Coming from Orlando, a hot Christmas wasn’t the shocker it could have been. But it was still different. Quieter.
A few things played into that. One was a daily Advent time our family enjoyed. Because it was simple and Lizzy especially loved it, we slipped into the morning ritual and stayed there. My heart is thankful for the built-in turn-my-face-to-Jesus time.
Another reason it was quiet was that we weren’t rushing to finish Christmas shopping and packing in order to catch a flight to the Midwest.
And…it seemed that most everyone around (including neighbors and their cars) evaporate, and with it, the daily noise.
A few photos (most for family back home) of what life has looked like recently.
And, to be honest, it’s been a spiritually dry time lately.
This international move has, honestly, exposed my heart. I’m seeing how, under stress and without some of the structure of life and community in Orlando, I can run to all sorts of things that don’t bring life, but bring comfort…at least for the moment. Or two. Emotional eating rears its head again as if saying, “Eat this, drink this and feeling lonesome will be abated.” Yet I know that it’s a temporary fix and that seeking Jesus and asking Him to comfort me in those moments when I miss America and the friends and family and my known life…that’s where to run.
I’m also exposed in how I use my time. When I should go to bed, I’m on Facebook, grasping at feeling connected in two worlds. When I should get up — I want to want to get up and spend quiet moments reading the Bible and hearing truth and the voice of Jesus, but the sheets stay pulled stubbornly over my head. And when I should be all-present with my kids, I’m allowing myself to be under the pile of a to-do list that never ends. (Wait, I thought that was just my problem in America. I guess the problem followed me here. Oh, is it me?)
Sigh. The stillness of this Christmas season has been a gift in many ways and hard in others.
Afresh I see my need for Immanuel. The God who “moved into the neighborhood” as the Message says. The God who came and lived and loved perfectly because we couldn’t. God made flesh who came to bring abundant life to a woman in Melbourne who longs to live out the freedom He came to give her. I’d welcome your prayers.
Time to go to choose sleep so that, by God’s grace, I may choose time with Him in a few short hours.