Wednesday, October 19, 2016

endurance and hope

by Alanna

"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character,
and character produces hope,
and hope does not put us to shame,
because God's love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit
who has been given to us "

  I had been praying with a friend lately about marriages. Those that seem to be doing well and those that are falling apart or have already chosen divorce. I read these verses around the same time and it made me think about the way we try to escape suffering. Maybe it's a terrible spouse who treats us badly. Maybe it's disease. Maybe it's depression that we can't shake or a bad relationship with a sibling or a church who is broken. Mostly we want to get away from suffering, and will often take the quickest path possible to escape it. And then we feel hopeless. Things will never change. I never noticed this connection that God makes though- suffering producing endurance producing character producing hope. Suffering leading to hope! But only if we choose to endure (and yes, I think that sometimes enduring is a choice if escaping is an option). This is not to say that we should not take medicine or try to make relationships better and stronger.  But I do think we should have in mind to endure. Because I believe that God planned for His people to suffer. And I long for our suffering to produce the fruit of hope.  I want to change my first reaction to suffering. To stop asking God immediately for it to end. But rather to ask Him to grant me endurance, build my character, and produce in me hope. Hope in the midst of suffering is a beautiful thing. Especially hope that does not put us to shame! 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Who's side?

By Mary

It seems like these days, everyone is in such a hurry to gobble up information on a current event, pick who's right and who's wrong and then spew out that opinion whenever possible and argue it till they're blue in the face. 

And I admit, it can be tempting, at least the part about fact gathering and deciding where I stand on something. I'm not saying it's entirely unhealthy. But it does seem like we're almost desperate to figure out what should have happened in a given instance. We want to analyze and say, there! that's who was wrong here, this is what could have prevented that tragedy there, and boy if everybody would just see it the way I do, we wouldn't have this kind of problem anymore. If it had been me, it would have been ok. Because I can see clear as day that the problem is__. Racism. Lack of respect for authority. Bad parenting. Neglect. Sexism. Broken families. Abuse. Entitlement. If people would do as I do, it would all be taken care of. Under control.

Except it's just not true.

Being better educated and making better choices will not bring life under our sphere of control. Not even if we get everyone else on the same page as us. We will not be fully capable of keeping bad things from happening to our children, protect the innocent, or do away with ugly prejudices.

And the thing is, the problem is not kids growing up without a dad, not racism, not lack of discipline. That's all just the symptoms of a sin-sick world. Patching it up, even with something like "love one another" or "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" or "submit yourselves to authorities" will still fail to take away the sin. It's people's hearts that need the transformation, not just their actions.

And that goes for our hearts, the ones that have trusted and believed and been bought with a price. Our hearts need to be transforming and not conforming. We need to remember our own fallibility before we start sifting through often conflicting stories and picking apart the actions of others to find out who's right and who's wrong.

It's not that right and wrong are usually so difficult to's just that more than likely in any given instance, a person is going to be both. To some degree, they're probably right and wrong at the same time. You can even be right the wrong way, which makes it even stickier. Extremely rarely am I ever correcting one of my children without also needing to address the behavior of the other. And more and more I'm realizing that God has probably seen that to be the case for me as well in my interactions with family, friends, strangers. 

It brings to mind the lyric from Beauty and the Beast "Bittersweet and strange, finding you can change, learning you were wrong." Sometimes the thing I've been doing forever with perfect ease of conscience is the very thing that suddenly is so glaringly wrong.

And so I think it's very likely that I (and those around me) would be better off if I didn't have the perfect argument for the perfect opinion on every hot button issue but rather decided to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. When it comes to choosing sides, I want to remember Joshua 5:13-14--

"Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” "

Let's choose God's side.

Friday, August 19, 2016


By Mary

I was listening to a song on a Christian radio station here, one that plays a lot, about the pressure of fast paced life, trying to squeeze as much as you can out of the day, always feeling behind. And I thought (with maybe a teensy bit of smugness) how happy I am that I don't live life like that, that I don't need the reminder found in that song to slow down, just breathe.

