I do plan to have an actual Christmas tree...but for right now...I am keeping it simple.
As the celebration of the Birth of Christ approaches, I am Seeking, Waiting, and Hoping. I am seeking a deeper connection with the True Spirit and meaning of Christmas, I am eagerly waiting to see how that unfolds, and I am hoping for this season to teach me more about Him.
In the Christmas carol, 'Joy to World', we find the words, "Let every heart prepare Him room". O, how I long for Him to find that there is indeed room in my heart for Him. As I seek, wait, and hope I am reading a couple of Christmas devotionals. One of which is focused on Christmas carols and the other is focused more specifically on Advent using Ann Voskamp's latest book called, 'The Greatest Gift'. These ornaments on my little tree came as a free download when I purchased Ann's book. Each day there is a devotional thought, an ornament, and a verse to go with it.
Living abroad and being so far from the rest of our family at Christmas time is hard. As an empty-nester the holidays seem to magnify the absence of Nathan and Spencer all the more. Mom and Dad (Tom's parents) will be coming to Belize to celebrate with us. This will be our first Christmas with them since we left the states eight years ago. It thrills me a great deal to get to spend Christmas with family! But, at the same time it will make Spencer and Nathan's absence all the more prominent as this will be our first Christmas with the grandparents without the grandkids being here as well.
Following Mary's example of pondering things in her heart I am choosing not to meditate on my losses but on the blessings in these life lessons. Our children are supposed to grow up and find their own places in the world. When they get married they are supposed to leave and cleave to their spouses. And we have not been abandoned here... God brought us to this country for a reason. He has blessed our efforts here in Belize. We have a home, we have a church family, we have a growing ministry, and we have each other. And along with the Birth of our Savior these are things worth ruminating on and celebrating!