Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A bit homesick this Christmas...

Amidst all the excitement of the Christmas season I find myself feeling two contrasting emotions...homesickness and excitement.

I am not actually homesick for a place, but for a time. I miss having little ones running around with eyes full of wonder, excited to open the day's advent window, excited to have on more Christmas story read to them, excited to sing Christmas songs around the tree, little ones to wake up on Christmas morning and run to the Nativity to see that Baby Jesus has indeed arrived. Those days are long past and I miss them.

A few weeks ago, both Brian and I were feeling a bit sad about this empty nest of ours and we were missing the traditions we had established over the years with the kids. I told a dear friend that I was struggling and she gave me some great advice. "A word of wisdom. Traditions are great for families, helping build a legacy, BUT they are not commandments from God nor are they sacred so ask the Lord for ability to flex, to start new traditions and to be able to enjoy the season remembering memories of the past, but making new memories!" What wise words! I am thinking on these words often this year as many traditions are just not practical anymore.

The emotion of excitement is mixed right in there. This is our first Christmas in this house, this town and with this church family. I am excited to experience all those firsts, for Brian and I to develop some new traditions, and to decorate a new house for Christmas. It will be fun to open my Christmas decorations and see which ones I kept and where their home will be in this house. As always I am excited because its Christmas! I love the wonder and beauty of this season!

Our tree is up, it is still bare, but even bare it is beautiful. You see there is one tradition we were able to go back to this year. That is picking a tree out in the wild, a totally non-groomed, non-perfect tree. We did that for years when the kids were little; but in Iowa we didn't have forests, so we went to a tree farm. Those are nice trees, but we were always looking for that one tree that didn't look like it grew up on a tree farm. This year, Brian and I joined an amazing family on their land and picked a wild tree. Looking at that tree takes the edge off my homesickness and makes me smile.

Ah to be out in the woods hunting a tree!!! We love the one we found!!

In the midst of these conflicting emotions is peace...sweet contentment...joy; Brian and I are right where God wants us to be!

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