Day 32: 100 Moments of Joy (Infant Holy, Infant Lowly)

Today I had joy as I listened to Christmas music  while working. One song in particular really touched my heart. It was an arrangement of “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” by BYU’s Vocal Point. The words of this song are so powerful. Take a listen…

p.s. This song came on the Pentatonix Christmas Pandora Station. I highly recommend it!

Christmas 2014

Last Sunday, one of the members of my church congregation gave a talk (like a short sermon) on Christmas. She talked about how some of the things we use to adorn Christmas can actually take away from the true spirit of Christmas if we look beyond the mark. Do we sometimes get lost in the “glitter and glitz” of Christmas and forget its true meaning? I know that I sometimes do. This year I tried to exert more effort in remembering the true reason we celebrate – the birth of Jesus Christ.

One of my favorite Christmas activities this year was the Messiah Sing-a-long at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. My mom, Trevor, and I stood in line for two hours to get tickets. I would never classify myself as a musician. And even though I can sing, singing Handel’s Messiah is tough. To be honest, I probably only sang half of the time I was supposed to. The reason I liked this event so much wasn’t the musicality of it all, but I loved the feeling of singing songs about Christ’s birth with thousands of others. While I didn’t know anyone in the audience aside from my family, my heart was touched as I was reminded that all of us in that room were children of God. While we may all have different understandings of Christ and His gospel, His role for each of us is to be our Savior. I think we often cut Christ and religion in general out of our conversations, yet that doesn’t change what Christ did for each one of us. For this reason, my heart rejoiced when given the opportunity to proclaim through song with thousands of others that Christ was born and lived and died for all of us.

Reunited with best friends from growing up. I love visiting with friends who come back to Virginia for the holidays.
Reunited with best friends from growing up. I love visiting with friends who come back to Virginia for the holidays.
Last Saturday, I went to the Temple with my siblings and ward members. We met there at 7:30 a.m. At that time of morning, the sun was casting the most beautiful glow on the Temple. I tried to capture it with my iPhone, but it was cooler in person.
Last Saturday, I went to the Temple with my siblings and ward members. We met there at 7:30 a.m. At that time of morning, the sun was casting the most beautiful glow on the Temple. I tried to capture it with my iPhone, but it was cooler in person.
Morgan siblings in front of the Temple.
Morgan siblings in front of the Temple.
Waiting in line for tickets for the Messiah Sing-a-long.
Waiting in line for tickets for the Messiah Sing-a-long.
Picture stolen from my Melissa's Instagram at the Messiah Sing-a-long.
Picture stolen from Melissa’s Instagram at the Messiah Sing-a-long.
My parents!
My parents!
Modeling our white elephant gifts. A traditional Christmas Eve game at my parents' house. Poor Trevor…everyone kept stealing from him.
Modeling our white elephant gifts. A traditional Christmas Eve game at my parents’ house. Poor Trevor…everyone kept stealing from him.
Me and my siblings on Christmas Day.
Me and my siblings on Christmas Day.

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

We’re halfway through the month of December, and I can hardly believe it. My brothers come home from BYU this week for Winter break, and I am excited to see them.

Earlier this month I made wreaths with girls from my church congregation. A big shout out should go to Sarah Bennett and Stephanie Johnson for planning and coordinating such a great event. It was quite an undertaking, and I for one had a great time.

 

My wreath resides on my very yellow front door.
My wreath resides on my very yellow front door.

Last Saturday, my ward (church congregation) had our annual Christmas party. This was an ugly Christmas sweater party. I always enjoy the ward Christmas party.

Lucy (my new roommate), Jessica, and myself in front of Sister Bybee's beautiful tree.
Lucy (my new roommate), Jessica, and myself in front of Sister Bybee’s beautiful tree.

Last night I finished wrapping the presents for my family and put them under the tree at my parents’ house. I always love the way my mom decorates the Christmas tree.

photo 4-7

In all of the hoopla that surrounds the Christmas season, it’s easy to forget the true, joyous reason we celebrate Christmas – the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. In the past few months, I’ve had a few experiences that have really reminded my heart that Jesus Christ truly overcame death, sin, and sorrow, something we would never ever be able to overcome on our own. I wrote a little bit about this on The Faith Friends last week. Below is a video I’ve seen floating around my Facebook newsfeed that also beautifully illustrates the true reason for the season.

Christmas 2013

Me and my mom at the National Christmas Tree.
Me and my mom at the National Christmas Tree.

It’s December 26, and I am already beginning to miss Christmas. Beginning Thanksgiving weekend, this Christmas season was filled with holiday excitement. Some highlights include picking out a real live Christmas tree with Hunter and Keri; decorating the Christmas tree with Hunter; going with Jen to An Evening in December presented by Ellie Lofaro at the Cherrydale Baptist Church; visiting the national Christmas Tree with my mom and sister on the Saturday before Christmas (it was the first day of Winter, but 65 degrees outside!); participating in the Messiah sing-a-long at the Kennedy Center with Jonathan; and my favorite, singing carols about Jesus Christ’s birth with family and friends on Christmas Eve (and throughout the whole month of December).

Siblings on Christmas Eve
Siblings on Christmas Eve

On the first Sunday of December, I watched this short film (below) about the birth of Jesus Christ, and right before I went to sleep last night on Christmas Day, I watched it again. I appreciated the spirit that filled my heart as I watched it the first time and as I watched it again. I love how Mary says, “Be it unto me according to thy word.”…what faith! This year, I think more so than others, I thought about all the people involved in the story of Christ’s birth — Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, the wise men, and the children killed by command of Herod the king, as well as their families. While we focus on Jesus Christ (as we rightfully should), I’ve thought about how the lives of these other individuals greatly affect my life today. To each of them, I am truly thankful. Merry Christmas!