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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Full of Life

Okay, so you would think that after nearly 4 years here, I would not still be sad about having a fake Christmas tree! Right?  Well... I must admit today as I undressed our plastic tree and started sorting the decorations into piles, it did cross my mind {for a split second} that we could just cover the whole plastic tree with a garbage bag and store it away (still decorated) for next year.  

But then I was totally mad at myself for even entertaining that thought!  I love decorating the tree, what was I thinking?  
I actually felt very reflective this year as I took apart the tree.  I was remembering all the fun Dave and I used to have going to the Christmas tree farm and choosing our tree and chopping it down.  How every year it looked different and the smell... oohh that smell of pine needles.  I do miss that smell.  I also reminisced as I carefully took each decoration off and placed them on the couch, I thought about how before we had children, our tree was all perfect and colour coordinated.  How we had bought some really special decorations when we were first married but now, after like 14 Christmases, they are looking very... worn.  I noticed the decorations we made at ZOE one year and I gazed at the star and the tinsel that some friends had sent us in the mail for our first Christmas here in Thailand.  I admired the beautiful angel ornament a friend just gave me in support of the Kachin people in Burma, the star made by a young lady with HIV which we bought at church, the little grass nest which holds a bird, weaved by a little girl at ZOE and given to Eliana... And, of course, all the wonderful decorations that our three children have made at kindergarten and school over the years.  
I love it that now our tree is so full of 'life'- not in the sense of being a real tree, but as a reflection of the life we have as a family, who we are and the memories we've made together.
As Tobi walked past the couch where all the decorations were placed, I asked him which one he liked the most and why.  He chose a little kangaroo wearing a Santa's hat.  "I like this one" he said very seriously.  "It reminds me about how we used to have Christmas in Australia, but now we don't. But sometimes we have Christmas in July and it reminds me about that too."
And so, with the decorations away for another year, and the tree... folded down, so begins a new year.  

I have so many goals and dreams for 2014.  I am eagerly looking forward to all that unfolds. Thank you for stopping by this blog and showing an interest in the work that we do.  
Whether you had a white Christmas or a scorching hot one, a real pine tree or small plastic one like us, I hope that you found peace and joy this year knowing that Jesus came to this Earth for you.  
His birthday was a gift for us.  It is Him that gives life and we can only experience real acceptance and love because He came.  

...more Chrsitmas updates and photos coming soon!

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