Next Christmas, he will be ten months old with teeth trying to break through his gums. He will surely be scooting from the tree to my lap, exploring all the tinsel and lights that surround him. He will have a stocking on the mantel and toys under the tree. He will be almost one and I won't be able to stand how fast time flies.
But this Christmas, he is cocooned inside of me, hearing the sounds of Christmas swooshing by him as he slides in and out of slumber. Our baby boy is growing bigger every week and with each passing week I wait expectantly to see if he will stay inside or greet us early.
Next week, as the calendar passes through Christmas Eve and Day, I will be 27 weeks pregnant with Ridley. Three years ago, I gave birth to Adeline and Maralee at this exact same gestation. My soul continually wrestles Fear and Hope as I wait for this milestone.
Today, Hope has won the match. Hope stands triumphantly over Fear and declares that with God all things are possible. Hope does not say when our baby boy will greet us but it does say don't be afraid, give me your fears on this silent night.
Being pregnant at Christmas is a sweet gift from above. It is the gift of Love and I can't help but unwrap it delicately, careful not to mess up the bow. This gift is one that I treasure; precious to my bursting heart.
As hundreds upon thousands gather round one another - in homes, in churches, in fields - to celebrate the Light of the world we will rejoice that Christmas has come and with it the birth of our Savior King. We will sing; for he is Good and he chose to come down to our world that isn't to save us from ourselves. This baby-version of God cries out Hope for all of us so lost and weary.
Remembering this baby wrapped in swaddling clothes reminds me that I don't get to choose my child's birthday; it has already been chosen. Ridley's days have already been numbered, just like the hair that is on his skin. For now, he rests inside me, weighing a hefty two pounds and four ounces, with chubby cheeks and a button nose. I can feel him wiggle and squirm to make room for his growing arms and legs. For now, that is where he will stay.
Christmas is much like a pregnancy; we balance the wait with the planning. We busy ourselves with preparation, presents, and parties but the true celebration begins only when the candles are blown and we sing Happy Birthday. The Birth Day stands still; a moment that only happens once a year. It is worth the wait.
May Hope bring us good tidings and cheer next week as we celebrate another week, another day, another year. Let us remember that all gifts come from our God above and all our challenges can draw us closer to a dirty manger where Love was birthed into our starry night sky.
Merry Christmas, dear friends.
Till next time, let your light shine!