It snowed yesterday.....just a tiny bit, but after 5 Florida winters, that seemed like a lot! We can't wait until it sticks and we can go play in it!
Ziva is turning into such a little social butterfly. When I picked her up yesterday Miss Angie told me that when Allie, the youngest baby of the bunch, arrived, Ziva lunged at her and gave her a big kiss. (She does know what kisses are, but hers are awfully sloppy!) And then today Angie and Steph told me that Ziva waved at a group of 5th grade boys who had come by to visit. That's the first time she's waved, and we've been working on that, so that's exciting.
Now that Christmas is coming, and this is our first Christmas with a baby, I've been thinking a lot about how Jesus came as a baby. Of course that's a simple, obvious thing, but now that I really know what a baby's life is like inside and out, it takes on a little different meaning....more amazing, that the Creator King would condescend to wrap Himself in a baby's body and submit Himself to the care of others for such a long time. I hope and pray that we are able to keep our focus on the glory of that "holy invasion" (thanks to Frederick Buechner for the phrase) this Christmas season. Below is one of my favorite poems, and it just happens to be about Jesus' birth, but it's not the typical Christmas poem. This is one of the treasures teaching has afforded me.
"The Journey of the Magi"
"A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter."
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley.
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins,
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.