Love, love is all around...

When I was a kid, Christmas was quite possibly the most exciting day of them all.  Anticipation would build up in my half-pint insides as the prospect of our family Christmas party and open house would draw near - oh, and did I mention... Santa would definitely be making an appearance.  I knew from experience how special the celebration would be and what was in store for the evening's activities.  The neighbors would come, my cousins and Grandparents would come.  Everyone who was important in my life would be there.   What a day.  

Now, my Christmas time has shifted a bit and my grown up sentiments with the time.  Christmas is my time of rest - a few days off work and for this year, a few days in the great white North.  So typically it is surrounded with family and friends, as this year is no exception... I know, none of these ideas are super unique or intriguing for a Christmas-esque post... but just hold on for a sec.

So I would say it started a few months ago, when I was re-introduced to my buddy Dave Matthews and his little band, and their version of a Christmas Song.  A random mix from my iTunes pumped through my car speakers.  It was still warm outside as I listened to the words.  I had never related to the Christmas story the way Dave explains it - but he nailed it on the head - Everything that has to do with this season is about Love.  "Love, love is all around." - and why?  Because of a few extraordinary courageous moves by some folks God tapped on the shoulder.  

As part deux of this "tapping me on the shoulder" struck me at church on Christmas Eve - no, it wasn't the crazy rendition of Faith Hill's "A baby changes everything...." of which I was not so much a fan.. nah, baby nah - but there was another note the service touched on which struck a chord with me.  Read Luke 2: 1-23.  And this is what clicked in the mind of a twenty-something Project Manager, sitting at the very back of the church, crumpled in between my brother-in-law and a pack of strangers: 

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

So for me, I thought about what it means to ponder something between you and God in your heart. What happens when something unexpected and unplanned interrupts your version of the world?  Mary was visited by an angel who told her she would have a child - at an exceptionally young age, out of wedlock - during a time where this was hugely taboo.  On top of that, her boyfriend/fiance, Joseph - who was a sturdy, well-respected Carpenter, didn't just drop her like it's hot (in the words of Snoop Dogg).  He too had received some divine interventions from angels, though. This story paired 2 pieces of an almost impossible puzzle together to bring into the world a little Jesus baby. That is a miracle.  

I am a planner.  I am a communicator.  I like to know what is going on :)  But what God really asks of us is to leave the planning of our lives up to God - who is in every moment and every single detail, in the things I have not even thought about, planned for or had the chance, yet, to worry about; in the people who walk into our lives, the events that change it forever and alter our perspectives. 

And so with my whole heart I ponder my plans with God - the things that I want for my life and the things I expect, my hopes and fears - and I hand them over to the planner of the universe.   I have no control ultimately over any of these things and being so, I will surrender what I have control over, because it is not my plan I'm fulfilling.  And I should know by now, that my own plan sucks. :)  God's rocks my socks off - so I'll go with that one.  I'm looking for the miracle anyway, so I might as well go with the one who invented them. 

So for all of you, I wish you the happiest of times off, a little bit of rest, a miracle or two - and to remind you - love, love is all around.   

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