So last night we had some friends over for dinner to mark Elam’s first birthday.  It was a great night, until bedtime.  It was past the kids’ bedtimes and a few of us had tantrums.  I was one of them.

After I calmed down, I was ready for sleep.  I just needed to get a drink.  On my way through the dark living room, I cracked my little toe on something and instantly felt like my foot was on fire.  After the rocking back and forth, holding my foot really tightly and saying “ouch!”  I made it to the bedroom and iced the foot.  I elevated it.  I finally looked at it closely and the toenail was bent in half, backwards.  Ouch.  It still hurts.

What cracked my toe?  The Little People stable that sits beneath our Christmas tree. We have a whole manger scene: shepherds, animals, an angel, Joseph and Jesus (we lost Mary in the move, so Sonya Lee is playing the part currently).  I love it because our kids play with it all year round.  You haven’t lived until you hear your 2 year old say, “Mom, I can’t find Jesus?  Oh, here He is!”

So as I felt the throbbing all day I was thinking, “why did I have to kick that dumb stable?”

I was walking in the darkness and the stable caught me.  It even made me cry.

Do you listen to the words of some of the Christmas music?  Joseph’s Lullaby. (which is incidentally one of my favs this season.) Mary Did You Know?  O Holy Night.  I sometimes don’t because I don’t want to take the time to wipe my eyes.

But sometimes I am caught by the music.  I rock Elam to sleep and I wonder what it was like for Joseph.  I am leading a Bible study tomorrow and hope we can imagine a bit of what Joseph went through. I think Mary gets props but Joseph generally gets forgotten.

I am finding as I get older, I need these moments of getting caught.  I need to meditate about some of the emotion of the Christmas story. Not just the “Joy to the World” emotions, but the weight of what Jesus faced by entering the world as a Man.

I am reading a book right now: 4 Views on the Atonement (side note: really? We don’t we all agree as Evangelicals why Jesus died?). Reading about Jesus’ death in the midst of Advent, what a way to experience Christmas. It’s kind of like kicking the manger. Doesn’t feel good, but it helps me go there, go deeper.

I let Brian read this and he said – it feels like it is unfinished – there isn’t an end. I agree. I guess it’s because I’m still not sure about how to completely grasp this “yea! It’s Jesus’ Birthday! Merry Christmas!” in the midst of thinking “this baby was born so that He would one day face the Cross.”

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