A journey in creativity and faith

Tag: Christmas

Laid in a manger

In many homes there are small nativity scenes. There are shepherds, sheep, cattle, a donkey, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus. They might look like dolls, and children and simple souls (Mr. Bean) feel like playing with the nativity scene.

There exists a romantic idea about rural life, the romantic thoughts about having a small ecological farm. Remember the song about Old MacDonald?

Let me tell how it really is in a stable. I grew up in the country. My dad had a few calves and some sheep. I often helped him in the stable. I made name tags to the calves, both the calves and the lambs were cute. I talked to them, but I never got attached to them, and I knew they were animals which had to be slaugthered one day.
There is often cold and dark in a stable. The hay is soft, but it is also scratchy and not clean. It is mixed with the urine and the excrements of the animals. The fodder is dry, not like oatmeal without milk, but like hard grain.
When sheep have lambs, the lambs can lie in the hay under a small heat lamp. Shortly after the birth, the lambs must stand on their feet. Sometimes the sheep cannot take care of their lambs. Sometimes lambs die.
I’m a mother and I would never give birth in a stable, only if I had to. My dad and I only went to the stable when we took care of the animals.

Sheep and lamb
Mary and Joseph sought vacancy at the hostel, but the owner didn’t think there was room for a woman in labor. Mary had to seek shelter in a stable, maybe because the contractions grew in intensity. There is no couch, bed or blanket in a stable. There is not even a chair, there might be a stool. A stable is cold, moist and not totally clean. Mary and Joseph had no towels, bed or cradle. Jesus was layed in a manger together with the hay and maybe a little grain.
Jesus, Messiah, the son of God was born in a stable like an animal. Jesus was a lamb already from birth, who was destined to be slaughtered. Jesus is God’s lamb, who God sacrificed to reconcile himself with us.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth. (Is 53:7)

Merry Christmas!


The Christmas present

“What do you wish for Christmas?”

“I don’t know, I’ll think about it. I’ll call back later.”

I go for a walk
Rainy weather
Windy weather
I can’t see the road any longer
I fall
Into a ditch
I land in a blackberry bush
Rotten berries
Stinging thorns
I fight myself back on the road
I pass the barbed-wire fence
A blackberry branch stick out
Brushes my arm
I should have stayed home

The clouds move
The moon wakes up
My eye catches a star
Lamp posts far away
The storm can’t shake them

The lamp posts look like crosses
There are lights in the crosses
I think about him,
Who hang on a cross
He died on a cross
He sacrificed himself
He redeemed us
Took our punishment,
The Bible says

I don’t wish anything
I’ve got what I
(didn’t know I)
The words about his death on Calvary
are the gift wrapping paper
When I unwrap the gift
I understand.
I see God’s father-heart
God sacrificed his beloved son for us
Because he loves us


I Didn’t Want to Be a Jesus Freak. Why Would I?

Christmas is arriving in a few days. Have you room for Christ this Christmas? Is there room for Christ in your heart?  I’m honored to host a guest post by Brenda McGraw, author of Joy Beyond, 28 days to finding joy Beyond the clutter of life. Brenda Mcgraw’s shares her testimony about how Jesus never stopped knocking on the door to her heart.  Merry Christmas!


Jesus Freak


At the young age of thirteen, when I thought I knew everything, I remember rejecting the Savior of the world. In my mind I would make fun of people whom I considered Jesus freaks, and I sure didn’t want to be one. I thought I was having too much fun living the party life. My fun led to a long road that ended in failure. I didn’t make room in my heart and my heart led me astray.

The beautiful words of a Christmas song we sing every year go like this:

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing

Joy to the world! The Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods
Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of his love.”

Many times we just skim the words and don’t really read them. But this is how I see it:

One verse says, “Let every heart prepare Him room.”

At thirteen I didn’t prepare God room; I didn’t believe in the empty tomb.

At sixteen Jesus was not in the hidden holes of my heart; He waited patiently for me to get smart.

When I was nineteen and getting married, my heart was focused on loving a man; no relationship with the right man, Jesus, began.

When I turned twenty-four, after all the years of no spiritual focus, came along the devastating breast cancer diagnosis.

Did I prepare room then?

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A message stronger than any worry about Christmas preparations

In November, I started to panic about the upcoming December. I spent the first part of December being nervous and stressed about living up to all expectations and traditions. I wish to be a joyful wife and mother who produces beautiful Christmas decorations and bakes delicious cookies. But I fear, I stall, I fail. It’s the 18th of December and I’m not prepared for Christmas, not at all.

What is the meaning of the stress and materialism we lie under the Christmas tree every year? Do we believe we need to stress and strive for perfection so our families can love us? What really makes our children happy?

The reason for the season

I’m taking a break from my worries and look at a  photo of a nativity. Baby Jesus, the reason for season.

Jesus is the gift

What can we do to live up to Jesus’ expectations? What can we do to be loved and saved?


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Christ, a cornerstone and a stumbling block

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12)


When I was a child, I stumbled upon a rock and broke my arm. This rock was not the only rock or stone in my life. The stones of my life were my sensitivity and thoughts. The stones were the schools and jobs where I did not fit in, and all the jobs I could not find. The stones were all the challenges and relations, in which I didn’t succeed.

I know there will be more rocks I stumble upon in the future.  Wait a second, I forgot to tell you about one special stone in my life.

Cornerstone. Photo Credits: Hartmut Tobies

Photo Credits: Hartmut Tobies

Year after year I celebrated Christmas without understanding what or who I was really celebrating. It appeared baby Jesus drowned in all the jingle bells, sugarcanes, garlands, red and blue lights, Christmas pudding and cookies.

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