* Special "What's The Meaning Of Christmas Gift Pack" Giveaway by VeggieTales Creator Phil Vischer * What's In The Bible? Jellyfish Labs is celebrating the true meaning of Christmas by giving away FIVE (5) special gift 2-pack bundles here on Faith Barista. Enter the giveaway at the end of today's post!
I wake up, wondering if anyone remembers.
It’s my special day.
It’s my birthday.
As I throw the covers off, I swing myself off the bed and into the morning routine: get dressed, get the kids ready for school and fix breakfast.
Just another regular day.
My birthday happens to land on a weekday this year, so the everyday routine makes me feel… ordinary.
Are you serious, girl? I say to myself. You’re getting too old to need attention on your birthday.
As I shuffle my feet to make the morning cup of coffee, it strikes me.
Whether we are a child or a full grown adult, we all carry pictures of what it looks like to have a good birthday.
Do we do the same with Christmas?
What’s my version of a picture-perfect Christmas?
When I was a little girl, I dreamed of —
A beautifully decorated home.
Lots of friends crowded in, laughing and just huggin’ on each other.
Extended family cheer, free of the undercurrent of drama and memories of hard conversations.
This and more were once etched into my heart, causing me to dread the holidays.
This picture of Christmas dreams changed every year as I grew up, whether I was single or married, student or working adult.
The truth is this: what I really longed for was a deep craving for love. To belong.
Jesus knows this ache well.
Outside of Perfect
On his very first birthday, Jesus didn’t even get half the attention He deserved.
It was far from picture perfect.
Jesus came quietly. Pretty much flying as below the radar as you could imagine.
His Father God choose a cave instead of a palace for his delivery room.
And the birth announcement went out, it was one of a kind. It was interactive. Not just 3D.
A choir of angels blasting the sky. Live.
But, this big investment of angel-power was spent only on one recipient. A bunch of shepherds. The most ordinary folk you could’ve chosen in that day.
The supernatural announcement of Jesus’ birth didn’t even go to the family members back in Nazareth. Don’t you think Mary and Joseph could’ve used the help, given the pre-marital pregnancy and everything?
Do you relate to all this picture perfect pressure during Christmas?
Maybe you’re waiting for something supernatural to just quell all the fears and uncertainties that are going on right now.
We all have them.
God knows this.
This is why He sent us Emmanuel.
God with us.
Outside of the picture perfect life we dream of, Jesus stands with us — making His home right where our imperfect lives have us feeling ordinary and hidden.
“Instead of taking power, this king will give up his power for us.
He became human like us,
turned his life upside down,
so he can take our mess ups.
I’ll never be alone,
cuz Jesus.. in God, I’ll find my home.“
from the video “Why Do We Call It Christmas”
by VeggieTales Creator Phil Vischer
In the coming weeks, the routine of holiday traditions may take the special out of Jesus’ birthday. Maybe have us feeling it’s just an ordinary Christmas. The opposite can also be true. There may be mounting pressures building up for that picture perfect holiday.
Either way, we have a reason to let our picture perfect distractions go when we hit those patches.
Let’s unwrap Jesus, each of us, in the inner rooms of our hearts.
Where you’re celebrating,
Where you’re waiting for joy,
Where you’re hurting, but persevering,
Where you don’t have answers, but you are holding onto the One who does,
Where you’re thankful and giddy from the beauty of the life God’s blessed you with,
Breathe a smile to the Jesus — God who is with you — pouring His all into you.
Just like he did over 2000 years ago.
In an upcoming post, I’ll be sharing a special baby gift registry.
No, I’m not pregnant.
I would just love your ideas on how we can offer gifts for a Baby King’s birthday celebration.
It’s coming soon.
You know, Jesus’ birthday.
** SPECIAL CHRISTMAS DVD GIFT GIVEAWAY! **
I was struck with today’s deeply comforting reflection in today’s post when I least expected it last week.
Hubby and I were watching a wonderful new Christmas DVD created by VeggieTales Creator Phil Vischer called “Why Do We Call It Christmas?” with our boys two-year-old CJ and six-year-old TJ. It’s a heart-tugging and hilariously entertaining Christmas video that explains the history and biblical meaning behind a lot of the holiday traditions.
The Christmas DVD is part of a Muppets-like series called “What’s In The Bible?”. Our church uses it in Sunday School as a educational tool to teach grade school kids about each book of the Bible. It delivers theology in a funny and memorable way.
