Monday, December 17, 2012

What Can You Bring?

So, my dear readers, it has been quite a while since I last posted.  I should apologize for that I guess, but in actuality my temporary hiatus from the blogging world has been a good one.  Time spent with family and friends while eating awesome food, shooting the breeze, and catching up has been more that cathartic for Jonathan and me.  We feel a bit like our spirits have been filled back up and we're just about ready to be sent off on our new adventure!

I've been thinking for a while now about what my little "holiday post" was going to be.  Tonight Jonathan and I went to our first formal affair as an official "med student and wife" duo.  It was a nice evening put on by Deaconess Hospital at the Petroleum Club here in OKC eating good food, meeting new people, greeting familiar faces, and enjoying entertainment.  While listening to this amazing performer (Kyle Dillingham), my inspiration for this post was born.  I encourage all of you to follow that link and/or look this kid up on iTunes (his band is called Horseshoe Road).  He's quite an incredible musician, which in and of itself is inspirational.  However, my inspiration came more from the testimonial style words that he spoke in between his musical offerings.  Before he played The Little Drummer Boy, he started with a mini testimony as to why he chose that song.  That particular Christmas song is one of the top 5 songs that bug the heck outta me around the holidays.  It's just one of those ear ninja songs that gets stuck in your head and plays on repeat for hours on end.  Ugh!  But light was shed on that little annoying song tonight.  Kyle said, "Sometimes during the holidays we get caught up in bringing the perfect gift.  Giving the perfect charity.  Giving and receiving the best and most popular and practical things.  And then sometimes...God calls you to something different.  Sometimes He calls you to bring something you wouldn't otherwise bring."

And that is me and Jonathan this year.  We feel a bit like we're taking more than we deserve while not having much to bring in return.  What can we give Him...poor as we are?  What can we bring?  For that matter, what can we give to those we love?  What gift is enough to show gratitude for the love and support our family and friends have shown us across this year?  Is there anything that could be considered "enough"?  Honestly, no.  There is not a gift we can wrap that would ever be enough to show our gratitude for that love.  Either from our loved ones, or from our Father.  So what DO we bring this Christmas?  We bring our Father our humbleness and humility as we continue to follow where He leads.  We will get on that plane on December 28th, take a deep breath, and continue this leap of faith He's called us too.  And we'll try to remember, when the going gets tough, that this journey is HIS plan...and that the "gift" at the end is knowing He was always carrying us!  We bring our parents a few little trinkets from Freeport, but more importantly, we bring them our gratitude for their physical, financial, and emotional support.  We try to convey to them our realization that there are millions of people out there who don't have mothers and fathers like Jonathan and I do.  We bring them the assurance that we WILL complete this task, make them proud, and return the favor of their generosity when we are able.  We bring our dear friends (so many of them are like family to us...Patrick and Nicole really go into this category even though they're technically family...) our appreciation for their grace in providing us those nudges and high fives and hugs when we were so in need of them.  I use the word grace because we are so undeserving of that from all of you, yet you all so freely give it.  We are forever grateful for your love and support...words cannot express.

So what can you bring this Christmas?  We all get caught up in retail during this time of year, and we forget to embrace the real reason for this season.  I won't be too "cliche" here, but it should be recognized that when we were still sinners, our Father gave us the gift of HIMSELF.  He incarnated Himself and sent his likeness to this earth because that was the greatest gift he could think to give.  And it arrived so humbly and simply...even though it was in actuality the greatest gift ever given.  No big bows, no super Black Friday deal, not a single dime spent.  Just the best of Him in the purest human form.  A baby.  When we sing songs like O Holy Night and Silent Night, my heart responds to the simplicity and quiet of that precious Holy Night.  There was not a line out the door of the stable, there was no traffic on the road to Bethlehem, there were no bank accounts drained.  It was just a young girl, an obedient young man, some poor shepherds, and a tiny newborn baby boy.  Yet it is THAT story that has been told for thousands of years...

So...this 2012 Christmas...what will YOU bring?

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