Archive for December, 2012

The Illuminated Word Project (December): Riches

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

This year, I am participating in a group project with other photographers across the country. Once a month, we each select a part of the Bible and represent it some way visually through our photos.

We are a diverse group of seven women with different beliefs, and I am looking forward to an ongoing conversation with these photographers and with the people who read these blog posts.

Welcome to The Illuminated Word Project!

Riches

Normally, this is a blog circle. However, not all of us decided to post this month because it is a busy time of year.

Christmas Riches

Yesterday, I celebrated Christmas with my family—Greg, Emmeline, Carter, and Harrison.

It was a day full of riches:
• We got to celebrate Christmas together.
• We woke up in our home.
• Greg and I witnessed our kids’ child-like excitement about Christmas.
• We enjoyed several delicious meals.
• We had many gifts to enjoy and share with one another.
• I had the joy of selecting gifts for each person that would make them happy.
• Our house was full of beautiful things and decorations.
• I used my gifts to make each person in my family feel special and to point them to Christ.
• I snuggled with my kids.
• We stayed in our pajamas.
• I took a nap in the afternoon. I was far less tired than I have been in years past with younger kids.
• We laughed together. (Harrison had us cracking up in the afternoon.)
• We played together.
• We sang and prayed together. Music filled our home.
• Quite simply, we had fun with each other.

We even ate birthday cake for breakfast, a Christmas tradition. . .

(One side note, Carter was feeling under the weather for parts of the day. The morning got off to a slow start for him, but he did perk up later.)

Quite simply, it was the sweetest Christmas to date for me.

I am so thankful for these riches.
They are gifts that come from my Heavenly Father, the Generous Giver.
I relish these gifts.
I especially treasure my family.

And yet, I must be careful to remember that not all of these gifts are guaranteed.
Not all of these riches endure.
I cannot put my trust in my home, my health, my happy feelings, my possessions, or even my family relationships.

The Poverty of Christ
I have been thinking about lasting riches during Christmas.
I have been dwelling on this:

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (II Cor 8.9)

Philippians 1.4-11 unpacks these ideas even more.

God the Son, who eternally enjoyed fellowship with the Father and Spirit, left the richness of heaven to become a man. He came near to us in our misery and our sickness and our loneliness. He chose to be a helpless baby born in a barn. He chose to get sick and feel intense hunger. He was tempted. He chose to feel sadness as His friends died. He chose a life in which His closest friends would abandon him. He chose to suffer the ultimate aloneness as His Father turned His face away from Him when He bore our sin on the cross. The eternal God chose the poverty of humiliation and the pain of death. . . in order to save me.

Riches in Christ
Because of his poverty, I have been made rich. The first chapter of Ephesians floods me with the riches that I have in Christ:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1.3)
I honestly don’t think about the riches I have in Christ very often.

I want to think more of the riches I have in Christ. The whole Bible is full of these truths.
I am rich because:
• Jesus took the punishment for my running away from Him. He leads me back into the sanity of life lived under God’s loving rule.
• His Spirit uses His Word to teach me how to walk with God.
• Nothing can separate me from God’s love.
• God rejoices over me and treasures me.
• I belong to God. He made me. He has re-made me.
• I see Him more clearly and love Him more as I study His Word.
• He wants me to spend time with Him and respond to Him in prayer.
• He is patient with me.
• He cares for me as Creator and Father.
• His love is changing me—gradually. He is freeing me progressively from the misery of a life lived for self.
• I am a daughter of the King of Kings.
• He is with me at all times. His love for me is a never stopping, never giving up, always and forever love.

Do you know the richness of Christ?
Do you want to know Him more?
Do you want to be like Him?
Yes.
Yes.
And yes.

My Beliefs
I think it is only fair to tell you where I am coming from. We are all religious people. We are all trying to find life, meaning, value, and purpose somewhere or in someone. What matters is what or whom we believe. This is what I believe. What do you believe?

This is what I believe: WHAT I BELIEVE
This is what I care about: WHAT I CARE ABOUT
Think Jesus Christ is irrelevant to your everyday life? JESUS CHRIST CHANGES EVERYTHING
Want to get fancy? GETTING FANCY
Have no idea where to start? Want to teach your kids about God? START HERE

Harrison Turns Five

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Yes, I’m playing major blog catch up. Harrison’s birthday was way back on 4/4. You can see his birthday party HERE.

I went to birthday chapel at Harrison’s school. Despite a dead car battery, my neighbor Angel went to bat for me and got me there on time with birthday cupcakes in hand.

I spent some time in his classroom. He and his friends were REALLY into collage (as Harrison put it). They were making elaborate structures out of boxes, tape, glue and trash.

After school, we ate some barbeque for lunch then headed to a nearby park.

I let him open up one of his gifts at the park.

After Emmie and Carter got home from school, we opened up some gifts and celebrated as a family.

“Ummm… Whose birthday is it today???”