 3 Comments A+ a-

I like living in a state of denial. Hey, it works for me.

Truth be told, if I let my thoughts wander where they will when my husband is at work, I’d get little to no sleep. He’s the supervisor of his shop, yet pulls his weight when it comes to snow removal. His work entails working 12-hour shifts during winter months, in the middle of the night, in a canyon that is incredibly steep in places. He has to turn that huge snow plow around somewhere, and I don’t consider a canyon a great place to do that, but he doesn’t have a choice.

I can’t even take into account human error, such as inexperienced drivers or hurried drivers. I can’t think about the semis that cross his highway, or of the semi that hit another state truck last week, sending the state driver to the hospital. I can’t think about drunk drivers, or distracted drivers. I just can’t.

But every so often, I’m slapped in the face with reality and I’m brought to my knees in gratitude that our father and husband is brought home to us every night, safely.

Yesterday was such a moment. I was awake most of the night, reaching over for Jon’s side of the bed. A touch on his back, or his arm, or his hair; a touch to reassure myself that he was indeed sleeping next to me.

He and his guys were clearing snow from a shoulder; Jon was the one in the Loader. He felt his back wheels slide off the road, in the direction of the drop-off, towards the river. He tried digging the bucket into the side of the mountain to keep from sliding, but it was no use. So as the rest of this 30,000lb+ machine slid down, Jon turned the loader into the turn and went for a ride down the mountain. He aimed for a tree, not wanting to go into the river, and took the tree out.

He told me that he never wanted to bail out of a machine as bad as he did yesterday, but he managed to hang on and did everything right. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my husband so shook up; he’s usually the calm, cool, and laidback one. So when my husband is scared, then you can imagine what that does for my state of mind.

Last night, I let myself go to that place of “what-ifs”; it wasn’t pretty and my dreams reflected my mindset. This morning I’m saying another prayer of gratitude for God’s hand in keeping my husband safe. But now I’m going back into denial mode.

Happy 1st Baby Girl!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 7 Comments A+ a-


My dearest Reagan,

Today you turn one and I’m awed at how fast time has flown. With each child, I feel l have a grasp on how to make time slow down… stopping to cherish each and every moment… And yet somehow, each time, the one year milestone creeps up on this mommy and I’m forced to swallow the lump in my throat as we say good-bye to your babyhood.

Reagan, I will never forget the day your daddy and I found out that you were on your way. Such a surprise, little one! And now, so many months after that morning, I’m shamed to admit I questioned His timing. I felt that we weren’t ready, that the timing couldn’t have been more wrong, that we were being inconvenienced in the worst way. Oh, how very, very wrong I was.

You have enriched our lives more than we could have possibly imagined. And His timing is always perfect. Always.

You, my child, have been determined to do everything your way, on your schedule. Your refuse to follow the steps that your siblings laid out for you; instead you are determined to find your own way. I thought I had this mommy-thing figured out until you came; you’ve taken every preconception I’ve had and blown it to shreds. I am sure that this past year is a small glimpse of the adventures you’re going to take our family on.

Reagan, my love, you are so very sweet and have such a laid-back spirit. You’re content to let Hudson tease you and wrestle you, up to a point. But when that point has been reached, you let go and let the whole house know you’ve had enough. There’s been more than one occasion when Hudson has looked at you in surprise, unaware such a big voice lived in such a small body. I’m just waiting for the first time you give him a taste of his own medicine. And I’m sure that time is not far around the corner.

You are small, in fact, the smallest of our children. You have just now moved into size 6-9 month clothes and I smile when strangers are surprised when I tell them your age.

And again, dear one, what you lack in size, you make up for in personality. No one believes us when we mention your big and comical personality, for in strange surroundings you prefer to sit quietly and contentedly in our laps. But when we are at home, where you are most comfortable, your personality lets loose and we are in stitches over your faces and antics. You don’t do the things you do by accident, you’re looking for a reaction and we’re so ready to give you what you want.

Reagan, 20 months ago when we saw those pink lines, we couldn’t imagine having another so soon after Hudson. And now… we can’t imagine our lives without you in it. You have brought so much fullness to our lives, I can hardly stand it.