Thanks to What’s In The Bible?, FIVE (5) Winners will be randomly selected to receive a Special Christmas Giveaway 2-pack Bundle:
1. The Christmas DVD “Why Do We Call It Christmas?”.
2. What’s In The Bible (Vol1) DVD. “In the Beginning: Genesis”
Psst… Special Christmas Pricing. TJ loved watching the videos so much at church, we got the DVDs for the Pentateuch – the first 5 books of the Bible – for home. If you’re interested, there’s a special Christmas Gift Bundle currently offered: 6 DVDs at $7.98 per DVD. Click on the ad below to view (subscribers can click here).
1. Share a comment or blog post by Midnight Monday 12/12/11.
For Extra Entries:
2. Subscribe to Faith Barista and leave an extra comment letting me know.
3. Share this post on Facebook or Twitter (Click the “Share/Save” button below) and leave extra comments letting me know.
* CONGRATULATIONS TO * Our 5 winners of What’s In The Bible Christmas Giveaway: #69 Tanya, #53 Jenny YH, #71 Katy, #45 Melissa C #24 Mary Mauk. You’ll be contacted shortly for contact info!
** Don’t miss a post in December’s Special Unwrapping Jesus Series! ** If you are new to Faith Barista, I’d like welcome you here.Click to subscribe by email and get each post in this series served up hot and fresh directly in your mailbox.
*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
** Special December Series: Unwrapping Jesus**
Next Thursday & every Thursday in December, our writing prompt is: Unwrapping Jesus
Take The Faith Barista Challenge: Unwrapping Jesus
If you’re looking to unwrap Jesus in a new way this month, join me and take the Faith Barista Challenge this month.
Keep a lookout for:
*1. Ways to celebrate Christmas simply.
*2. Inspiring moments that fill you with God’s love, joy, peace, or hope.
*3. Encouragement to see Christmas in a new way.
*4. A Fresh Take on the Gift of Jesus.
Approach it any way you feel inspired! Only required ingredient: keep it real.
Please place the “Faith Jam” Badge in your post and help build the Keep Fresh Fresh Community. Thanks!
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Who knows? Maybe you’ll get a special message you didn’t expect.
On second thought, if you take up the journey — I know you will.
It’s a jam session. As time allows, say hi & drop a comment when visiting the community faith blends!
Happy Birthday Bonnie!! “Jesus stands with us — making His home right where our imperfect lives have us feeling ordinary and hidden.” So good–with all it cost Him to rescue us, He certainly doesn’t see us as ordinary and we can never be hidden from Him! What a great reminder!! Thank you Bonnie!!
Thank you, Bonnie. I could relate so much. Since I move so much, no one ever celebrates my birthday…besides the fact it falls at Easter. This Christmas is not picture perfect. For the first time in my life, I am suffering from depression. It is an accumulation of many things. And now, my 21 year old son cannot come home for Christmas. It will be a first of many without all my kids. I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning and am glad I read this. “Outside of the picture perfect life we dream of, Jesus stands with us — making His home right where our imperfect lives have us feeling ordinary and hidden.”
May God bless you and may your birthday be wonderful.!
I don’t know what Christmas will look like for us this year. It won’t be picture perfect in the midst of our pain, but He has unwrapped Himself again and again over the last few months. Maybe the perfect Christmas has come early in a lot of ways. Because it’s not all about the wrappings, right? It’s about the One wrapped in the swaddling who comes again and again in the midst of our messes and pain.
Love you, Bonnie.
Birthday blessings Bonnie!! May you hear His sweet voice whispering His love in your ear.
The pressure for our version of ‘perfection’ at these times is so strong, isn’t it? What a great point you make. Perfect doesn’t necessarily line up with miraculous or miraculous with perfect. Situations, conditions, lacks, limitations–they don’t determine God’s plan or the release of His presence and joy. I’d much rather have a miraculous season than a so-called perfect one. Thanks Bonnie.
Thanks for hosting this giveaway! I’ve been seeing these DVDs mentioned alot around blog land, and would love to get to see one before I consider buying them. Thanks again!
I’m a subscriber.
I just had my birthday and could relate to your feelings about an “ordinary day” but never thought about how Jesus might have felt about his “ordinary birth-day.” Very thought-provoking and convicting. Also, I’m going to share this info about the DVD’s your church uses with the Children’s Director of our church. It looks like great stuff! Thanks!
