Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas - and a little more...

This year's Christmas was full.  Full of traditions, new and old.  Full of family and friends.  Full of activity, crafts, and performances.

Jarrett had a Christmas performance for school...

And another Christmas performance for church....

We started a new tradition with our Elf on the Shelf, Lucy.  I love how Jarrett named her so quickly and she was immediately party of our family.  I only wish we had gone to the Elf Adoption Center earlier so we could have spent more time with her.  At least we'll get more time next Christmas!

Jarrett and I along with some other family went to hear the Asante Children's Choir.  Amazing!

We also had the double privilege of having two of the girls with us from Rwanda.  Kurt and Lindsey were one of the host homes for the children's choir so our Christmas was filled with music, dancing and the sweet example of Jesus in these two girls.

We Skyped with distant family
Had brother bonding

Opened lots of presents (and had some little ones to "help")

And some amazing gifts like this handmade custom fort for Jarrett by his Aunt Jessica.  This was amazing....window, door, name imprinted on a pocket to hold all of his treasures.  Already this has brought hours of fun.

Marshmallow wars....

But one thing that rang constant in my heart over the last several weeks is Jesus.

Just recently my pastor had his leaders together for prayer and worship.   One of the songs we sang was a remake of the old hymn, Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.

  1. What can wash away my sin?
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
    What can make me whole again?
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
    • Refrain:
      Oh! precious is the flow
      That makes me white as snow;
      No other fount I know,
      Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
  2. For my pardon, this I see,
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
    For my cleansing this my plea,
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
  3. Nothing can for sin atone,
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
    Naught of good that I have done,
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
  4. This is all my hope and peace,
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
    This is all my righteousness,
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
  5. Now by this I’ll overcome—
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
    Now by this I’ll reach my home—
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
  6. Glory! Glory! This I sing—
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
    All my praise for this I bring—
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus

This rang true to me like never before.  Even though you can be surrounded by family, doing things you love - you are never really complete without the blood of Jesus.  Sometimes old hurts and even new hurts try to creep in and separate you.  Leave you incomplete.  Feeling yucky.  It's the blood that gives me the "whiter" that I need.  It brings me peace.  Sometimes there is a part of me so deep that feels like it is missing.  Like a lost piece of the puzzle.  Only the Peace of Jesus can replace that "piece".  You may not see the missing piece on the outside - its very deep.  And most of the time I don't want to admit it or talk about that place in the core of my heart.  But it is there.  And it needs Jesus.  I need Jesus.  I do. 

And as I learned again on Christmas day, 

"For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty GodEverlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6 

So from my family to yours, may you discover the Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Whiter than Snow, the only one who can bring you Peace - Jesus - this Christmas Season.

with love,

p.s.  thanks to Dad and Lindsey for the pics.

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