Today my daughter, son-in-law and their two kiddies came to our church. They are staying at my son-in-law's house with all the grown kids and spouses--they have come from the east, from Canada and California--Hillary and Max are the only ones with kids although Max's sister is carrying twins! Hillary and Max only live 35 or 45 minutes away--depending on who's driving--but this way they get all the time the family time they want. They came to our church because Max's parent's ward did their Christmas program last week.
Two things I noticed, well, besides the exquisite story of Christ's birth, read from the scriptures and the wonderful musical numbers. One: My daughter is absolutely beautiful. I was watching her and nudged Phil. "Look at Hillary, she's beautiful." He nodded. He had already noticed. She is beautiful inside too. A nice person who cares about others and is genuinely happy to be here on Mother Earth. I didn't notice this but Phil told me later that she cried during the program. He saw her wiping tears off her face. She is so tender and genuinely loves her Heavenly Father and Savior. She says she can never remember a time when she didn't believe.
The second things I noticed, well not noticed, but thought about, was Joseph's role in the story of Christ's birth. I think Mary must have put his hand on her stomach and said, "Here, right here. Feel that?" when the baby kicked or had hiccups. And I imagine Joseph smiled and felt an overwhelming love for that baby, yet unborn. He knew, I think, what lie ahead, well, maybe only somewhat. When they had to leave for Egypt I imagine he spooked at every noise in the night, was suspicious of every stranger on the trail. He had a wife and young child to take care of and not just any child. That trip couldn't have been easy on either Mary of Joseph. But it was Joseph who had the responsibility of keeping the two of them safe. He had to provide for them once they arrived in Egypt. I have often thought that the gifts the wise men brought were used to buy the things they needed on the way to Egypt and maybe kept them in food, shelter and necessities while they were there.
I am most grateful for the Savior, for his atonement and for his continuing watchful care over each of us.
I am grateful for the beauty of my child--the kind you cannot see although the kind you can see is nice too. (She probably takes after me! Just kidding.)
I am grateful for the good man that Joseph must have been. I watched my son-in-law with his children during church. He truly loves them and I know he would walk through fire for them. Just like Joseph would have. Perhaps there are fathers everywhere like this. I hope so. I really hope so.