The sun was descending over Bethlehem as shop keepers packed up their wares and families navigated their way home for the night. The streets were stuffed with travelers and every inn was full to capacity. People were tired. It had been a long week for many had come quite a distance to be here for the census.
What was usually a sleepy town, tonight felt stifling. But then, as the darkest of night fell and young and old gently dreamed, all the angels of Heaven focused their gaze over the tiny town. As silence rested over the streets, angels held their breath.
This was the moment they had been anticipating.
I have had the pleasure of having some pretty good seats in my life: court side at a couple of Magic games, a hotel room balcony overlooking the Swiss Alps, the rim of the Grand Canyon, standing on top of the world's largest (seated) Buddha in China.
Not to brag, but I've had some pretty awesome experiences. But nothing compares to the seat I find myself in today. The seat lately has been less "adventurous" from an outsiders perspective and it has certainly been different: humble, messy, loud, frustrating, exhausting, cuddly, sweet, scary, painful, precious, honest, and vulnerable.
I have a front row seat to life - to watching two little babies grow into little girls who will one day be young women. And, I'm told, it will happen quickly.
I have a dear friend who will be meeting her little girl soon. And one year ago today my second little girl was born. This means I am in the mood to write, although the words below don't even come close to what is burning in my heart.
I've been thinking back to the days leading up to my first delivery and what I was expecting the next year to look like. I can tell you, without a shadow of doubt, that the first year was not at ALL what I was expecting. There is so much that the books don't tell you and there are some things that will completely blindside you on this new adventure. Here are just a few from the top of my head.
Every day we are faced with something that scares us, whether the small voice in our head that whispers doubt into our souls or the headlines that scroll relentlessly across the television screen broadcasting hatred, pain, and death.
We are now, probably more than ever, greatly and deeply aware of the evil that surrounds us and many of us, myself including, wish for different times. And add the responsibility of raising young, tender, impressionable hearts to the mixture and its a big 'ol pot of scary stew continuously simmering and threatening to boil over.
I am afraid.
I am afraid for myself.
I am afraid for my children.
I am afraid for my country.
I am afraid for the little boy down the street who isn't there anymore.
I am afraid for the family I can't hold on to because they live too far away.
Fear threatens to cripple me and I wonder what it would have been like to be alive before. Maybe just a few decades back when terrorism was a distant idea and violence in schools was limited to the occasional fist fight.
Free Download: Isaiah 43 "Redeemed You" Printable
(Frameable) when you sign up to receive my blog posts!