House number three is definitely out of the picture. The listing agent was acting and communicating in a very confusing way, which left us scratching our heads. We had no idea what he wanted us to do or if they really even wanted to negotiate with us on the house. It turns out they were trying to get us into a bidding war. No thanks–we decided to cancel our offer and look for another place.
Once that deal was off the table, our realtor sent us a link to a city-owned property. It’s quite large and needs only a fraction of the rehab that many of the other houses we’ve seen have needed. Being the rock star that she is, our realtor has arranged a walk-through of the house tomorrow, Christmas Eve. We’ll see if this is the right one. Kind of like Mary and Joseph searching for a suitable shelter in which to welcome their son.
Is this similar to what Jesus’ parents were feeling on that first Christmas? Did they question God about why they found themselves in such an uncertain and uncomfortable position when they were just trying to do His will? Were they anxious because they had no place to call home when they were welcoming the Son of God into this world? Did they have to take joy in the small blessings so that they could remember that God is good? What did they think and feel when they were sheltered in a barn with their newborn baby, and others were comfortable in warm homes?
I’ve gained a greater appreciation for what that first Christmas must have been like. It was uncomfortable and smelly. They must have felt confused, anxious, and disoriented. They were probably also thankful for the small things–the animals’ warmth that kept them warm, a manger where they could place the baby, and the shepherds who noticed and celebrated the arrival of their son.
This Christmas I’m trying to find joy in the small things–freshly baked cookies, shelter from the elements, and cardinals and chickadees frolicking in the bare lilac bushes outside my parents’ house. Take a moment this Christmas to cherish the small things in your life!