You and your daddy share more than the same shade of blue eyes, you share such a special connection. It warms my heart to see the smiles spread across both your faces when the other walks into a room.

Devyn has adored being your big sister and she is so great in anticipating and meeting your needs, be it a drink, a toy, a pacifier, or play time. And your gratitude in return, which you give in spades, is all she desires.

Your relationship with Hudson, oh my, this is going to be the most volatile of all your relationships I fear. You two can be the best of buds, when he’s making you laugh so hard I wonder if your face will break. Or you can be the worst of enemies when he’s taken a toy you wanted, and vice versa. But you adore each other, of that I’m certain.

Reagan, I have so many desires and wishes for these years I have with you. And thankfully, we have time. But most importantly, you should know how very honored I am to be called your mother. You are one of my biggest, and best, reminders that God is always in control. Always.

Happy Birthday, my youngest little!

All my love,
Mama

Counting My Blessings

Sunday, December 27, 2009 1 Comments A+ a-



As the year comes to a close, I’m stopping to reflect and take note of the blessings I’ve been given. I count these four at the very top of my list. He has been so very good to me!

“Every good and perfect gift comes from above…” James 1:17


Welcome Holy Child

Friday, December 25, 2009 4 Comments A+ a-

My sister, Christine, sang this in the Christmas Eve service last night. Let me brag a moment, she did a phenomenal job! And its a beautifully written song.

I pray that you'll let the words sink into your soul this Christmas morning.

WELCOME TO OUR WORLD
Written by: Chris Rice

Tears are falling,
hearts are breaking
How we need
to hear from God

You've been promised,
we've been waiting
Welcome Holy Child
Welcome Holy Child

Hope that you don't
mind our manger
How I wish
we would have known

But long awaited
Holy Stranger
Make yourself at home
Please make yourself at home

Bring your peace
into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled

World now breaking
Heaven's silence
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger
sent to heal us
Tender brow
prepared for thorn

Tiny heart
whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured
flesh around You
Breathe our air
and walk our sod

Rob our sin
and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God

Welcome to our world

"For unto YOU is born this day in... a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Our Christmas Card

Monday, December 21, 2009 4 Comments A+ a-

Merry Christmas, from our house to yours!

Designed by: Yours Truly

The Shepherds Kept Watch

Sunday, December 20, 2009 1 Comments A+ a-

This was originally posted in December of 2007.

It was a dark night; there were fewer stars out tonight, hence less light to do his job. He looked out among the herd, mentally calculating the number of sheep. He smiled to himself, they were all there; he could relax once again. The glow of the fire highlighted the faces of the other men with him; some were dozing, trying to rest as they awaited their next rotation; others were warming their hands, rubbing them over and over as they chatted amongst themselves; and still others were keeping a wary eye over the herd. They had sent Cephas out to walk the perimeter, to ensure that a predator wasn't hiding among the hills or bushes, ready to snatch a wayward lamb.

He was a man of few words; conversation was rarely needed for the job he did. He bent down to scratch dirt-encrusted calves, wincing with each movement. He was tired, that was certain; they'd been out here for weeks and he'd almost reached his patience threshold. He was ready for a warm bath, a good night's sleep, and freshly-laundered clothes, but these would have to wait. Instead he turned his attention back to the herd and the black night. Again, he smiled. His might not be the most coveted of jobs but he enjoyed the stillness, the quiet the job brought. Not to mention the beauty of the night landscape. Off in the distance, the town of Bethlehem stood on a hill; various lamps and lights dotting the horizon. It was beautiful out here and he'd learned to enjoy such simple views.

Suddenly, in the distance, he heard a horn; a sound unlike anything he'd ever heard before. He glanced around the men, to see if they had heard it too, or to see if he really was losing his mind. Even the men that had been sleeping had risen to their feet, looking around to find what had woken them. There! The horn sounded off again. He searched the dark sky to see what was giving such melodious music. And then before his very eyes, there shone a bright light. He shielded his eyes, wondering how day had arrived so suddenly, where moments ago night still covered them. He could hear some of the men cowering on the ground, begging for their lives, asking Yahweh to save them. He was half-tempted to join them, this was unlike anything he'd ever experienced before. Then the sky was filled beautiful music, the words drifted over him.


"Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King!"


He fell to his knees as the sky filled with a heavenly choir. Angels, dozens of them, spread across the horizon; their light so bright he could barely look at them without his eyes burning. To the left and the right, angels stood with horns; their long, drawn-out notes punctuating each word.


"Joy to the earth; the Savior reigns!"


Who were these beings?! It was obvious that God had send this heavenly host, but why to sheep herders? What had he done to deserve such news, or to see such sights? He was humbled to his very core. An angel stepped forward, away from the others and came close to the men.

"Don’t be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger."

And with a final verse, a final truimphant blast of the horn, day returned to night and the men were left to talk amongst themselves. As the rest of them debated about what what they had seen and what they should do; he found himself too awed, too thunderstruck to join in. What had just happened here was nothing short of miracle. He heard a shout in the distance and turned to watch Cephas tripping over himself to reach the others.

"Did you see that?" he asked of the other herders. "Did you see that beautiful choir?"

Yes, they shook their heads; some still unbelieving what their eyes had seen. Cephas turned his head and with wide eyes asked, "What should we do?"

The herder came to his feet, grabbed his staff, and announced, "We go! We find this babe, the savior of the world and we rejoice!" With his announcement, he turned toward Bethlehem. As the men scrambled to join him on the trek, he smiled to himself. Never had his heart felt so light, so happy, so... so... so full of joy! A savior had been born! His Savior! What wonderful news for all the earth.


"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."


They Keep Me Laughing

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 13 Comments A+ a-

“Mommy, I don’t want our last name anymore.” Devyn declared last week.

“Oh really?” I asked. “What would you like to be called?”

“I like McKenna’s last name better. I want to be Devyn Paige ______,” she told me. (And its not Smith or Jones or Peterson, starts with Tru and ends in ex.)

“Hmmm,” I replied, biting the inside of my lip to keep from laughing out loud. “Well, Paige, if you want to have McKenna’s last name, then you’ll have to go live with them.”

She looked at me, startled, “Why?”

“Well, love, everyone with the same last name lives together. All of the [insert our last name here] live in this house, and all of the [insert McKenna’s last name here] live at her house.”

I could see the wheels in her head spinning. “Ok, then, I guess I’ll keep [insert our last name here].”

I smiled. “Good. I’m glad. I would’ve missed you!” And with a giggle and a hug, she went off to play.

***************

I tousled Hudson’s curls as we prayed good-night. Oh goodness, his cheeks are so soft and kissable.

“… and God bless Reagan,” I whispered beside his ear.

“And Gracie,” he whispered back.

“And God bless Gracie,” I finished.

“And Baby Jesus,” he whispered again.

My heart melted into a big puddle on the floor and I smiled in the dark. “Yes, and God bless Baby Jesus. Amen.”

I tucked the blankets around his body and leaned over for a kiss. As I started to pull away, he called my name and held up a baby doll. “Baby Jesus too?” he asked. I kissed “Baby Jesus” too, before tucking him in next to Hudson.

I shut the door behind me when I heard a soft, “Mama.” I opened the door to peer at my son. He had both arms in a bicep curl and said,

“I’m strong!”

“Yes, Hudson, you are strong. Now good night!” And the door was shut one final time.

***************

“Mommy, I’m going to draw a picture of you and Daddy on a date,” Devyn announced.

“Sounds great! I can’t wait to see it.”

When she came back a few minutes later, she explained her drawing.

“This is you in this chair and this is Daddy in this chair. You’re eating dinner and watching a movie. You’re watching The Princess and The Frog and Daddy’s watching an X rated movie.”

(I swear if I’d had anything in my mouth at the time, it would’ve been spit out across the room.)

“What do you mean by X rated, Paige?” I asked, my mind racing, wondering how on earth I was going to steer this conversation back to the right direction.