I do think my mom taught me to value a less hectic schedule than is average nowadays, at least in America. It seems like most think the more activities are packed into your week, the better you're doing, the more successful, impactful and accomplished you are. And maybe that last one is true, maybe I don't accomplish as much as many people. But it's just as important to evaluate what exactly you're accomplishing, and what that accomplishment is worth. It's easy to do things, or at least it's generally pretty straightforward. But people, relationships...they're more complicated. And not so easy to cross off your to-do list with that sense of success.

It was while I was thinking about these things that I realized that, while I may not keep a full-to-bursting structured schedule, I have my moments every day where I still get caught up in the rush and the drive to accomplish and do more. So often I forget to slow down a minute and look in my child's eye while they talk to me, instead of listening half turned away while I multi-task. Or I let the thoughts run rampant through my head while my husband is telling me about his day-my mental list of the things I still have to do, trying to formulate my opinion on a current event, or composing my response to something a friend wrote-instead of reigning them all in and being in the moment of here and now. There are so few times that I really can't spare a few extra seconds to make someone know they are valued and to enjoy these moments of life that are so quickly gone.

So I guess its good for me to hear the reminder too, as I learn daily to live less hurried, to savor the moment that is all we ever have-and to spend the moments wisely, on things that will last.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Victim of Circumstance

By Mary

I've been reading the book Lies Women Believe And the Truth That Sets Them Free, and I just came across the most convicting portion to me so far--about buying into the lie "If my circumstances were different, I'd be different."

In this section of the book, Nancy Leigh DeMoss writes:

 "We are saying, 'Someone or something made me the way I am.' We feel that if our circumstances were different-our upbringing, our environment, the people around us-we would be different. We would be more patient, more loving, more content, easier to live with.
 If our circumstances make us what we are, then we are all victims. And that's just what the Enemy wants us to believe. Because if we are victims, then we aren't responsible-we can't help the way we are. But God says we are responsible-not for the failures of others, but for our own responses and lives.
 The Truth is, our circumstances do not make us what we are. They merely reveal what we are."

The events of our lives and the people populating it shouldn't define us. When life presses and pushes, we can be molded evermore into Christ's image-if only we make the choice not to be victims of circumstance, but rather victors through Him Who loves us.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

by Alanna

So, my husband and I love each other lots.  And Jesus loves us both immensely and has blessed us with another baby.  So tiny, just starting to grow in me.  When I first saw those two pink lines I panicked a little bit.  My oldest won't be 2 until October, and we're going to have our third before she turns 2 1/2. I started thinking about how I would have to be strong, to prove to people how it's ok to not "plan" your family, to let God be in control.  Prove to my husband, to myself, to the church, to the world that we are capable of this.  That it's not that crazy.  I brainstormed ways I could plan my days better, be more organized, work harder.

Thankfully, God is working on my heart. And I came to realize something throughout that first day of knowing there was life inside of me.  I don't have to be strong.  I don't have to show the world that I am capable, that my husband and I are perfectly able to manage three kids under 2 1/2.  Because the truth is, we are not capable.  We are just utterly thrilled that the Creator of life is going to entrust another precious child to us.  All I have to do is trust Jesus.  To rejoice.  It's not about working harder or having a clean house or faking smiles every Sunday when my kids have been crazy hard all morning.  It's about rejoicing in Jesus and trusting Him.  I want to be real.  I want to be honest.  We are utterly incapable, broken sinners who are so in need of a Savior.  We are not perfect parents now, and when our third one comes along, we will be just as inadequate to the task.

So tonight I am happy.  This is just where I want to be. A jar of clay, so that His glory can be shown in me.  I am so excited to see what He will do.  In our weakness, in our joy, in our utter dependence on Him.  Excited to see what missions will look like across the world with a bunch of little ones.  Excited to see His power.  Excited to prove to the world that I can do nothing apart from Him, but with Him we have all we need.   

"For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."       

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Great Expectations

By Mary

I've always heard that having expectations can kill a relationship...or at least put a strain on it. And if my experience is any indication, this has less to do with the expectations themselves being wrong or unrealistic, and more to do with harboring a sense of entitlement for my expectations to be fulfilled.

In my head, these expectations are always formed beginning with "I need". Some mornings I wake up thinking "I need a nap today" (ok, maybe that's not a completely realistic expectation with three kids four and under) and I keep that thought in my head all morning till nap time rolls around...and then the baby wakes up hungry just as I'm dozing off. Or my oldest doesn't fall asleep at all that day. And I feel frustrated and resentful and robbed on top of already being sleepy.

