Chris finished finals after yesterday evening's exam. It has been a peaceful fall for us, but the weight of the semester bears down heavily in December for Chris. He is very excited to have nearly a month before Spring Semester begins.
I don't know why, but it's been hard to get into Christmas this year. I haven't decorated our house for the past couple years - it's just too much work to rearrange furniture if we're not even going to be here for Christmas. I started to put on some Christmas music in the car on my way to work the other day and was promptly cut off twice within five minutes. And like everyone else I get so preoccupied in December with preparing to be away from work, finishing school, shopping, packing, addressing cards, etc., that I am almost startled to encounter moments of real joy.
Last Sunday, our church celebrated baptisms for several older children. As our pastor prepared to pray with each of the kids dressed festively in black velvet dresses, red bows or little boy suits, he invited extended families (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) to come to the front to join the prayer. Something about that moment especially touched me - the fact that so many people can join around a single child and pledge to raise this child in the right light. It was a juxtaposition of this present and future dedication against the traditional message of Christmas and where I should be focusing: the realization of a child's potential.