Monday, December 14, 2009

The day is drawing near when we will migrate back to our old stomping grounds to be with family! We cannot wait. Our hearts are already there. This opportunity is something we do not take for granted. We are enthused to be able to spend time loving on those who are so important to us, but we are lucky to see once a year.

I do love Christmas decorations.

When I was little, my mom went to great lengths to make our home festive. I looked forward to each season, because she would put up appropriate decor to reflect the time of year. Christmas was/is my favorite.

I still enjoy seeing what others do to reflect the celebratory time of year. In Venezuela, I saw decorations in many places. I did not hear much Christmas music to accompany those holly boughs and ribbon, but certainly people were joyous.

One church I walked into had decorations I considered to be a bit gaudy. However, they worked beautifully in that environment, and I was thankful to see them take the time to decorate.

One pastors home was filled with garland and other festive trimmings. I had been in other Latin homes at Christmas, but had not seen such attention paid to the season. It was very tastefully done.

In Peru, a couple of years ago, it all seemed very commercial (sound familiar?). The decorations usually carried the name of a major drink distributor. They were still beautiful, but I've had enough of commercial Christmas.

When we arrive with our family, we will take the time to decorate. Though I am not the best example of it, my mother has left a great legacy. My brother works hard to put up lights and other glowing reflections of the season. He paid close attention when my father hung them on the exterior of our home. He carries on the tradition with using the same colors (blue and green) and when it was possible, the same lights. I love it!

We use red lights in my home. Deanna LOVES red lights. It seems we hang one more strand of lights on our tree every year. We cannot have any un-illuminated recesses in our evergreen reminder of the tree our Savior spilled Himself on.

This past Saturday night, the youth pastors from our church invited all of the youth Sunday School teachers and their spouses out for a special "thank you," celebration.

We collected at a local eatery and shared a meal over much laughter. It was a great time. When the meal was over, we headed to our church where we awaited another treat.

When it arrived, we went out and boarded into a white, stretch Hummer limo. We toured the city and looked at Christmas lights/decorations for the next two hours while we drank sparkling cider and listened to Carols. What a great way to say "thank you!"

I won't soon forget this experience. We were able to celebrate the coming of His Season (sad to say this is the only time that many even think on Him) with those we did not know well, but got to experience significant fellowship with.

One home had their lights set to a radio station of Carols. Thousands of little glowing bulbs came on and off based on the rhythms in the music. It was amaaaaazing!

Deanna, Lauren, Weston and I were among those celebrating this night. We had a great time, and it was a wonderful reminder of how we need to share the love of our Savior. We need to be beacons of His precious gift. We need to be able to reflect Him into the lives of others in unique and significant ways.

There is something about lights! They capture and transport us to another place, another time, perhaps a simpler time. A time when family drew together to love and contemplate this powerful gift He has given us!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." Isaiah 9:6

Christmas lights are an amazing reminder of His Light. His glory is revealed in the hearts and lives of His own, both this time of year, and throughout, as we surrender our lives to be who He wants us to be!

Have a great week!



At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Judi Marion, IN said...

Wishing your family a blessed holiday; safe traveling mercies

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Angelyn, Alabama said...

I wanted to write you and tell you I just finished your book. You and your family have amazing faith. I also read the older posts. You guys are warriors! I found BJ's story extra special because I, too, have been called to missions. I am currently seeking God's will for what that might look like. In the meantime I am attending and have atended missions with my church. We have been to Costa Rica and Montana multiple times and this year we are adding Kenya & Uganda to the mix. I struggle with sharing my call with others because it is usually disregarded or I'm told I am being too radical. As far as I'm concerned there is no too radical for Christ. I will follow His lead no matter the cost. Everything that is can disappear and I will rejoice because I am His. This book was a great encourager to me. Thank you for sharing it.

In His Hands,

At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Halil Reynolds said...

Wishing your family a blessed holiday; safe traveling mercies  


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