On the flip side, I can wake up totally exhausted but just set to work doing what needs to be done and never have I actually dropped down dead before I could at least close my eyes for the few minutes I truly needed.

Because it's not so much expectations that are the issue-it's my reaction, whether they're met or unmet. For there's opportunity for sanctification in either situation-do I receive my wishes fulfilled with gratitude or smug selfishness? Do I meet let-downs in a way that would please my God?

I've tried to let go of calling a day "bad". It might have been less than ideal, multiple times. There might have been difficulties and annoyances, for sure. In the past (and ok, let me admit it, I broke down and did it in my head today) I've tended to write the whole day as bad, just because the kids seemed to be wearing ear plugs when it came to my instructions and acted like they had signs on each other's backs saying "please do everything you can today to annoy me".

I want my expectations to be less and less about me getting whatever it may be from whoever it may be and more and more about me growing and giving and learning and teaching, whatever the day may bring.

To end, I'll leave you with these inspirational words I stumbled across recently--

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


by Alanna

They are redoing one of the parking lot sections at our prayer meeting clubhouse. So I had to park far away, and I opted for the baby without the car seat as he's far easier to take that way.  Afterward, I carried him in my arms over a grassy hill.  He was oh so sleepy and rested his whole body against mine.  Trusting, small, confident.  The wind blew and it was a little cold; men were talking loudly nearby; he didn't know where we were going and he didn't care.  He was in his mommy's arms.  I remembered another little boy snuggled against me.  I haven't set foot in that country of his birth in over 5 years now.  Sometimes it feels like forever, but then this weight of my other baby boy pulls me back to that place.  Walking the dirt path back up from preschool with his tired body heavy in my arms.  I want to be carried that way.  So often I beg God to know where He's taking me.  If this wind will stop blowing, and if it will then when?  I try to push away from Him so I can tell Him how I want this walk to look.  I'm tired and weary but when will I be weary enough to realize that His burden is light?  I want to be carried by Jesus, to lay my head heavy on His shoulder and believe that He is trustworthy.  Believe it in my heart and not just in my head.

You will be safe in His arms....
The hands that hold the world
are holding Your heart
This is the promise He made
He will be with you always
When everything is falling apart
You will be safe in His arms.    

Monday, May 30, 2016

"Anxious-excited, definitely"

By Mary

That's the phrase that went through my head as I prepared for a more or less spur of the moment trip back home to Colorado (!!!) Anxious-excited, for sure. Earlier in the year we had decided against a vacation back home because of the difficulties of traveling such a long distance with all three kids and the dog/figuring out what to do with the dog if we left her behind/timing with Nick's school and taking leave while preparing to transfer to a new job on the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort after being at Parris Island for the last two years.

In April Nick started insisting on some kind of vacation before he starts settling in to the new unit and preparing for upcoming inspections of the section he'll be in charge of (and who am I to say no to a vacation?) We bounced a few ideas back and forth and never really settled on anything, and then one day he called from work and said that he'd taken three weeks of leave and that we should drive the 24 hours to Colorado with our whole crazy crew. And that we'd leave in two weeks.

I think a little anxiety came from trying to ensure I was properly prepared to take our family of five+dog 1600 miles across the country to stay for two weeks. I didn't know what to expect with driving two or three days in a row with three kids four and under, but it sounded like a potential recipe for disaster, and I wanted to at least be as ready as possible to have the best time as possible. So I made my packing list and bought snacks and thought about what toys to bring and maxed out my holds at the library on audio books to take with us.

But really my anxiety came mostly from a nervous thought that what if, maybe, this thing that I've wanted for so long doesn't live up to my expectations? In my head it's magic, home is. And I can't count the times especially in these last two years when I've thought if I could just be home, everything would be better, everything would be good.

But three years is a long time to be away. What if my home-state looks bare and brown to my eyes grown used to tree upon tree, green upon green? What if the magic is gone? I wasn't really worried about friendships having lost their spark, because no matter how far away I am, every day I'm reminded that I have the best friends I could ever wish for. But even so there was another phrase that went through my head a lot-"Try as we might, happy as we were, we can't go back." And isn't that always the case? When you try to bring your current reality and put it together with sweet days gone by, isn't it always something of a disappointment?

