Empathy - The intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another.

The Lord has given me an empathetic heart, I believe it is one of my unique gifts.  My ability to consider what it would be like to be in someone else's situation, causes me to make some good choices when I listen to my gut, provides me with various perspectives and also gives me a thought process that allows me to tell stories.

Last weekend we attended The Nightingale Christmas show, it's an annual holiday tradition for us to attend the show as a family.  The music is beautiful and we always leave feeling Christmassy.  This year I paid extra close attention to the songs about Baby Jesus.  I am not sure if there were more than usual this year, or if I am just extra tuned into the Christmas story, but I couldn't help wondering what Mary really felt like knowing her Son was the Son of God and that He had come to save the entire world. 

I have known the Christmas story my whole life, as I get older I do my best to focus on the true meaning of Christmas each year.  This year, the Christmas story was so easy to keep in my heart, I think because I am a new mom.  I have spent so much more time contemplating our Saviour coming to us as a child and what would have been going through Mary's mind as she held her baby boy on the first Christmas Eve. 

If I were Mary I would have been so scared at first, instantly loving this little boy so much and scared of what His big life may hold.

I have also been thinking about how much God loved us all, to have given his only Son to the earth to save us.  Now that I know the love of a parent, I can begin to somewhat understand the love God has for me.  A love I try to accept and feel worthy of, a love we are all worthy of and a love I hope to share with others so they can know the peace and joy I continue to learn more and more about.

I am grateful for this new level of understanding I have for the Christmas story, this year is the first year that it is really filling me with joy.  As I celebrate another Christmas, Luke's first Christmas, I pray to hold the Christmas story in my heart all year and really spread the love of Christmas everyday.  I am grateful for the Christmas story and the hope and peace it brings each year.

Merry Christmas!

John 3:17
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.