Christmas day

Hi friends - I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas day. As most of you know, today is a different kind of Christmas for me, as it's the first one I am not with my parents and instead, I'm spending it with my in-laws.

For those of you who have experienced this kind of transition, you can attest to the fact that it's weird, and hard. I didn't expect to find it so difficult to not be with my parents and brother today, but in reality, it's been pretty tough.

Yesterday, as I realized how different this year would be, and that Christmases from here on out would be different, I really struggled with it. I longed for home, for the familiar, for the comfortable traditions of the last 24 years with my parents, and for those things that mean "Christmas" to me - Christmas eve service at Fairview, where my Dad, brother and I would all mold our candles with the heat of our hands and try to blow out the other's flames. I miss th Christmas Eve dinner with family friends and the old familiar jokes. I miss waking up on Christmas morning and having sausage casserole (which I don't really like, but still) and cinnamon rolls. I miss taking turns opening presents among the four of us (or five, if Grandma's with us). I miss our steaks and twice baked potatoes and playing with our new gadgets (because we invariably get some cool electronics).

I miss it all, and yet, I realize that this is one way to "share in His sufferings." Just like I'm out of my comfort zone, and missing my family, I think about how Christmas is really the ultimate time to think about stepping out of our comfort zones and missing family. When God became flesh, He stepped out of his comfort zone of heaven, he spent significant amounts of time with those who were not family, and with people who did not know Him. Jesus was not with his beloved Father on that first Christmas day, and he was suddenly thrust into a world not his own, but to which he was called and willingly went to for the sake of the Gospel.

It is this example I am called to follow - to go to a people who are not my people, to share my life with them, to share Jesus with them. I am not even worthy to share this burden with my Lord, but today, I am trying to be thankful that He has called me to share in this calling - of stepping out of my comfort zone and doing things that aren't familiar in order to share the glorious message of salvation.

So, the day is pretty much over now, and it hasn't "felt like Christmas" to me really, and looking back on it, I am glad. I'm glad for a time of perspective and I'm glad for this opportunity. May, I be found faithful.



The Coxes said...

Girl, I totally understand. The first time we did Christmas at the Coxes I was just like you. It's hard to replace traditions esp. when you liked them so much. But think of it this way, you (the new Vandenburgs) can create your own new traditions for your family. I hope you enjoyed your new Christmas.

Ginny Alley said...

Love all your recent posting. Thanks for sharing, and I agree with the Coxes on making new traditions. Will be an adventure! By the way, I am the Grovetown, GA person on your roll, in case you were wondering. :)

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I'm a 20-something transplanted Southerner - in love with my Savior and in love with my husband. As we move from urban-loft dwellers to home-owners and parents, feel free to share in the happenings around the VanderHouse.

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