“Well,” she explained, pointing to the X on the piece of paper. “This is where pirates find the treasure, under the X.”

“Oh,” I sighed, relieved as all get out. “A pirate movie!”

“That’s what I said!” She was thoroughly put out by now. “An X rated movie!”

The Difference of a Year

Sunday, December 13, 2009 6 Comments A+ a-

We celebrated my niece, Elliana’s, birthday last night. Has it really been a year?!

Tomorrow is her actual birthday, but one year ago, on this Sunday, we’d gone home after welcoming Miss Elliana to this world. I remember the frantic call from Christine, saying her water had broken. I remember taking my time getting Devyn and Hudson ready and out the door; stopping to kiss my husband good-bye as he headed out the door for another snow shift. I remember driving on icy, snowy roads with the intention of dropping my children off at my aunt’s house before heading over to the hospital. I remember the frantic call from Courtney, asking if I was on my way to the hospital NOW, and I wondered at the rush. (Seriously, it was her first child; we were going to be waiting for hours. Um, no, not really because she was already at 9 ½ cm when they got there. ) I remember the quick change of plans as I turned our van around and headed to the hospital instead. There was a Broncos game in the waiting room, a quick visit once Christine had gotten her epidural to slow-her-labor-the-heck-down, pizza was ordered, aunt showed up and took the kids, the reports on progress, then pushing, then the news of emergency c-section, and then the much-awaited arrival of Elliana Faith. Wow! A year. It flew so fast!

I find myself in much contemplation this December; we’ve had numerous conversations as a family as we reminiscence about this time last year. A lot of conversations beginning with “Do you remember…” or “At this time last year…” I’m sure its to be expected after the December we had last year. Honestly? I get so very tired just thinking about it, but as stressful and overwhelming and heartbreaking as last December was, I can say with absolute confidence that we see God’s providential hand in every detail during that time.

Elliana arrived one week before Courtney’s wedding, thus allowing Christine to be at the wedding. Chris wasn’t able to sing the song that Courtney had asked her to sing and she had to sit in a chair up at the front of the church, but she was there to witness Jeremy and Courtney’s vows. And if she, Caleb, and their one-week-old baby had to leave the reception early, then so be it. A sister didn’t miss the wedding!

Only three days after Courtney and Jeremy said their “I do’s”, Mom’s paralysis moved even further up her body and she was forced to go to the emergency room on Christmas Eve. None of us imagined sitting in the hallway outside her hospital room as the neurologist consulted with her on Christmas Eve! It seemed like a bad movie. But again, God’s timing is everything. Courtney and Jeremy were set to leave the day after Christmas to go to Hawaii for their honeymoon and were able to spend some time with Mom in the hospital before they left. They weren’t ideal circumstances, but after a spinal tap, the neurologist was finally able to confirm that Mom had Guillian-Barre and we finally had answers!

Then just five days after that, our little girl, Reagan Jacqueline, arrived two weeks early! In the same hospital where Mom was still receiving treatments for Guillian-Barre. I know Mom was up the whole night I was in labor, crying because she couldn’t be there to witness Reagan’s arrival. I can’t imagine how much it must’ve hurt her to know that just one floor below where she was staying, her girl was giving birth. Yet, months later, we look back at that time and know God’s had timed everything just so. If Reagan had arrived anywhere close to her due date (or after as her siblings were prone to do), Mom would’ve already been transferred to the rehab hospital and would not have met her newest granddaughter until she was weeks old. As it was, her nurses heard her weeping and arranged to wheel Mom down one floor into my delivery room and meet Reagan as she was just hours old. This picture means everything to me.
We often joke that the hospital should’ve given us a family discount as we had three family members in there within a two-week time frame. Oh, we can laugh and joke about it now. It’s almost comical how each circumstance piled on top of the other until none of us thought we could stand it any longer. I said almost. But our God is good. And gracious. And loving. And purposeful. He did not give us anything more than we could handle and it has made us, all of us, that much more appreciative of this Christmas season. We have all found ourselves slightly weepy at times as we reflect on the difference of last December and this one. We feel as though we walked through the fire and came out stronger on the other side.

