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Cookies, Christmas, and Imperfection

Yesterday the kiddos and I got up with shrieks and excitement. Or at least the kiddos did. Or at least some of them did. My lil Sweet Pea barely gave anyone else a chance to crack open their eyelids before they were assaulted with in-your-face squeals of "Are you excited we get to skip school today and make cookies?!"

It’s the little things, people, it’s the little things. Our tradition of getting together with my mom and sisters and their cousins for a day of making cookies together brings as much or more excitement than the opening of presents. It’s practically a non-negotiable event of the season.

We had fun and overdosed on sugar. (Sugar is almost non-negotiable with the season as well. How did we get here?!?)

The kiddos love to help-none of this watching and waiting for the first bite. They want their fingers in the action!

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You know what that means, though, right? Imperfect cookies. It means deformed stars and bells, questions of whether this is an angel or a gingerbread man, icing and colored sugar everywhere, and pretending that licked fingers carry no germs. At least for one day. Can they not carry germs for one day??? Alas.

As much as I would love to have containers of perfectly shaped and iced cookies, this is NOT my reality. Lots of laughs, icing, and happy kiddos are my reality, though. And who wants to remember a cookie-making day that was no fun??

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Last week in our small group we learned about Christmas and HOPE from Ann Voskamp’s Advent study, The Greatest Gift. Wow, I got some hope that evening! One of the main things that impacted me that night was this-

The truth of Christmas is that the world is a mess, but because Jesus chose to come to a messy, dirty, stinky barn on Planet Earth as a vulnerable baby, miracles still happen in the midst of the mess and dark and stink of our lives.

We tend to go to a lot of bother to try to make this season perfect. The First Christmas only happened because any season here is way less than perfect. The perfection is that He came to our mess to bring hope. HOPE. We can’t attain perfection, for sure not without Him, so He came to bring hope.

What if, instead of trying to make Christmas perfect this year, we became intentional about being present in every moment, messy as it may be, seeing the beauty in the midst of imperfect, the joy in the midst of heartache, the hope in the midst of loss?

The holy in the mess.

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What if we really found the hope that the First Christmas brought?

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