Merry Christmas from Team Atogwe

Merry Christmas, friends!

Last Christmas, we were supposed to be in Canada, celebrating with O’s family and enjoying the snow. Instead, between the four of us, we were recovering from RSV, had a double ear infection, pink eye and strep. We were stuck in Dallas all alone since my family went to L.A and it was the first time we’d been alone for Christmas. It ended up stirring our hearts and creating a longing to not create a need to travel or be with our respective families for Christmas Day to make it memorable and special- that our Christmas traditions would be our own.

As hard as it was to decide not to travel for the Holidays this year, the permanence and peace we’ve felt as a family even just staying home for three months has been telling; we needed to be still. I pray that in these next couple days before Christmas, you carry that same stillness with you. Through the parties and the festivities, through serving  and baking, through the last minute (last second?) shopping and late-night wrapping, that you would find the stillness. If you can’t find it-if you feel too far gone, close your eyes. Seek the Prince of Peace. I  like to think of Mary on that day. Looking out into the darkest sky imaginable, blanketed with millions of diamond stars, sitting in the hay, sore and exhausted and completely overwhelmed. Surrounded by animal smells and sounds, uncomfortable and probably scared…but still. Still because she knew she was holding the Prince of Peace. Emmanuel, God with us. God with her. I pray I stay there this Christmas.

I’m spending today getting some baking done early, including cookies for neighbors and cinnamon rolls for my sister and brother in law’s early morning arrival tomorrow, which I’m so excited about. I have an enormous chalkboard sign to finish before the Christmas Eve service and will have “Happy Birthday Jesus” on repeat so Oshiolema can practice for the big stage Sunday evening! He’s the pitchiest singer you ever did hear, but man if that’s not the sweetest thing in the world, I don’t know what is. I’ll be taking next week off, my first week away from the blog since launch day! But I’m so looking forward to being present with my family and truly enjoying the rest.

Silent night, holy night

All is calm, all is bright.

Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.

Holy infant so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!

Shepherds quake at the sight.

Glories stream from heaven afar

Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,

Christ the Savior is born!

Christ the Savior is born

Silent night, holy night!

Son of God love’s pure light.

Radiant beams from Thy holy face

With dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

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