We had the most incredible Christmas Tree. I have never seen one like it. My mother worked on it for hours and every inch of it was intentional. It had real light bulbs on it... not these little dinky lights, or L.E.D.s that we have now, but real Thomas Edison bulbs with screw caps, wires, and filaments.
On Christmas Eve, we would turn out every other light and I would sit for hours with a plastic white, red, and green Christmas plate full of nuts... and I would crack the nuts and marvel at the colors: We had these incredible lights that were filled with some sort of liquid that would bubble up in color. I would sit and stare at them in simple awe while I let my mind run wild.
The top of the tree was crowned with a star like I have never seen since. Every year I look for its match, and I have never found it. The outside was a standard gold star, about 10 inches in circumference. Inside of the gold star was a sphere that was made up of small rectangles of plastic. Inside of this sphere was a clear bulb that was suspended inside of a rotating sheet of plastic that was formed into a tube. This sheet of plastic had multiple stars on it, all different colors. The heat from the light rose through the aluminum baffles at the top of the colorful cone and caused it to rotate. The light shone through the rotating sheet, was magnified by the rectangular panes of glass... and huge, colorful stars were cast in movement across the ceiling, the walls, and even my own body.
It was absolute magic. The sense of wonder to a my child-mind was overwhelming, and I would sit for hours contemplating the beauty expanding around the room... and anticipating far beyond just the coming morning. I was captivated by the beauty of the moment... and I could feel the expansion of my mind. If there was such beauty in such a simple moment... then what must the world hold?
As I reflect back as an adult... I understand that this moment every year was the pinnacle of my Christmas experience. When I reminisce... my mind doesn't first go to presents and Santa... it goes to these quiet moments of wonder.
And now, Kellie and I have two little replicas of ourselves that still see the world through the lens of our four walls. And during those dark nights leading up to Christmas... I attempt to capture in their memories these same feelings and forever convictions. We gather in the darkness of the room and draw in the light of the tree into our very souls.
Now we have energy saving L.E.D. lights, and a beautiful angel that sits atop the tree... but the same classic christmas music spins from the stereo, the same hot chocolate steams from a mug, the same nuts are cracked from a plastic Christmas platter... and the story of Mary & Joseph finding refuge from the night and laying the baby in a manger is read as they sit quietly in the moment.
And this Christmas season... I am a child again.
This is a time of anticipation... and we nearly missed the perspective. You see, this is a time of waiting for our family. We began a process over 5 years ago to adopt our third child. We have learned the beauty of patience.
Have you ever waited longer than you felt necessary? Can you imagine extending that feeling for weeks... for months... and even years? I am sure that some of you have. Time can crawl. And expectations unfulfilled can often lead to bitterness.
But... there is beauty to be found in the waiting. There is wonder in the expectation. From where I sit tonight... I can see the reflections of the stars all around and all over me. I am consumed by the light of the promise.
This is a beautiful time of life... this in-between. And we are not alone in it. You know that at some level, you are here too. I challenge you to look towards the beauty and take in the moment. Look at your life with the eyes that you used as a child.
Take a moment and find the wonder.
Even if we never reach our goals... I can tell you that there is beauty in the waiting, and there is worth to the journey. Life isn't about reaching the end... it is about walking each step. We find what is important and we make it our priority.
Our family has BIG plans... and this adoption seems to be cresting the horizon! We hope to receive our referral within the week. I believe that this is our moment. And while this is absolutely huge in our lives... I can tell you that there is much more to come.
Much of my writing as of late has themed on true belief, and faith in action. If you have read my words... then you have seen the source of my conviction. Our vision is firmly focused on Catalyst Resources International... and our steps have begun moving in that direction.
The three weeks I have spent in Guatemala have been the most life-changing moments in my life. My experiences there have shaped who I am, and how I see the world around me. It has changed my perspective on God, and given me new goals in life.
I hope to see many of you in Guatemala... it is an amazing opportunity. There is a lot of apathy in our country right now, and lots of frustration. Taking a trip and crossing hearts with these beautiful people will alter your daily view on life. You simply can not see what is there and not be forever aware.
And so... in the meantime, I pray that you will follow what I have to share as we step out on this incredible adventure... where we will risk the small things that we have to touch the stuff of heaven.
Soon we will welcome a new daughter into our lives... and then we will begin looking beyond. I will have an incredible story to tell... to anyone who will listen. And I will have an amazing path to walk, with anyone who is willing to step beyond the doorstep... and walk beside.
And so for now... I anticipate.
Check out what is happening in Guatemala. This video is linked from Catalayst Resources International. And the people in the video have forever seized my heart. This is true religion... the caring of orphans and widows. This is true religion... when you feed and clothe those who are in need...
...you are feeding and clothing the body of God. Come touch the face of God.