As I listen to Christmas music and clean my house in preparations to decorate tonight with my little family, I'm reminiscing of past traditions that we repeated each year with our friends, our church, and those that lived life with us. I've wonderful memories and can close my eyes and in an instant relive my favorite ones!! The people we left behind were such a HUGE part of my life, leaving holes not easily filled. The phrase "life must go on" is one that brings me to tears still even though it's cheesy and silly. Yes life does go on, but when it does, that means things change. Relationships change. Best friends that planned on raising our kids together now have to do it via FaceTime and pictures instead of in person, which today, honestly stinks, and is SO NOT the same. Being the one that left, all my friends continue on with their lives, and their days go one with out me, where as my entire world changed and often feels upside down. It's easy to feel forgotten.
Many of these songs I've been hearing for the past couple hours have been about missing a loved one, or wishing they could be home for Christmas. And even though I'm home, it's kinda how I feel. It's that feeling you have when you're away at college and wishing you were home. Yes we have a new home, and are making wonderful new friends and have a great new home church, but newness is still difficult for me. I'm home-sick for my old home. Can't I just go "home" for Christmas like these songs are all suggesting?
“Christmas Won’t Be The Same Without you”
"I'll be home for Christmas"
“Merry Christmas, Darling”
“All I Want For Christmas Is You”"Blue Christmas"
"You're all I want for Christmas"
We are trying to make new traditions though, it's just taking time! Our Little Miss is nearly 2 now and can understand so much more of what Christmas is truly about! Last night we decorated her Papa's tree with him, which for him is also a new thing to even do as it was always something that Mom did herself. So we are not alone in missing the past and creating new memories.
While teaching, December was always my favorite season, watching my students eyes get bigger as they tried to comprehend how God could be born as a baby, and why on earth it would be in a stable when they would gladly share their bed with him! The innocence of children is nothing to be taken for granted, and I see it in my daughters eyes!! She stared in wonder at the full moon last night as I told her about the long journey that Joseph took Mary on, riding on a donkey all the way to Bethlehem because that was where Jesus needed to be born to fulfill the prophecy. Sure she really didn't understand it, but it was still special!
We will put up our tree tonight, decorate it with ornaments that we've collected over the years and some from my childhood, hang lights & tinsel, and sing our favorite Christmas songs! Same traditions, just a new venue! We are already starting to fill our Calendar with Christmas parties & activities, tours of lights, family time and cookie baking! We will have family around throughout the holiday season which will be wonderful, time with new friends building deeper relationships, and hopefully even some SNOW!!!!!!
So as this Party of 3 tries to create new traditions, new memories and push our roots deeper, please continue to pray for us as we embrace the life here that God has called us to! This is our mission field and we need to be faithful where He has placed us and with those that we are called to serve.