Nothing could be further from the truth, for me. And yes, we had to make an unexpected trip to the DMV the morning we left South Carolina, and yes my three best friends all got sick just as we were coming into town and I didn't really see them for the first week, and no I'm not a highschooler anymore, and I never stayed up till 4 am just laughing and talking and dreaming, and no, Alanna and I didn't even manage to get one picture together or sit on a roof and just talk...but it was all perfection in it's imperfection.

Nothing could be sweeter than the unity I felt with my husband while spending time with family and friends, so different from the other times we've been there together. Nothing could be sweeter than watching my parents with their grandkids and sharing my children with my friends. Nothing could be sweeter than meeting husbands, wives, sons, daughters and seeing Alanna for the first time with her babies, such a sweet, intentional, godly mother. Nothing could be sweeter than seeing beautiful changes and maturity in ones so dear to me, spending time in their homes, being gathered all together and knowing that our hearts are still all "knit together in love".

My friend may have said it best when she told me it's exciting to her, to think that the moments we're living now are the memories we're going to look back on fondly in the years ahead. And I guess that's the key-I'm not trying to go back to those days together. I want to go forward together.

And so while it's hard being back in Beaufort after days on end of such sweet fellowship, I'm trying to make the most of these moments that will one day be memories. So today I appreciated the shade and held my tongue about the humidity when we took a picnic dinner to eat with Nick on base while he works overnight. And I marveled at the storm clouds gathering over the waterfront while the late sun rays still danced on the water as I drove home. And our baby girl watched contentedly from her car seat on the porch while I played in the rain with the kids after we pulled in the driveway.

And tonight I thank God that no matter where I am, His goodness to me is abundantly overflowing.

Friday, May 20, 2016

7 years

by Alanna

Dear little one,

It comes that time of year again
to wish you happy birthday from halfway across the world.
You are seven today.
Although for you, your birthday is past
and soon you will be waking up to a new morning.

I thought of you all day,
while going through the everyday.
I don't miss you now
the way I did before
because you are so grown up
and I don't know the boy you've become
I only have these memories of you small
in my arms so fragile
and then running to me laughing
after God grew you so.

I do wonder where you are today
what your birthday celebration was like
if you are happy and if you know
how loved you are
by so many.

I pray for you every night
with baby girl
and my other little boy
Praying that God blesses you in every way
that you come to know Him
and the incredible miracles
that He has wrought in your life.

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)
I love you. Always.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lessons from the weeds

By Mary

Apparently weeding is something that ought to be done year-round in South Carolina. We have a green fence all along the bottom from the weeds that sprouted and grew through the "winter" months while I watched with my tummy growing bigger and thought "I should do something about that. Tomorrow." Finally, post pregnancy, I did do something about it. It was easier than I thought it might be because the ground there was so soft, and I got one of those nice little prong tools to get up the roots. But the stain I think is probably there to stay for the long haul.

After I pulled those weeds, I began noticing all the other smaller weeds scattered around and set to work on them, a little every day. And I never really could seem to get ahead of them, even with my daily routine. Then there was a thick patch close to the house of some kind of weed I spent awhile trying to identify. It was so abundant in that particular area and seemed like it was starting to spread. I found out its called dollar weed and tends to grow in overwatered places (which explained its heavy presence right under the eaves where all the rain drips down, because apparently in the Carolinas hurricanes are fairly standard but gutters are not?) It also grows best where the grass is fairly thin, not thriving. These things also grow on one little stem above ground that tend to just break at the stalk, not the root when you pull on them. I hate them.

The weeds became my own little set of parables, how quickly lies can take root in our thoughts, attitudes become habits. How you can't just try to pull them out while leaving the good grass sparse. You need to cultivate the true, the lovely, the noble, or all other efforts are ultimately fruitless. You can't continue to overwater. You can't just try in your own strength, you must soften the soil, use the right tools. 

And in the end, we're all stained from our sin. But God washes white.

