fallin’ from the sky in the night to the earth below.

Posted by Tori on Dec 7, 2011 in a good word., video.

It’s funny how music influences you so deeply. And it’s funny how you sometimes feel more alive in a certain place, or doing a certain thing. But that’s just the beauty, mastery, and intricacy of our incomprehensible Creator.

Listening to this song tonight, with everyone else in the house asleep in their beds, stirred up so much of this in me. I thought about what it may have really looked like for Mary and her betrothed that night. Not like the picture that is often painted for us this time of year.

I can imagine how exhausting and difficult the journey was for her. Imagine traveling on the back of an animal 40 weeks pregnant! That alone was probably enough to induce her labor. The place was crowded with people. There was nowhere for them to stay. Finally they find shelter in a barn. Her labor growing ever more intense. Far from a glamorous scenario, it was absolutely comfortless. Dirty, smelly, harsh, cold, and the constant temptation to be very scared. She was with the man she would marry, yet they had not been intimate. And they were about to become VERY intimate! Sweating, screaming…finally, the Savior of the world has arrived. First cries, wrapped snug, and laid in a feeding trough – as clean as they could get it. There was nowhere else for him to go. They made their home in the barn. Mary recovering; a new family formed. Perhaps surprised by the visiting shepherds who came as fast as they could, explaining what had been revealed to them in their fields.

And the Scripture says that Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.

Oh, how full her heart must have been. A million emotions, a million questions, yet no record of a complaint. Instead, we get the impression of a thankful heart, knowing that she is in the middle of something way bigger than she could fathom.

I could learn a few things from her.

The glory of those hours is overwhelming. Oh, how perfectly he came. It gives such incredible perspective to me. In the celebration of Christmas it is easy to become more engrossed in the celebrating than the celebrated. Oh, may it never be! Comfort, security, beautiful homes, and time with family are such wonderful gifts. But, He is what is needed. He is our salvation.

This makes me think of the journey our family is on right now. I have a million emotions, and a million questions. But we are asking His Spirit to find us faithful. He has called us out and marked us with the message of His glory and we will proclaim it loud and clear wherever He leads us. Maybe to Mongolia, maybe to to a cold, tiny apartment, without the comforts we have here. Maybe not the cleanest of places or the nicest smelling. But one where He has come.

He has come!

Praise you, O Lord! You have come and you have made your dwelling among us.

And you are coming.

Come, Lord, Jesus! Come and do not tarry. Find us faithful. Our lives are yours. I don’t need the answers to my million questions. I know you are here and that what you are doing is way bigger than what I can see. Your plan is perfect. My soul finds rest in you. My heart is full. These lessons pondered and treasured in my heart.

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PERFECT DOESN’T MEAN PRETTY

Posted by Tori on Dec 13, 2012 in a good word., theology, video.

It’s funny how music influences you so deeply. And it’s funny how you sometimes feel more alive in a certain place, or doing a certain thing. But that’s just the beauty, mastery, and intricacy of our incomprehensible Creator. Listening to this song tonight, with everyone else in the house asleep in their beds, stirred up so much of this in me.

I’ve been thinking a lot this Advent season about Mary. Her words in Luke 1:46-55 play over and over in my head. This is what she said while she was staying with Elizabeth before she had given birth to Jesus. I’ve been thinking about what those months of anticipation and preparation must have been like for her. Scripture tells us that she stayed with Elizabeth for an entire trimester before returning home (3 months, Luke 1:56).

Finally, she is reaching the end of her pregnancy as she and Joseph travel to Bethlehem for the census. I have been thinking about what it may have really looked like for Mary and her betrothed that night. Not like the picture that is often painted for us this time of year.

Somehow, over the course of time, we have sanitized the picture of His birth. The traditional hymns of the season sing of a baby who doesn’t cry, and marry peace with silence. Is the reality of that night any less holy in the humanity of the moment? Do we have to make the scene seem calm and perfect because of the sacredness of the Incarnation? Absolutely not! In fact, that is the beauty of the whole thing! The Maker of heaven and earth becomes a baby to redeem His creation back to Himself. The perfect, holy God has entered our messy, untidy world — just as it is. The humanness of the moment here is sacred. Not something to be edited out of the story.

We are made in His image. The anticipation of pregnancy, the waiting, the wondering, the pain of labor, the sacrifice that comes with love, the expectation and joy of the moment while giving birth mingled with the exhaustion and the feelings of “this is too much for me!” All of this and more, I think most mothers can relate to. We’ve experienced it. And there aren’t words to describe it. But, God is very much alive and on display in those moments. He made them. And they can bring him honor in ways that other moments are inadequate to do. Isn’t it beautiful how sometimes the messiest moments can also be the most sacred? The ones where He meets us and speaks straight to our hearts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can imagine how exhausting and difficult the journey was for her. Mamas, think about traveling on the back of an animal 40 weeks pregnant! That alone was probably enough to induce her labor. The place was crowded with people. There was nowhere for them to stay. Finally they find shelter in a barn. Her labor growing ever more intense. Far from a glamorous scenario, it was absolutely comfortless. Dirty, smelly, harsh, cold, and the constant temptation to be very scared. She was with the man she would marry, yet they had not been intimate. And they were about to become VERY intimate! Sweating, screaming…finally, the Savior of the world has arrived. First cries, wrapped snug, and laid in a feeding trough – as clean as they could get it. There was nowhere else for Him to go. They made their home in the barn. Mary recovering; a new family formed. Perhaps surprised by the visiting shepherds who came as fast as they could, explaining what had been revealed to them in their fields.

And the Scripture says that Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.

Oh, how full her heart must have been. A million emotions, a million questions, yet no record of a complaint. Instead, we get the impression of a thankful heart, knowing that she is in the middle of something way bigger than she could fathom.

I could learn a few things from her.

The glory of those hours is overwhelming. Oh, how perfectly he came, even though the night wasn’t pretty. It gives such incredible perspective to me. In the celebration of Christmas it is easy to become more engrossed in the celebrating than the celebrated. Oh, may it never be! Comfort, security, beautiful homes, and time with family are such wonderful gifts. But, He is what is needed. He is our salvation.

This makes me think of my own heart right now. I have a million emotions, and a million questions. But I am asking His Spirit to find me faithful. He has called me out and marked me with the message of His glory and I will proclaim it loud and clear wherever He leads. Maybe not where I would expect. Maybe not somewhere pretty, or clean, or nice smelling. But one where He has come.

He has come!

Praise you, O Lord! You have come and you have made your dwelling among us.

And you are coming.

Come, Lord, Jesus! Come and do not tarry. Find us faithful. Our lives are yours. I don’t need the answers to my million questions. I know you are here and that what you are doing is way bigger than what I can see. Your plan is perfect. My soul finds rest in you. My heart is full. These lessons pondered and treasured in my heart.

This is a revised version of a post published on December 7, 2011.

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