Introspective Insights

Introspective - adj: Examining sensory and perceptual experiences. Insight - n: The capacity to discern the true nature of a situation.

My Christmas Gift


With Christmas still around us in our eyes, ears, and mouths
and the hope of Epiphany looming ahead, I present a guest post along those
themes from my sister, Rachel Miller.
 

Like years past I spent the last several weeks planning and
plotting and watching for sales and shipping deals in order to find the perfect
gifts for my kids: three deliciously beautiful blonde boys ages 5 months, 2
years, and 5 years old.  All of the fretting and sweating and logistical
maneuvering was all worth it to see their eyes light up when they tore back the
wrapping paper and saw their new favorite toy/game/shirt/whatever.  Also
as in years past, my husband and I agreed to not buy each other Christmas gifts
to wrap and place under the tree.  I truly am OK with that decision, but
this year I am especially thankful for it.  I think if I had a gift under
the tree to unwrap, I might have missed the completely perfect gift that God
gave me this Christmas.  God allowed me to clearly see his own son, Jesus
Christ, in each of my children for the first time.

First Sebastian, my sweet chubby 5 month old.  As we rested
and nursed quietly this afternoon I thought about the fact that this is how
Mary and Jesus spent the first Christmas.  Mary, exhausted from travel and
childbirth, probably spent most if not all of Christmas Day resting, cuddling,
and nursing God’s own son as best she could in a barn. I’m sure we both
kissed chubby fingers, traced the curve of an ear, gently rubbed a tiny back.

 What a beautiful reminder of Jesus’ humble beginnings and Sebastian’s
potential to be an extraordinary force in this world.  Thank you, God.

Then Nathan, my crazy intense 2 year old.  Our pastor
spoke of the Magi at the Christmas Eve service.  He stated that, while
most nativity scenes show the three kings offering their lavish gifts to a
newborn Jesus in the manger, it’s more likely that it took them several months,
if not over a year, to follow the star and find Jesus.  He asked us to
imagine the chaos it would have caused in the streets of Bethlehem when this
caravan of wealthy VIPs entered the city in search of Jesus, all to find a
toddler not so different from the ones squirming in the pews that night.
 I could see it in my mind’s eye.  I could see the look of surprise,
yet quiet understanding in Nathan’s enormous eyes as the wise men presented
their gifts.
 I could see his heart-melting dimpled smile, and even hear
him trying out some of the new words describing his gifts: gold … muh …
frank-a-tents, all the while giggling.  A reminder of how God will use my
seemingly ordinary Nathan to do remarkable things for his kingdom.  Thank
you, God.

Finally Kameron, my firstborn.  Five years ago at this
time I really identified with Mary as I was only days away from becoming a
mother for the first time as well!  As I listened to Kameron have an in
depth conversation with his aunt about Thomas the Tank Engine and all of his
railway friends, I thought of Jesus as a young boy in the temple.  I
specifically had a vision of a boy not much older than Kameron surrounded by
the elders in the temple, speaking to them with authority about theological and
spiritual matters.  Ok, clearly Thomas the Tank Engine is not as deep of a
subject, but I had never seen him speak with such passion and authority about
the name, number, size, color, and unique characteristics of an impressive
number of engines.  I could picture Kameron in the midst of a spirited
debate with the elders, educating them on the attributes of God the Father in
his sweet yet matter-of-fact voice.
 A reminder of how God uses the mouths
of even children like my Kameron to speak his truth to the world. Thank you,
God.

Gifts under the Christmas tree are nice, and I still enjoy
the thrill of hunting the perfect present, but nothing compares to the
gift of clearly seeing Christ in your kids for the first time.
 I pray
that all Christians experience similar revelations in their journey of faith.

When
Rachel is not working her day job wielding her red tape machete or pushing
beer-leavened baked goods on the side, she is home with her three boys ages 5
years, 2 years, and 5 months eating homemade pizza and ice cream made by her
culinary gifted husband, Kal.

About jenniferpowell@introspectiveinsights.com

Hi! I'm Jennifer. I'm here in my little corner of southeastern Michigan observing relationships, family, and the world hoping to dig deeper and find the divine spark in it all. Thanks for visiting!

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