Saturday, December 20, 2014

Tradition & Waiting

Nothing lets me know it's getting close to Christmas like baking. The last day and a half has been spent baking cookies, making peanut brittle, chocolate fudge, Chex-mix and chocolate covered pretzels. This year I've had the great opportunity to be with my family, something I haven't been able to do the last two years. It's something I feel many people take for granted.

The last month I have been waiting for the finalization of my paperwork to go back to Mercy Ships and serve in Madagascar. It's something that's on my mind ALL the time. There's a saying "He's so heavenly minded that he's no earthly good." Well for me "I'm so ship minded that I'm no home good." People ask me if i'm ready to go back and I tell them I'd leave tomorrow if it were possible. I think this time of the year makes it harder because Christmas on the ship is amazing! Yes there are ups and downs of living life in community, but during the holidays the good greatly outweighs the bad. We get to celebrate the Christmas traditions from countries all over the world. Carols on the Dock like the large outdoor celebrations in Australia & S. Africa. The celebration of Saint Lucia on the 13th December coming from the Scandinavian countries. Sinterklaas coming from the Netherlands on 6th December to bring gifts. Preparation for Christmas has become a longer process for me the last three years as we went through the liturgical celebration of Advent starting 4 weeks before Christmas. Even celebration of Epiphany on 6th January celebrating the Magi giving gifts to Jesus.

Yes there is a lot of celebrating going on and there should be, because the Savior came down to Earth to live with us and die for us. My favorite Christmas celebration on the ship is putting a shoe outside your door on Christmas Eve. When you wake up on Christmas morning it's overflowing with little snacks, small trinkets and many many notes from your friends and ship family. I still have many of them, they are filled with Christmas greetings but mainly they let you know how much you are appreciated and loved. Just like Jesus. He came down to let us know how much he loves us.

It's been indicated to me that things should be finalized before Christmas and there's nothing I'd want more for Christmas than to have it all done so that I can enjoy that peace as I celebrate Christ's birth on Thursday. If it's not, that's okay, because He knows the plan and the only think I need to do is rely on Him.

Merry Christmas!