We almost cried…

Don’t worry.  This is a happy post.  J

 

Last night we began decorating the house.  The kids’ stockings are hanging on the stairs and the banister is decorated with golden snowflakes and red and gold ornaments.  We got out the four-foot fake Christmas tree that we bought last year at an after Christmas sale when we were on furlough.  After fluffing its branches and placing it on a plastic bin under a living room window, we strung lights on it and covered it with ornaments.  There are a few presents under it already.

 

Out went the overhead lights so that the colored lights on the tree could fill the room with their cheerful glow.  Cindy and I went outside to see what you could see from the front porch.  And that’s when it happened.

 

It’s been six years since we had Christmas at home.  Last year we were in a missionary apartment in Aldan, Pennsylvania.  That apartment was a tremendous blessing to us while we were “home” on furlough, and it was wonderful to be with family…but it wasn’t quite Christmas at home.

 

Christmas 2006 we were living in a temporary set-up on camp, and we drew a Christmas tree on the whiteboard in the school room.  Need I say more about that?

 

In 2005 we were living in a house in the town of Pinalejo.  It was our first year in Honduras and we were wading deep against a strong current of adjustment.  We enjoyed some new traditions like tamales for Christmas, and endured others, like unending firecrackers until 2:00 am.

 

Christmas 2004 we had just finished our year in Costa Rica.  We were in the US and spent Christmas with family, but we were between worlds – tired but excited by what we had gained in language school and looking forward to a new life in Honduras.

 

Christmas 2003 we had sold our home, sold or given away so many of our belongings and what was left was packed up either for Costa Rica or Honduras, and we were out of work.

 

We enjoyed each of these Christmases because the meaning of Christmas – the WHY we celebrate doesn’t change or lose its wonder no matter what is going on around us.

 

But when we stood on the front porch and saw the soft glow of a lit-up Christmas tree in our living room… it was Christmas.  At home.  For the first time in six years, and we almost cried.

 

Thank you Lord Jesus for leaving your home

for living, loving, and dying, in ours

so that you could some day take us

to our real home

to be with you

forever

 

May your home be filled with lights and sights, sounds and smells, that cheer your heart and remind you that Almighty God wrapped himself in a helpless baby to save us from ourselves and our sin.

 

Merry Christmas

 

 

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Katie G. on December 9, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Praise God for a wonderful home in which to celebrate Christmas. I love this website and look forward to more great stories. This one made me cry. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  2. Posted by Lucy on December 10, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Thanks for the posts- it’s great to hear these blessings!

  3. Posted by Deborah Dombach on December 11, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    OK, I cried too! Your family is such a blessing to all of us who love you and support your commitment to serve God with all that you are! I rejoice at all the ways in which God is showing His faithfulness to you!

  4. Posted by Marie on December 24, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    *sniffle* *sniffle* *sniffle*

    (For some reason it makes me hear Mom saying “This time, I’m hanging curtains!”)

  5. Posted by Alison Routt on January 1, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    I cried for you when I read this post. In limbo even for God’s work I can imagine still be very hard. My friend always says “Thank God for small favors!” This was a simple one but obviously meaningful for you. We just got back from Wisconsin for Christmas and are enjoying the last couple of days without work and school. Hope you all have a blessed 2009. Love ya!
    P.S. Matthew keeps asking when Joel is coming to visit!!

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