To my baby girl

By Mary

You're four months old already, pushing five. I truly don't know how time flies by so quickly.
You're the dearest thing. You watch everything quietly, intently. Sometimes I'll look over and catch you ducking your head with a huge smile on it after catching a glimpse of one of us, seeing the dog walk by, or watching your siblings play. I'm sure it's just because that sweet little curly head still gets heavy sometimes on your wee shoulders, but it honestly looks like you're so happy you could burst and that's the only way to contain it.

You are so tolerant of your big sister and brother clamoring for hugs and kisses and smiles from you, sorely neglecting to give you any kind of personal space, and generally abusing you with the utmost love-you even seem to like it all most of the time.

You're so content and cheerful, you talk with the sweetest coos, laugh the cutest belly laugh, but sometimes you'll just cry with the saddest of sad faces, tears welling up in your eyes (which remain a mysterious and indescribable color for the time being)

Everyone asks how life is with three of you dear little monsters and I always say that it's no harder than two except for the logistics occasionally...when taking you all out of the house somewhere or in those moments where you're all three hungry and making it well known while somebody (or two) needs changed and somebody else spilled something the dog wants to lick but shouldn't and the phone is ringing too. Because other than that, you're just easy as pie.

Sometimes I try to warn myself not to get too comfortable with such a happy little camper-who knows when you'll hit a crazy phase and I'll bemoan these precious months with you (just like I'll one day I'll bemoan the crazy phase too) But no matter what somehow I know you'll always be mi Carina, my little darling. I love you.


by Alanna

Having two kids just fifteen months apart seems to bring comments from people.  Some positive, some negative, and always questions.  Are you going to wait for the next one?  Are you going to have more at all?  Have you ever heard of natural family planning?  You know there's things you can do right?   I have always believed that I'd just have as many kids as God gives me.  But lately I feel pretty alone in this view, and it makes me wonder if I'm crazy.  Maybe I didn't realize that I'd be able to get pregnant again so fast, even while breastfeeding.  It's one thing to say you trust God and that kids are amazing, and another thing to put that into practice when your body feels so weary caring for a two month old and you are taking a pregnancy test, just to be sure.

Just when I had been wondering if anyone leaves this up to God, I overheard an encouraging comment from an older lady at our prayer group.  She stepped into a conversation about fertility awareness and gently pointed out that it is God who opens the womb. And He is trustworthy.  Yes, He is.  And I really believe it.  Crazy or not, I believe that God creates life.  I know, God gave us wisdom.  I know He gave us the ability to have knowledge about our bodies and what is going on, when we are fertile and when we're not.  But no matter what we may think it is not us who creates life.  We don't decide when to have a baby, and birth control methods can fail.  God is the author of life.  It's what His word says.  He is not only the Creator and the Sustainer and the Giver of strength when I'm weary.  He is also the God who gives good gifts.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.  Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!  He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."

I've heard the arguments, that this verse was written back when children were an asset, contributing more to the household, etc.  But I believe that it reveals God's heart.  God's heart for children, reflected again when Jesus welcomed them into His arms.  And I believe it too.  That children are a blessing.  That we are blessed to have a household full of them.  That God will give grace for what He gives.  That I don't have to try to be in control.  That I don't have to fear.  Whenever my next baby comes, and however many come after that, I want to welcome them with open arms.  To be a testimony to the world that God is good and He gives good things.  That He opens the womb and that He is trustworthy.  That children are a blessing!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016


by Alanna

There's been so many different things on my mind to write about, so I'm hoping to blog a little more often these coming weeks. But we'll see. I've decided to blog about hope tonight, because I haven't been feeling much of it lately.  Just a little story that I don't want to forget.

We went to visit my mother-in-law a few weeks ago. She and Isa picked flowers in the backyard for me, while my husband worked on her lawnmower, blessing her as usual. In her house she has various plants and flowers, but this time she pointed out one to me in particular. She doesn't speak fluent English but she told me that she had this plant for two years, and it never had any blossoms. She had given up on it.  But just when she was going to throw it in the trash, it blossomed all in a day- six if I remember right- six beautiful white blossoms hanging from a single stalk, with purple and yellow in their centers. They were beautiful. Not just the flowers, but the reminder to me to not give up hoping and praying.

