Today's post has two different sections based on what you'd like to read. I know many people who feel that they just cannot read or hear any more about the recent tragedy, and I'd like to be sensitive to that. However, our pastor shared some incredible thoughts this weekend and I would like to share those. So…if you would like something lighter to read today, I direct your attention to the "weekend thoughts" title in bold; if you'd like to see some unique thoughts on Christmas and the events of Friday, scroll further down. Whatever you decide to read, I hope you have a blessed Monday.

weekend thoughts

Last week as a pretty quiet one for me as I enjoyed some much needed time off. Unfortunately, it has come to an end as Strider is now home for break (when did 3 weeks turn into forever?) and I am back at work. Like the old woman I sometimes feel I am, I spent most of Saturday and Sunday evening working on two Christmas quilting projects. (pics and a tutorial to come!) It was a quiet and restful time and very nice to do some of the little projects I enjoy working on.

In addition, my annual Christmastime re-reading of Little Women has commenced! I love enjoying this wonderful book every year and as with all great literature, seem to find something new every time I read it. Is there anything you re-read every year?

Also…can you believe it is just 8 days till Christmas!!!

Christmas & Sandy Hook

I, like so many others, am feeling overwhelmed and heartbroken by the events of this weekend. I won't elaborate on the tragedy itself as you are probably feeling as inundated with media coverage as I am. I know there has been so much said and reported, but I appreciated a unique thought my pastor shared this weekend in regards to the recent events and the upcoming Christmas holiday.

During the Sunday sermon, our pastor read from Matthew. He prefaced it by saying that these verses are a part we usually leave out of the Christmas readings because they are uncomfortable this joyful time of year. It reads:
"When Herod realized that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he gave orders to kill all the male children in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: 'A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.'" Matthew 2:16-18
How those verses struck me! After finishing, he pointed out that at this same time all those years ago, people were mourning for their children, just as we are mourning now. He reminded us that the world was in total darkness, desperately praying for the Savior to be born, to bring a light in the middle of so much suffering. 
How timely…to think that the people of Bethlehem were hurting the same way we are right now. 
And what a way to meditate on the upcoming Christmas season, reflecting on the fact that in a very similar situation as we are now trying to wrap our minds around, Jesus was coming. God knew the world was weeping for its children and He had already sacrificed His own son to come to Earth, to ease our hurt and to save us. 

In discussing it later, my mother and I agreed that this definitely isn't part of our typical "Christmas story" reading. But we appreciated that our pastor had the courage to bring to light something so hard, and yet so relevant during this time of year.

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