We're having a green Christmas...

If you are joining me from Glynnis' sweet and simple Christmas, welcome. I'm so glad you dropped by.  We are hunkered down at home with a couple of sick kids. We are choosing to see it as a blessing. Our calendar just became unusually clear for this time of year. (I mean no one wants to hang out when your kids are a little green, and not in the festive, Christmas-y kind of way!)

So whatever you are doing today, I pray it is filled with sweet, simple Christmas blessings. If it feels frantic rather than festive, see my post from earlier this week. Sometimes the chaos reminds us of that first Christmas. If that's true then, the Capps household is enjoying a VERY authentic Christmas this year.

Merry hugs to you all!

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Cherishing the Chaos of Christmas

Less than comfortable accommodations. Noisy roommates with not so great hygiene. A delivery that didn't arrive as expected. Uninvited guests. Maybe God purposed the chaos of the first Christmas knowing that Christmas ever after would be just as chaotic. If you are joining me from Karen Ehman's "12 Days of Christmas Giveaway," welcome! If not, hop over there for a chance to win some incredible gifts for Christmas. But come right back. You'll want to see the rest of the pictures from our family's Christmas tradition.

As I told Karen, I'm learning to cherish the chaos of Christmas. Each year I resolve to avoid it, and yet chaos seems as much a part of Christmas as scattered glitter, strewn pine needles and Fort Knox toy packaging. Based on Mary's experience, birthed by God Himself, should I wonder at the chaos of my own little corner of Christmas? In our noisy Bethlehem, I often feel like a chorus of some sort shouts overhead. From time to time the smell of poop wafts through the air. Weird and unexpected gifts find their way to my home.  And to be honest sometimes I feel like I'm living with wild animals.

And yet it's all still magical and new and blessed. At least that's how I choose to see it.

I kind of bet Mary made a similar choice. When I get to heaven, I want to have a girl's night out with that chick. Of all the women in Scripture, Mary is the queen of cherishing the chaotic and unexpected. I mean, an angel appears to her in the middle of the night and tells her she's prego. (And I thought peeing on a stick was eventful.) Her response according to Luke 1 is, "how will this be?" Come on girlfriends would those have been the first words out of your mouth? Really?  Then he goes on to tell her that God is going to be her baby-Daddy. Can you imagine? I think I would have asked him if he could stop by my Daddy's bedroom before he leaves and share this news with him.

I can't wait to get Mary's perspective on that night and the nights that followed. She worships. She treasures. She ponders. She welcomes. She chooses. I can learn a thing from this first mother of Christmas. So I'm trying to make the wise choice-the choice to cherish.

In comparison to all Mary chose to overlook, my Bethlehem isn't so chaotic.

Now, if you'd like to see pics from our Christmas dinner out with the boys:

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"Mom, 2012 has been a short year"

This blog post is brought to you by my oldest son, Cooper. We were driving home from my parent's house. My Mom had cooked us dinner since I had worked all day. (Moms who work outside the home,  how do you do it?) Anyway, we left after dark. So on the way home we got to see our first Christmas lights of the season. We all began talking about Christmas, how it's almost here, what we are looking forward to, what is our favorite memory. Just sweet, family chit chat.

From the back seat Coop chimes in, "Mom, 2012 has been a short year, hasn't it?" I just said, "It seems like it buddy." I considered explaining the nuances of experience and reality, calendaring, you know basic time and space continuum kind of stuff cause I'm just deep like that. Not really. But as I started to correct him, I thought how right he is. 2012 has been a short year.

Babies have a way of compressing time. Tate is nearing his first birthday on December 20th. I literally don't know how that's possible. He is the happiest, sweetest baby we've had. (I know they are all sweet.  Don't judge me.) I'm sorry but an infant who slept through the night his first night at home gets a pass.  The kid NEVER cries.

When you can mark a year by pediatric orthopedic appointments, time compresses. Dylan broke two limbs in 2012-a leg and an arm. In separate freak accidents. Disney get major points for saving our vacation! When your kid can't walk they let you push him through the handicap line to wait patiently and briefly for your turn. We were in the company of many families who reminded us to be grateful for just a broken leg, so I won't dare exaggerate our minor inconvenience. But when your 5-year-old thinks he's not going to get to ride anything and Disney saves the day it's a big deal for this Momma.

When you spend the first half of the year praying, stressing, surrendering (and doing it all again) over an overwhelming ministry opportunity, the year compresses. God opened the door for me to deliver the Sunday morning keynote address at Proverbs 31's annual She Speaks conference. I spent the last half of the year in shock that it was real. The CEO drove my brother and a couple of my BEST friends 4 hours one way to Charlotte to hear me. He's never heard me speak live. There may have been 600 women in the room, but as I recall it was jus the two of us. He was proud; I was humbled. I want him to be proud more than I want to breathe. It was a good day. I love what God has called me to do. When I speak I feel God's pleasure. It's my "I was made to do this" moment. Being a wife and mom takes A LOT of Jesus. I don't necessarily soar; it doesn't always (or regularly) feel like a gifting.

Speaking of, when you are raising four boys 7 and under, time compresses. I can't have a 7 year-old; old people have 7 year-olds. It's the hardest job I've ever loved. This year we potty-trained, breast-fed, bottle-fed, learned to read, learned to forgive, learned to crawl, rode bikes, broke limbs, broke toys, tried new foods, got sick, got well, prayed, met Jesus, went to camp, went camping, won awards, got spankings, got forgiveness, and a few other things.

2012 has indeed been a full but short year.

As I start to crack the pages of 2013 I do wonder if God could indeed have greater things in store. He has been unbelievably almost unbearably good to us. I don't know if this feeble heart could handle greater. I'm excited to see...

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How to process She Speaks 2012...

How do we process all we learned and all God did at this year's She Speaks? Here's my plan and my advice.

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