A year has made all the difference between entitled and grateful.

Go Away Mr. Grinch!

Thursday, December 10, 2009 11 Comments A+ a-

I think I found my Christmas spirit again... in all the small things around our house...
In the tree we just bought, new to us via a classifieds ad. We are die-hard "real" Christmas tree fans but with little ones and a puppy, it just made sense to go "artificial" for the next few years. We'll be out chopping down our trees again soon... but in the mean time, this works for us.
In having the stockings hung by the chimney with care. I finished Reagan's stocking tonight and couldn't be more thrilled with how it turned out. Many of you have asked where I bought these stocking kits and I've bought them in two places, Amazon and Hobby Lobby. Amazon is way cheaper, but if you find yourself not wanting to wait, then head over to Hobby Lobby, they have them in stock. The brand is Bucilla. This one is next for my avid fisherman.

In one of the Nativity scenes that sits in our house. This is one of the only ones that hasn't yet been broken or chipped by little hands.
In the centerpiece that sits on our dinner table right now. I'd love to say that it always looks like this but Hudson loves digging into it and throwing the silver bells around like they were baseballs. Sigh. Such is life in a house with a two-year-old boy.
In the Christmas wreaths that hang on our outside lights. There are no Christmas lights that adorn our house, we don't have lighted reindeer, nor 8-foot inflatable snowglobes. Simply four wreaths with red bows, one for each light.
Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas?! Not so much for the gifts and over-indulgence (although, I'll admit, I already ate the first batch of Grammie's Chex Mix), but in the warm, cozy, and giving spirit that seems to permeate the air. There is nothing that says Christmas to me like turning on the fireplace and the twinkling Christmas lights and curling up with Jon and the kids. See? I told you it came back...


I'm drawing a blank...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 3 Comments A+ a-

My brain is fried because…
  • I’ve been single mom these past four days due to snow and freezing temps.
  • I finished Reagan’s stocking in two weeks.
  • I have approximately 5-6 loads of laundry awaiting my attention.
  • I’ve been dealing with some bad attitudes, mainly mine, and I’m trying to get my heart back in the right place.
So, since I’ve got nothing, enjoy this little medley from Straight No Chaser. (I can’t believe I haven’t discovered these guys before now. Their 12 Days of Christmas is hysterical!) Hopefully I’ll have a real post up before the end of the week. (You'll want to pause my music player on the right.)

Enjoy.



I know what you're NOT getting for Christmas this year...

Thursday, December 03, 2009 5 Comments A+ a-

Devyn and I were chatting about some gift ideas for her Christmas list. This is the first year that Jon and I are giving a small amount to Devyn and Hudson to spend at the dollar store to buy gifts. Obviously it’s not about the quality of gifts, but that they start learning its better to give than receive, even at their young age.

In her sing-song voice, she rattled off a list to me as we sat together in front of the fireplace. Reagan and Hudson were both down for a nap after an incredibly rough morning; it was the first time all day that Devyn and I got to talk. I loved our chats like these, such a fun glimpse into who she really is.

“I’m going to get Hudson a play gun, so he can shoot bad guys. And I’m going to get Reagan a baby toy. And I’m going to get Elliana a toy she can chew on ‘cause her teeth hurt her…” Without pausing for a breath, she continued on. “I’m going to get Nana a doctor-thing, and maybe Papa something with a mail bag.”

Pause.

“But I’m not going to buy Daddy a real gun,” she informed me vehemently.

Surprised, I looked up. She knew Jon already had a few guns in his possession and I wondered where this newfound passion came from. “Why, honey?” I asked.

“Because," she said. “The Word of God says you shouldn’t kill people. It’s bad. And you can go to jail if you kill people. That would be bad. So I’m not buying Daddy a real gun for Christmas.”

There are so many different paths I could have further taken that conversation, but instead I said nothing. Because, well, it’s kind of hard to argue with logic like that.

Sorry, Babe, no real guns under the tree for you this year.

