My, but I had such plans for writing this week… God rewrote my plans and instead this might be the first week since UnPublish(Able) started up that I have not produced a blog a day. I have to say, I am a little tickled about it. Whenever that happens, when the vision I had gets turned and twisted, when my best and brightest ideas become the kaleidoscope that God gives an elegant wrench so that it is not a pretty, stationary picture but rather a glorious work of art, full of moving pieces and light and color — well, I get a little shiver of excitement down my spine. If what I had planned for my time seemed good, this thing He is doing by tipping my plans upside down must be way better.
So I am in my kitchen, waiting on eggnog waffles to cook for the family’s breakfast (because, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Savior of the world is having a birthday and if that doesn’t inspire you to make a fuss, what will?) and I am contemplating the things I hope to do in these 2 days before Christmas, and thinking what a feeble and utterly worthwhile work it is to think God’s thoughts after Him. He is the One always up before the crack of dawn making beautiful, tasty, sensory masterpieces for me to enjoy.
Brilliant golden sunrises are not enough — Let’s give her a magenta sky, littered with dramatic clouds to close out the day.
Waffles are good… but she would love a hot drink that has so many complex flavors it will make her sniff and sip again and again, and every time she does, she will get a burst of happiness — Let’s give her black coffee.
She has discovered wool socks — just watch her face when We give her flannel!!
Everything on my to-do list (scoff, snort — yeah, I know, I don’t write one. Figure of speech in my case) is a mere dim shadow, a weak echo of the kind of love I am daily given. It is like David Benoit, who you listen to and appreciate but all the while are fully aware: he is no George Winston and the best you can say is, good effort at imitation. And that is what I am going for today.
Be the David Benoit.
And so today, with the ice outside making a wonderland of warmth inside, I am throwing myself into whatever delightful task I can put my hands to, because Christmas is coming.
For me, it means piles of buttermilk lemon gingerbread trees with caramelized edges and soft centers, dusted with powdered sugar snow, pans of gibassier that made all the candying of orange peels (did you know that takes 2 days? I didn’t) worth it, fig orange and star anise tea breads, pepperkaker stars, and a cherry stollen with homemade pistachio walnut marzipan — just because I can.
And of all the things that we can and should imitate our God and Father in, I believe the first and foremost must be this: delighting in the Son. This Son, this Incarnate Child, is the One with whom God is well pleased, and because of Him, God is also well pleased with you. He is delighted over Christmas, over the work the Son obediently came to do, rejoices over the people His Son came to save! Whatever else you do in preparation, in imitation over the next 2 days, do not miss this, because it is the basis for everything else — delight yourself in this Son. Be thrilled over the Gift! Wrap your gifts because God gave you His Son, wrapped up in human flesh, the perfect Gift. Imitate God’s joy in Jesus! Be still at the Manger, be in awe, go about your entire year with the glow of His good pleasure lighting up your face, go and tell it everywhere.