This practice has taught us to be mindful. To be silly. To be proud of our good choices. To know we are strong and brave and capable. To admit our faults. To embrace grace and to know a love that covers a multitude of wrongs.
We will inevitably hurt our children, fail them and bruise their souls. But we can also apologize, admit wrong and make room for grace in our homes. Asking for forgiveness can often speak louder than the hurt. Grace. Forgiveness. Humility. These are what make a home beautiful.
We will fail in our resolutions. But getting back up? That's just as good as the decision itself. To keep deciding, that's grit and virtue and self control and resilience for our souls. Jesus got back up. From the very grave.
God, thank you for gifts you can wrap and gifts you cannot. You love seeing us enjoy all kinds of gifts. Thank you for your love of giving. For your love, period. Thank you for grace. For unmerited favor upon a messy, broken person like myself. Thank you for coming.
But maybe God chooses ALL kinds of people. Maybe He chooses prostitutes for His heritage and murderers for His kings and blind men for His brothers and you and me and everyone for His family. Those who never leave the church building and those who left church decades ago.
It's the sweetest thing when old people hold babies. A tiny new hand wrapped around an old shaking finger. Old eyes gazing into new ones. Generations meeting face to face. The expectant one, holding the Expected One.
Joseph made plans to "take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced." I have no idea what kind of plans he had, but I know one thing: he had grace in his heart for Mary. Just like God had grace in His heart for us. Joseph's heart mirrors the One he is about to raise.
Sometimes I wonder how in the world our hearts can hold all they do, all at once. All the joy. All the grief. All the anticipating. All the fear. All the wonder. All the questions. All of it coming and going. All of it treasured. Each piece mattering. Together. Each piece treasured like precious, delicate things.