Tis the season…


December 2013, it’s “finally” here.  Honestly, I have been dreading this month since about December 2012! You see, this time last year we knew we knew that we would be moving to Africa and the likelihood of the “big move” happening before the end of the year was well, very likely!  I knew in my heart last year that we wouldn’t be with our family & friends for Christmas 2013 and internally I have been dreading its arrival ever since.

So, now that’s it’s here-yeah, it’s pretty much sucked like I expected.  The first week of December there were multiple “closet meltdowns” (not even Jason knew of them before reading this article).  I cried at the thought of any family member. I cried as I tried to find & plan special Christmasy treats & recipes to make. I cried when I realized there were special traditions or memories I couldn’t relive with my kids (mostly due to lack of availability). And I even cried when I realized how empty our “Christmas season calendar” was.  It was a tough week!

I believe I made it through thanks to two things…some amazing friends & a special delivery!  Friends who aren’t allowing the thousands of miles that separate us interrupt their being involved in my life.  Friends that randomly (or really more likely, Holy Spirit lead!) send a text or message to check-in on me.  Friends that catch you online & will stay awake during the wee hours of the morning to chat.  Friends that remind you-it’s ok to have a meltdown.  (Thanks, friends, for allowing me to be real…I love you!!!) Also, when our first visitor, Lauren, came over at the end of November, she brought with her a very special delivery.  She was so kind to bring over Christmas gifts, a lot of which are from grandparents, but also some from us to give our kids.  One thing we quickly learned is that toys, especially those that our kids would recognize & wouldn’t break before Christmas evening, are VERY expensive!  For example, LEGOs (which can be costly in the States!) are about 3 times more expensive here than the US!  Now, I know Christmas isn’t all about the gifts, but when your top love language is gifts, giving gifts is a big piece of who you are.  So, again this week, as I have been wrapping gifts, I am so thankful for this special delivery!

Week two started out with a huge reminder that has improved my December greatly- “…doing Gods will is not always easy or painless.” Truth! I have even said this myself, recently, yet I had so quickly forgotten…or maybe when living in the real tough spots, it just difficult to remember for yourself.

Here’s the reality, December is still here, Christmas is still coming…and even though Jason & I are doing everything we can to make it a happy time, there will still be tears.  I am OK with it now (& that’s huge because I am an “avoider of emotions” on any normal day).  Will it be easy to talk with my kids about being sad & missing family and friends? No, not at all, but it will be a great opportunity to talk with them about how blessed we are to have those family & friends that love us & miss us too. And also share with them the truth my dear friend shared with me….”doing Gods will is not always easy or painless; that doesn’t make me miss you less, but it makes my heart happy to know you are doing great things for God.”

Today, I’m thankful to be in the middle of God’s will & thankful for family & friends doing life with us, across thousands of miles!!