I so relate to your birthday thoughts. Since moving to CO my birthdays have been pretty much like any other day. More than 40 years of well celebrated birthdays set me up for a lot of disappointment. Thankfully, I’ve always been with some version of family for Christmas–be they the family I’m related to by birth or the families I’ve been “adopted” into. That has helped me not care so much about what it looks like. I’ve learned it’s about who you’re with. (I suppose that’s good til God asks me to go completely solo someday . . . here’s hoping that doesn’t happen!)
Thanks for hosting the give-away. I love the generosity that pours from you.
Birthday blessings to you, lovely friend! We are alike in wanting special attention for our birthdays, so I appreciate the parallel you draw here.
I liked this post very much. This perspective on the birth of Christ made the muscles in my neck and shoulders relax. Thank you for that gift!
May Jesus continue to unwrap Himself to you as you prepare your heart for His birthday.
Happy Birthday! You deserve a special day!
Happy Birthday! Our Christmas won’t be the Christmas I envisioned but It will be a celebration of Jesus’s love and birth. Thank you for this dvd recommendation.
I love that you point out the choir of angels were announcing to lowly shepherds. And, yes, the whole pre-marital thing.
I don’t always write about my faith.
I linked a post (that you inspired last month).
It focuses on how JOY is a verb.
Hope you enjoy it.
My children would love this!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I know what you mean about “just an ordinary day”… my “ordinary day” was yesterday – my 37th Wedding Anniversary… 🙂 It too was just an “ordinary day” – although I did get flowers! And you probably will too! 🙂 I just thanked God for giving me the strength to “stick it out” for 37 years, and my husband too! 😉
I hope you have a blessed birthday!
Thank you for the opportunity to win this new gift package for Christmas. My daughter and 2 grandchildren moved in with us last year…after a failed marriage. I’m sure Clay at 8 would enjoy them, and maybe even Clara at 13. 😉 I’m most thankful that they all 3 know HIM, and are doing well!
Thanks for your uplifting encouraging words!
Thanks for this post and this giveaway….I always long for the picture perfect holiday. I am an only child and have always wished for a houseful of family laughing and playing board games together. That doesn’t happen, but we are happy and that should be all that matters.
HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BONNIE!!!! Hope your day is filled with lots and lots of SON filled moments – Blessings to you for always sharing your heart with us.
Thank you for your uplifting and practical application to the complexity of life.
How refreshing – like a cool drink on a hot day!
God bless you and give you a very special birthday and Christmas!
Happy Birthday! I love Veggie Tales….my grandaughters will love this one….appreciate your transparency on your blog.
I subscribe to Faith Barista via email.
I really like today’s post, Bonnie. It fits where I am right now just like a hand in a glove. Thanks!
Happy Birthday!!!!!! God Bless
I shared a post on Facebook.
I find the busy-ness of the season causing me to dread it. I enjoy each activity, but as an introvert the extra time with so many people tires me. I’m reminding myself to take deep breaths and focus on Advent instead.
Happy birthday, Bonnie! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on perfection and expectations – I always love to hear your perspective on things – it helps a lot!
I subscribe by email.
“Let’s unwrap Jesus, each of us, in the inner rooms of our hearts.” David and I are reading Max Lucado’s advent devotional. He talks about letting God into the mire and muck of our lives –the imperfect. Then, I come here to visit today only to have the teaching expanded through your words. I’m so thankful.
You remind me that each one of us is extraordinary in the everyday people we are. You remind me to let Him in to each ordinary moment and let Him unwrap the wonder. Thank you for letting Him write through you.
Sending a warm hug wrapped in His wonder… and a vegan chocochip scone too!
Wonderful thoughts Bonnie! I pray the coming year is filled with all that He desires for you…that you see Him at work all around you and in you and through you…
I also pray that whether it’s your birthday or His, that the celebration is intimate and precious…knowing that He is found in the twinkle of our kids (and grandkids!) eyes as much as in the tinsel and lights…
Until the whole world hears…
So enjoy your blogs. (I’m a good friend of your mother-in-law) Keep up the good work.
I so need to let go of the desire for perfection. It trips me up the most during the Christmas season. This series has been a great tool for helping me focus this year. Thanks, Bonnie 🙂
Thanks so much for this inspiring topic which I have been mindful of this week. I’ve posted a link to my article today, “Unwrapping Jesus” above.