Glorious!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009 3 Comments A+ a-

From Beth Moore's study, Jesus - 90 Days with the One and Only. Beth Moore is very clear, "... this is stricly fiction. I just invite you to imagine with me what Mary's first moments might have been like..." Enjoy.

Her body lay sapped of strength, her eyes were heavily closed, but her mind refused to give way to rest. She ached for her mother. She wondered if she yet believed her. She heard the labored breathing of the man sleeping a few feet from her. Only months before he was little more than a stranger to her. She knew only what she’d been told and what she could read in occasional shy glances. She had been told he was a good man. Over the last few days, she found out he was far more than a good man. No man, no matter how kind, could have done what he had done. She wondered how long it had been since he’s really rested.

A calf, only a few days old, awakened hungry and could not find its mother. The stir awakened the baby, who also squirmed to find His mother. Scarcely before she could move her tender frame toward the manger, He became to wail! She scooped Him in her arms, her long hair draping over His face, and she quietly slipped out of the gate. She gingerly sat down and leaned against the outside of the stable, propped the baby on her small lap, and taking a strip of linen and tying back her hair, she began to stare into His tiny face. She had not yet seen Him in the light.

She had never seen the moon so bright. The night was nearly as light as the day. Only hours old, His chin quivered, not from the cold, but from the sudden exposure of birth. His eyes were shaped like almonds and were as black as the deepest well. She held Him tightly and quietly hummed a song she’d learned as a child. She had been so frightened of this moment, so sure she would not know what to do. She had never held an infant so small, and He was God, wrapped in soft, infant flesh, with bones so fragile she felt like He could break. She had pictured this moment so many times. What would the Son of the Spirit look like? She never expected Him to look so normal, so common. Must have been the part He inherited from His mother. She was so sure she’d feel so terribly awkward. So afraid she’d drop Him – the Messiah – and God would be awfully sorry He had given Him to her! Instead, every fear, every doubt, every inadequacy was momentarily caught up in the indescribable rapture of a mother’s affection.

She remembered asking Elizabeth things she dared not ask her father and mother. Once when they were walking together at the end of the day, the wind blew her cousin’s robes against her, and like a curious teenager, Mary tried her hardest to catch a good glimpse of Elizabeth’s rounded middle. At the time she herself had no physical evidence that God’s promise was true. But she had enough faith to ask endless questions. What am I to do when He comes? Her cousin’s reply would remain forever etched upon Mary’s heart long after He had saved the world. He will tell you what He needs from you. Beyond what He needs, all He wants is for you to embrace Him and talk to Him.

She looked back into His delicate face and watched Him closely as He seemed to stare deeply into the moonlit sky. And she began to talk. “Sweet baby boy. Do You know who Your Daddy is? Do You know Your name? Do You know why You’re here? What do You see when You look out there? Can You see the stars? Do You remember their names? Do You think I’ll do ok? Will You love me too?” A tear dropped from her chin to His. He yawned and made such a funny expression she grinned, wiping her face on the yellowed rags she’d draped around Him. The fussing calf had obviously found its mother. Not a sound was coming from inside the stable. The earth stilled. The infant slept. She held the babe next to her face, and for just a moment, all the world was silent to the breath of God.

She closed her eyes and listened, stealing time like a hidden metronome, as high and as wide as she dared to think, but still she could not begin to comprehend. She, a common child of the most humble means who never read the Scriptures for herself, was embracing the incarnate Word. The fullness of the Godhead rested in her inexperienced arms, sleeping to the rhythm of her heart. This time she hummed a song she did not know, a song being sung by the choirs of angels hovering over her head but hidden from her carnal senses. The deafening hallelujahs of the heavenly hosts were silent to mortal ears except through the sounds of a young woman’s voice who had unknowingly given human notes to a Holy score. The glory of God filled the earth. Heaven hammered out a bridge, but one young woman sat completely unaware of all that swelled the atmosphere around her. The tiny baby boy had robbed her heart. “So, this is how it feels to be a mother,” she mused.

She crept back into the stable, wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in the manger. Just down the path, the sun peeked gently over the roof of an inn full of barren souls who had made Him no room.