Sometimes I am hit with the impossibility of a situation. Humans say this can't be done. And for a day I stop praying because it's impossible. And then I'm hit with this awesome and humbling awareness- our God is not bound by the possible. He is the God of miracles and the God who does impossible things. So the next time I am tempted to give up something because it has taken so long, because nothing is changing and no flowers are appearing, I will remember those flowers in my other mom's house. I will remember hope. And open my hands again, pleading to the God of miracles.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

the souls of people

by Alanna

Well we've officially added baby number two to the mix at our house.  It has been a joy and still I've cried in exhaustion once or twice.  I've been learning some hard lessons, am learning still.

I make these long to-do lists for myself, great expectations.  Believing somehow that if my floors were clean and the laundry all put away that I could believe I was a good wife, a good mom.  I've wrapped my worth all up in clean dishes and homemade tortillas.  And the fact is, floors are dirty and the moment I've put away the last piece of laundry I turn to find more dirty in the hamper.  My husband tells me to rest, tells me that these things on my list don't have to be done on Monday.  We will all survive until Tuesday without tortillas.  Once that to-do list is complete I will come up with more anyway.  Sort through the baby clothes, make some freezer meals.  It never ends and I'm tired and I wonder if I inherited this or if I just acquired it over time. Looking to prove myself by what I can do, always.  I wonder if this is the definition of workaholism or perfectionism.

I heard a song borrowed from my dear cousin called Rest Easy.  About how we don't have to work so hard because Jesus has already done it all.  He already holds our heart in His hands and we can rest in that. Then my brother reminds me of Hudson Taylor's spiritual secret, the greatest wonder that he had to share with the world.  Abiding in Jesus.  Not fighting, not striving to become or conquer.  Just abiding.  Just letting Jesus abide in us.

My thinking is warped because I've put my worth in the wrong place.  Thinking that if I accomplish enough that can be noticed that I will prove myself to be someone.  When really I am poor and needy, but the wondrous thing is that the Lord takes thought of me.  My thinking is wrong too because I place all this value on things of this world.  The fact is, only three things are really eternal.  God, God's words, and the souls of people.  The soul of my husband, the souls of my children.  My baby girl asks me to read her bible stories, and I almost turn away because today's the day for cleaning the bathroom.  I can't let my husband hug me long in the morning because breakfast has to be made.  I don't want to be this way.  I want to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him.  I want to be filled with Him so that I can pour out to others in joy.  I want to love deeply.  I want to value the souls of people more than clean dishes.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


by Alanna

I meant to write this before Christmas, but never got around to it. The Christmas snow outside still hasn’t melted though, so I feel that it’s still the season. I feel like Mary this Christmas, waiting for a baby. Hoping, wondering, treasuring up things in my heart. What will this son be like?  I think a lot about my little one these days.  He is not so little anymore, turning seven this coming May.  I pray hard for him, that this year would be the one where he begins to really hunger for God.  I pray that his heart is soft and open and that He wonders and asks questions and seeks the Truth.  And I pray for this new little son growing inside of me.  That he would be dedicated to Jesus and that I would have the courage to surrender him; courage like Mary’s.  I am so excited and so ready to welcome this new baby.  I’ve made up his little bed, packed the bag for the birthing center, froze dinners, lined up someone to watch baby girl.  Now it’s just expectant waiting.  And I know that God, in His perfect timing, will bring this baby into the world.  He is the fulfiller of expectations, the answer to all our hopes. 

There’s all these stories in Luke about rejoicing in long-hopes fulfilled, and I love them. To read the song of Mary and the prophecy of Zecharias and the way that Simeon got to see the Savior. That Ana waited for so long because she had been promised, and then she too got to see Jesus.  I’ve been seeing hopes fulfilled too around here. Not passed down hope through generations, but things I barely dared to hope in the dark.  For my heart, for his, for our marriage. It’s beautiful and I’m going to rejoice this Christmas.  No matter how many things we still hope for, God is the fulfiller of promises.  He is faithful and true and doesn’t ever lie.  He is worthy to be waited upon, and worthy to be rejoiced in even when we just see a small glimmer of hopes fulfilled. 

Christmas, for me, is when we celebrate this.  The God of hope sending His Son after so many generations of hoping.  His Son come to rescue us.  Worthy to be worshipped, when we wait and when we rejoice.