Hope you are feeling especially blessed this Christmas,
Happy Birthday, Bonnie! The idea of a baby gift registry for Jesus is intriguing.
Looking forward to the idea’s “unveiling.”
Already subscribed and enjoying it!
Shared on Twitter.
I’m so glad I found your site. It’s truly been St a time I needed it the most.
I’ve also subscribed to your site.
I find birthdays strange it’s nice to five special but then at times growing up that was taken away. I guess I live life expecting joy to be taken away. Yet in Jesus I know eternal joy. Yes this world jades me at times but as the bible says we are not off this works and that I embrace.
Happy birthday honey xxxx
thank you lord jesus for walking with me, i know i am not worthy but in your grace you have saved me
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! What beautiful thoughts you shared during this blessed time of year. How often I forget what the season of celebration is about…the real reason for the gift of a new born baby Saviour, the Messiah!
Would love to win the videos for my grandchildren. Have a beautiful, special day!
Bonnie, I had to let go of picture perfect this past year. I used one of your quotes in my last post about thriving because God is at home in me. When I really get that, I am overwhelmed.
Blessings and love,
Bonnie, I was using a different computer when I left my comment. Here’s the direct link to the post where I used your quote:
The Veggie Tales giveaway is great. I watched many of their previous videos with my friend’s kids. If I won, I would give it as a gift to my niece as she and her husband are expecting for the first time. I am praying for this baby even now that he or she would have a relationship with Jesus one day.
Blessings and love,
This video sounds wonderful. I would love to be able to share it with my 3 year old granddaughter. She loves music and what a wonderful way to hear about Jesus through all the little songs in the video.
Hope you had a happy birthday and have a blessed Christmas!
My kids love Jelly Telly!
Thank you for your honest and encouraging words.
Would love to show these to my children- thanks for the giveaway 🙂
I get your emails~
I have been looking at this whole series as gifts for my family. The reviews are a amazing.
This year, I’ve determined to give myself grace to know I don’t have to do EVERY thing and to focus on what this season is really all about – to keep it simple so my kids know we are celebrating JESUS, not gifts and santa and decorations and food.
Love the What’s in the Bible series and think the world of Phil Vischer for taking on the task of presenting a BIble survey thru Muppets and media. I do want to enter the giveaway as well.
I would like to be entered in the giveaway. thank you!
Happy Birthday, Bonnie! Beautiful thoughts on celebrating Him. (And thank you for hosting us here each week.)
I’ve tweeted about this post and giveaway here: http://twitter.com/#!/Keep_Tha_Faith/statuses/145214925487357952
Thanks for the giveaway! This would be great for teaching my little guy.
shared on twitter
I subscribe to Faith Barista via RSS
GOod points! I often think…If this is what I want (esp as a parent), how much more God must want it from me..
I would like to be entered in the giveaway!
Thankyou for sharing your thoughts on the Christmas season!
I have subscribed to “Faith Barista” so I don’t miss a single great thought! We all need to make Christmas simpler, and get back to the real meaning…..Jesus!
I’ve been stressing about having the perfect Christmas I remember but it’s not what matters is it?
I love your “unwrapping Christmas” posts!!
I now subscribe through RSS feed
Thanks Bonnie! I would love to win the DVD. Sounds like it would be a hit here 🙂
I subscribed to receive posts via email. Thanks again 🙂
count me in, please. my kids would love it!
i subscribe by email.
Thanks for the reminder that the “K.I.S.S.” principal works at Christmas, too. We are too often focused so hard the “the” day that we miss the journey that brings us there. Belated happy birthday, and may God bless you and yours with a wonderful Christmas.
I’m sure my grandchildren would love these! Merry Christmas!
subscribing to Faith Barista
I have looked at these but never picked them up for use with my Sunday school class. Glad to hear such good things on them.
I tweeted about this post & follow
Subscriber thru RSS feed
I recently heard of the new series from Phil Visher called “What’s in the Bible?” and I must say it looks fantastic. I pray your little ones learn much in this fun and inspiring way. Please enter me in your giveaway so I can share this great message with my loved ones. Blessings!
Thank you for this, Bonnie–such an important reminder that things don’t have to be or feel perfect for God to show up suddenly in our lives! Happy belated birthday!