Saturday, December 13, 2008

After spending the last three Christmases in the sweltering Indonesian tropics, this year we're back in the States. I find myself staring out the window at the first sign of snowflakes, hoping for a snow day. I am still surprised to hear Christmas music (in English!) everywhere. And I love seeing all the homes, stores, restaurants decked out in the American version of cozy brilliance.

I feel a bit like a kid who had to wait four years for Christmas morning.I have always loved Christmas...but dreaded the day after--when I'd have to wait another 364 days for the next Christmas. A new friend recently mentioned the same sentiment, how let down she always felt as a kid when the presents were all unwrapped, the waiting was over and life returned to normal.

Since I will be returning to a Muslim country in April and spending the following three Christmases in a place that barely recognizes the holiday, I have great hopes for this year's festivities. I have to cram four years of shopping, snow-enjoying, hot chocolate-drinking, Christmas TV special-watching into this one month. I can already imagine what a let-down Dec. 26 will be for me since I'll have to wait so long until the next chilly American Christmas.

But I have to remember that the real reason why I love Christmas is because the first Christmas brought hope and gifts for every day. I recently started listing all the gifts that I need to remember to consider everyday-due to the hope I have in Christ. Here are a few that come to mind:

I know I am loved by the most important Person in all history.
God thinks I'm special, unique and worth knowing.
He has called me to a live of adventure.
He has given me wonderful relationships on this earth--including a wonderful husband and child.

That is just to name a few. I hope that you enjoy the hope that I have.

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