Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happy Birthday!

You can never truly enjoy Christmas until you can look up into the Father's face and tell him you have received his Christmas gift.  ~John Rice

It was a long eight years. Years of hoping, yearning and many times crying over my desire to be a mother.  And then, just when I was least expecting it, I was -- well, expecting!  Oh, the anticipation and planning.  Our child!  I had come to believe in my heart of hearts it would never be.

Melanie Lynn was born on the thirteenth of December.  Holding her in my arms felt so right.  This tiny baby with a head of black hair and brilliant blue eyes captured my heart.  What fun it was to dress her in beautifully smocked dresses and tiny patent shoes.

It wasn't long until her navy Stride Rite shoes were skipping off to school.  Where did the years go?  Somewhere between navy plaid jumpers and roller blades my little girl traded her jumper for a skirt and became a teenager.  Oh, how I loved her teenage years!   In the midst of a big move and new school for her senior year, Melanie's navy plaid turned into green plaid and...she fell in love.  Suddenly the familiar plaid was traded for a gown of white and my hands-on mothering was completed -- talk about a tough transition!

It's been such a joy to watch Melanie evolve into a beautiful woman of God.  She chose to be a stay-at-home mother to three growing knights and one sweet princess.  Her home is organized and decorated with care.  She shelters family and friends through entertaining and sweet gifts baked in her kitchen, tucked into mailboxes at church or shared with neighbors and Shawn's employees.  Melanie uses her gift of music to give piano lessons and to play the organ and sing at church.

Did I happen to mention the joy this daughter of mine brings to me?  This week as I celebrate this gift, I will be thanking my Heavenly Father for Melanie.

Another mother birthed a baby this month -- a Baby she wrapped in swaddling clothes and cradled in her arms.  It wasn't long until Mary's baby was using His tiny broom to sweep up the wood chips in His father's carpenter shop.

Then Jesus' bare feet were clothed in leather sandals and His broom was traded for a walking stick.  He turned water into wine and His hands touched blind eyes and made them see.  He fed crowds of people with the simple meal of fish and bread while His teachings fed their hearts.

This Jesus traded His walking stick for a crown of thorns. His body hung on a cross as the veil of the temple was torn in two.  Because of this, the sins of the world -- MY sins can be forgiven.

Did I happen to mention the joy this Jesus of mine brings to me?  This month as I celebrate His gift, I will be thanking my Heavenly Father for the Son He gave so freely -- the Son who has forgiven my sins, and sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for me!

This birth of Christ is so much more than an historic moment; it is the promise of joy! A joy that sparkles in my heart more brightly than the 600 lights on the nativity tree in my living room, the festive motion lights inside the gingerbread train in the kitchen, or the glow of all seven lighted wreaths hanging outside.  Its radiance goes beyond the angel chorus announcing Jesus' birth.  The prisms overflow with the light of a thousand colors, I know my Melanie came to be my child just as assuredly as I know the Christ Child came to be my Savior.

On the 13th we'll be singing, "Happy Birthday, dear Melanie," and on the 25th those words will echo, "Happy Birthday, Jesus... I'm so glad You came."

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