By: Ginger Hughes

A few years ago, something happened that forever changed who I am.

A cry pierced the air as oxygen filled the lungs. New life was born. Tears rolled down my face, and everything within me shifted, changed, rearranged itself. My heart would never be the same.

Six years later, that still holds true. I’m still changed because of my daughter’s birth, and now, my son’s as well. I think differently than I did in the years preceding her birth. I love differently. I see the world differently.

Just this weekend, we pulled out of the drive in search of the perfect Christmas tree. We parked at a “Choose and Cut” tree farm, walked, looked, and sized them up to see if they would indeed fit in the living room. After careful consideration, (as carefully as you can consider anyway while simultaneously trying to protect other tree farm guests from the 10-foot long measuring stick my son wanted to help hold), we chose our tree and brought it home. The kids were thrilled, and even my husband and I were excited as we too enjoy the festive lights and decorations this season brings to life.

We pulled out our decorations, preparing to get to work, and my daughter once more asked, “Mama, can we please have a rainbow tree this year?” I sighed. This wasn’t the first time she’d asked. As a child, I loved colored lights and could think of nothing better than for the tree to host multi-colored strands.  However, as an adult, my tastes have changed, and I much prefer the classic simplicity of white lights. I love the way our home looks with the sparkle of the white lights shimmering through the tree and in the garland.

But my daughters’ earnest plea changed my mind. I can still remember the joy of my childhood tree, and I want that for her. She’s only little once. So our tree is now ablaze with blue, yellow, green, red, orange, and yes…even pink lights.

You see, her birth, though six years ago, still impacts my every decision, even the very simple ones.

Over 2000 years ago, another cry pierced the air as oxygen filled the lungs. I feel certain tears rolled down Mary’s cheeks, and everything inside of her shifted, changed, and rearranged itself. Her heart would never be the same.

And here’s the thing: our hearts shouldn’t be the same either. Jesus wasn’t placed in our arms. We didn’t rock him to sleep as His parents did. We didn’t kiss his cheeks or comfort His hurts. He’s not our baby. Rather, He is our Savior.

His birth should change us. We should think differently. We should love differently. We should see the world differently. We should make decisions differently, even on simple things, because He was born, lived, and died for us.

Do our lives bear witness to Jesus’ birth?

Do our lives bear witness to Jesus’ life?

Do our lives bear witness to Jesus’ death?

Are we changed? Are we different?

Advent is upon us. In this season of waiting, may we remember the birth of Jesus. May the remembering bring us joy and peace this Christmas season. But even more, may the remembering, change us, not just in December but each day of the year.

-Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother of two and an accountant. She is a Georgia native currently living in the foothills of North Carolina. Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children. Her blogging for Nurturing Faith is sponsored by a gift from First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga. Additional writings may be found at nomamasperfect.com.

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