So over the past 7 months or so, Liz and I have been making preparations for baby Maddy. What crib we wanted, what color we wanted to paint the walls, what diapers we would use….so many decisions! Well, with now less than 9 weeks to go preparations are in full force! We are trying to make sure there are no last minute runs to Wal-Mart – which is 30 miles away for us!
I have been busy with a couple of the “manly” tasks of getting ready for my little girl. I have been working on painting her room and staining a bookshelf. Okay, so maybe those tasks aren’t that manly, but it’s not buying pink socks and little pink dresses! (I have to admit that I do like the little socks though!) We have changed our plans a few times over the course of the last 7 months. We were going to try and paint the room a pink and brown color, but nothing really looked like we wanted. Then we decided we would just leave it a neutral color…well this was after going through about 3 different sample colors and putting them on the wall. I had to figure out something. So, we figured we’d just take a little sample and get someone to match the color so we could “touch up” our trial and error.
Well….boy was that a mess up. The paint went on matching perfectly. I thought – this is going to work.
Then it dried.
It was like 3 shades darker than where we started! Ugh! Now I’m thinking we are going to have to paint the entire room, which was an expense we were trying to avoid. Then I remember a trick of adding white paint to try and match the color better. After lots of mini-coats of paint I think I got it pretty close.
Now, the bookshelf. I have never tackled a staining job of this size before. Funny thing is – we’ve had this shelf for probably 7 years or better and it’s been unfinished that entire time. Now, we just have a reason to stain it. The task of trying to pick a stain to match her furniture was painful! We finally decided on one and actually got pretty close. We were both impressed. I had finished the first coat over the entire thing – and then noticed something. I missed some spots where some excess stain had run and left some pretty big marks.
It was on the back or the side, right? Nope – right on the front! Both spots. They stood out like a sore thumb to me! Liz said, “it is okay, it looks fine…besides, it doesn’t have to be perfect – her daddy did it for her”.
Well, that was just it! It did need to be perfect! It was for MY daughter – the one that will be the cutest little girl there ever was and ever will be. My daughter! (Still getting used to that actually!)
In my youth group, we have been talking a lot about the Christmas story lately…with it being the Christmas season and all, what better topic to talk about, huh? I have been talking with my kids about looking at the Christmas story in a different perspective, looking at the story from the perspective of the people involved. Let the story change them.
Well, it ended up changing me. As I was putting the second coat on the shelf last night, I was still thinking about our lesson in youth group. I was also thinking this shelf has got to be perfect, the paint has got to be perfect -how can I fix it?
Then it hit me. How was Jesus born into this world? Did He have a perfect baby room with matching bedding and wall art? Did His shelf have any runs of stain on it? Was the paint in His room mismatched? He had none of this. The King of all had none of this. He left the greatest room of all, if you will, to be born on this dirty, filthy earth. He was not even born inside .
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
I’ve found myself trying to make everything perfect for the arrival of Maddy, as any one parent would. It has just really made me think about some things this Christmas season. When she is here, she is not going to point out the mistakes in her room – she will remember that there was love that filled the room. She won’t point out that not everything in her room matched, she will remember that her mom and her dad were both there, as well many other family members and adopted aunts and uncles that fill her life.
Jesus left perfection to be born in an imperfect world. He did not complain that He was born outside and placed in a feeding trough. He did not care that He didn’t have a perfect nursery to sleep in. He came to teach, to love and to change the world.
He came to die for me and for you.
Looking at the Christmas story in this way has really changed how I’m preparing for the birth of Maddy. It has refocused me on simply how amazing a birth is – and even more so how miraculous the birth of our child is. So, this Christmas season take some time and get reacquainted with how our Savior was born and let the story change you – because it is so much more than just a story.