To Epiphany and Beyond…

I took down the mistletoe today.

No more lurking in dark corners preying upon prepubescent boys to steal kisses. (I’m talking about my sons…Whom have YOU been kissing? Okay, so it was really more like a hug-tackle. Hey, they aren’t that big on snuggling anymore, who can blame a mom?)


We are there.

We have arrived at the stable. This Epiphany settles over me. God incarnate nestled in manger. He slid into our world through the door of a mother’s womb.

This wonder, this…epiphany…breaks me open, drives me to my knees.

I come with my meager gifts. When I left with them in hand I rejoiced to give gifts of such value. I felt pride at the worth in my hands. Now, standing here…I only feel my lack.

But somehow–when I stand before Him–all this melts away. My heart rejoices, despite my diminutive status. He came for me. I know this. I feel it in my marrow.

While I celebrate at this knowledge (Emmanuel! God with us!), my heart is heavy. For there is the return journey home. I must leave this humble place. I must turn my back on this holiness and step back into the every day.

That’s what boxing up Christmas feels like to me.
I gather all my splashes of red. I take down my nativity. But as I cradle Baby Jesus in my hand, heart skips a beat.
Will he not remain with me?

Isn’t this the gift of Epiphany? The gift of the Cross?

Sorrow spins again into joy. Love’s promise weaves this knowledge into my heart: He never leaves.

We choose some tangible reminders of this truth to remain tucked in our world. The heart remembers the weakness of the flesh–the sin of forgetting.
And as I gather the splashes of red, mind’s eye focuses on His presence.

And heart whispers Thank You. Thank you for Your Grace.


  1. says


    I have my eye on the willow tree nativity scene. Maybe one day I will have it…and when I do, my plan is to leave it out year round. I want those who enter my home to be reminded of GOD’s grace in each room.

    Blessings, andrea

  2. says

    Could someone hand me a kleenex? This is just so beautiful…you truly have a grasp on the beauty of what will be left behind, and what we have not yet had the chance to behold. Lovely!

  3. says

    You write beautifully of this day, Laura.

    I liked that Ann Voskamp leaves out her baby Jesus. She wrote about that yesterday.

    I like the pictures of your nativity sets. I collect miniature nativities; I have some unusual ones from South America and keep my eye out for others. One year I grouped five in an area where I normally have pottery and loved just looking at them. I have to keep them up high when I put them out because our Westies tend to get a little too curious about the sets made of carved wood.

  4. says

    We are learning a new song in choir – just sang it this evening. It speaks of how Jesus loves us – no matter what. It is beautiful. What a precious gift we’ve been given. How can it not drive us to our knees?
    Laura, you words bless me so very much. Thank you.

  5. says

    This is so beautiful. It’s been years since I went to a church that recognized Epiphany and I’d forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder.

    I have to confess I didn’t put away my decorations with reverence or awe. In fact, once New Year’s came I couldn’t get them boxed up fast enough. I appreciate your pause in the process and have taken a moment to do the same.

    Lovely as always.

  6. says

    Oh Laura… Tears are streaming down my face reading this. How can they not? Your words are so beautiful. And yet I feel the sorrow in them. The road of the cross was not an easy one for our Lord, was it? He will remain with us. In us. That is what He promised. I just pray I am worthy.

  7. says

    Laura, You always seem to stir in my heart a desire for more of Him. I loved all of the pictures that you posted with it. Each one was speaking the same thing as your words were. This is a beautiful post. And, yes! Thank God for His grace!

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