Friday, December 21, 2012

A Christmas Tour of my House and my Heart

Merry Christmas friends! Some of you have never been to my home, so I thought I'd give you a Christmas tour and share some of my favorite Christmas treasures. Enjoy!

I love Nativities. I also love winter. This snowman nativity was a gift from a friend. The best is the angel in the background proclaiming FEAR NOT. Of course this Splashes of Serenity girl loves her bath and this bathtime blue bird of happiness wallpaper fills me with serenity at the end of the day. I live in the woods and selected wallpaper that brings nature inside.

"Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared among them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. 'Don't be afraid! he said. 'I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior —yes, the Messiah, the Lord — has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger." Luke 2:9-12

I'd like to leave my Christmas decorations up all year, because celebrating Christ's birth does not end on December 26.  This beautiful Hummel set of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus fleeing to Egypt belonged to my mother-in-law. I admired it on her fireplace mantle for 40 years. Now I treasure these figurines on mine. Missing my mother-in-law so much. Thankful for the memories and grateful that Jesus provided the way for her to spend Christmas in Heaven.

"After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. 'Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,' the angel said. 'Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.' That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod's death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: 'I called my Son out of Egypt.'
Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under...." Matthew, 2:13-16




Some nativities are real. I treasure this photo of my daughter Elizabeth, her husband Joe, and newborn baby Garrett. They made a perfect couple for our church Christmas program in 2001. Garrett was born with deformities. We weren't sure he would live. But the  peace on Elizabeth's face must have reflected the peace on Mary's face when her future was uncertain and she said:

 "I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true." Luke 1:38

We found this in a quaint and tiny wood carver's shop nestled in a corner in Switzerland. Dan and I have travelled to many countries. In them all, we find nativities. Why? Because Jesus came to save the whole world.

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17
 
A Swedish treasure from my Swedish mother-in-law.  

 I bought this nativity in Gabon Africa. Teaching vacation Bible school to third culture kids was my purpose. Changing my heart was God's purpose for me.

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, .... Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you...." Matthew 28: 19-20 
 
  This guy is one of my favorite ornaments. I love shepherds. Probably because I'm married to one. Can you imagine being out in that field and an angel appears!  I think God likes shepherds too!
 
"That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. 'Don't be afraid! he said. 'I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior — yes, the Messiah, the Lord — has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David. And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger." Luke 2: 8-12
 
I think I would have made a good shepherd. I love their response! They didn't deck the halls with boughs of holly! They didn't go make cookies or spike the eggnog to celebrate. No. Here's what they did:
 
"When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, 'Let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.' They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds' story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them." Luke 2:15-20
 
 Is there a cross in your Christmas tree? Without the cross, there would be no point celebrating Christmas.
 
 "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ."
 
Now there's a thought to ponder this Christmas.
 
May your Christmas be merry and bright and filled with splashes of serenity!
 
Elaine


3 comments:

Terri said...

I love them all, but my absolute favorites are the ones from Switzerland and Africa. Beautiful!

Merry Christmas, Elaine!

Lisa M. Buske said...

Elaine,

Beautiful doesn't seem to be enough. The Scriptures that accompany each nativity were the hearts cherry on top in this blog. Thank you for sharing your home and heart with us once again.

Merry Christmas friend!!
Lisa M Buske
http://LisaMBuske.com

Anonymous said...

Elaine, I so enjoyed the tour of your manger scenes at your home. Have a wonderful Christmas season filled with the peace of God and glory of Jesus! Marsha

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