It’s been a busy couple of weeks. We’ve driven all the way back up the Baja Peninsula and are spending Christmas back in Oregon with our families and friends. The cool, wet weather has been a bit of a shock to our sun spoiled bodies, but we’re tucked snugly into our trailer, warm and dry, and only feeling slightly claustrophobic. (This tiny space, in this climate, with this many people is just not quite big enough. Not complaining, just saying!) We arrived back in town just a few days ago and were instantly caught up in the whirlwind of busy days, happy reunions, and Christmas preparations.
It’s late on Christmas Eve. All the children are sleeping soundly, Erik is washing dishes (God bless him!), and I’m snuggled under a down blanket with a hot flax bag on my feet. Lights twinkle on our little living Spruce tree and there is a modest pile of presents waiting more patiently than the children whose names they bear. At Christmas time I always spend a lot of time thinking about beauty and pain and sadness and love, all mingled together, inescapable on this earth. I think about hope, and peace, and joy, and what those really mean, and a Baby born so long ago. My heart seems to alternately burst with joy and feel deeply the brokenness of this world, the brokenness in my own heart. I come back to being thankful, humbled, blessed, knowing that I cannot change the world but I can let Light shine in the dark places of my own soul. Tonight I’m grateful for so many things, too many to list, but here are a few that I can’t keep to myself.
- Remember Ian, from my last post? They just got news today that he can go home for Christmas! I was so happy to hear this news. Though they are by no means out of the woods, they are being given this wonderful gift of being all together as a family, in their own home, for Christmas. What joy!
- I love watching the kids get into the spirt of giving. When Peregrine turned ten almost two months ago he was given two of the same Lego set, and we finally had a chance today to return one of them. He’s been planning for weeks what he wanted to get, but today he chose to spend over half the exchange money on a gift for his cousin. He was extra excited when the item he wanted to purchase was on a buy one get one free sale, so he got to give him two! He was bursting with excitement all day over this, and was sure God put that on sale just for him. He also wrapped up a couple of his own Lego sets as gifts for another cousin and friend. It’s brought me much joy to watch him experience the blessing of giving.
- On a similar note, both of the younger children’s godparents recently gave them a small gift. Peregrine’s and Poppy’s godparents decided that since we are living in such a small space and don’t need more stuff that they would donate money to a charity that helps combat hunger. When I told Peregrine and Poppy, both of them lit up and seemed absolutely pleased about it! I was so blessed to see their reaction.
- It's wonderful to be "home" with family. Both of my brothers are here or coming soon, so excited to see them and their families. We had a nice quiet Christmas Eve dinner at one of my sisters' houses, and are staying very close to another one. My Grandma is still here, so we have four generations celebrating together. We're looking forward to catching up with more family and friends as well.
Our future plans seem to be unfolding as we go, so we move forward, enjoying this time and looking forward to seeing what God has for us in the new year. We send our greetings for a blessed Christmas!