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Christmas 2012To many people holidays are not voyages of discovery, but a ritual of reassurance.  Philip Andrew Adams

I’ve always felt like a big kid during the holidays. I’m a huge fan of having family traditions. Maybe it’s because life always seemed so hard and chaotic as a child. Being an adult and passing on the wonder to my children has been a gift for me. This year has been especially hard. I do not recommend moving during December to anyone! To pack or unpack- that is the question.

I still want our kids to have excitement for this holiday season, with the joy and the magic it always brings. But what I didn’t anticipate was what this transition in December was going to do to my own emotions. Can we say roller-coaster?! This is probably the first time in the history of Christmas where I have had to work at getting excited- I don’t like that. Even though we’re moving, we hesitantly purchased a real tree, and only because we will be taking it to the church to use in our Christmas play in one week. My daughter was persistent in asking when we would decorate. Things have just been hectic with the kids school play, last couple of weeks before we home-school, our church play, and us going through things and packing. We finally nailed down a night- but also had one other thing planned that night, so it was going to be a bit rushed. Hope said, “But mom, will we have enough time to decorate the tree?” “Will we have Christmas music?” “Are we making hot cocoa?” I didn’t realize how much she had picked up of some of my own favorite things. And then the lights were up on the tree and we plugged them in. I wish I had a camera at that moment to capture her joy. It was beautiful… magical. We were able to do it all in a short time, unfortunately sipping the cocoa quickly!

On our way to church the other night she said, “Mom, we’re still going to do our tradition and drive around and look at Christmas lights and see how many reindeer we can count, right?” “Sure hunny, but I’m thinking we might change it snowman because there’s not enough reindeer around here.”

Traditions- in spite of transitions. If you think transition and change are hard, try making sense of everything as a child. Hope once asked why we can’t just be like regular people and live in the same house and work the same job forever! I guess God just didn’t make us ‘regular’.

I feel like my daughter is trying to hold on some normal. Something that stays consistent, even when things around her are not. Some sense of security. As we all are. It’s not an easy pill to swallow that your parents, who have been your children’s pastors for 12 years will no longer be, and that you will be packing up your things and moving in with family members temporarily smack in the middle of Christmas, or that when Christmas break is over you will not be returning to your friends. My son Joel won 1st place in the spelling bee and was suppose to compete in January but we were told this week that he has to be registered with the school to compete. I understood and Joel was okay with it. The boys were thrilled that at least they could sign up for basketball and still see their friends while playing in a sport starting in January. I received a call today that unfortunately they have to be registered with the school to play on the team. I know they are going to be extremely disappointed. Thankfully my husband said he would talk to them tonight. We understand- it doesn’t make it any easier.

The Lord has reminded me that even though we are going through more changes than seem desirable at times, that He stays the same NO MATTER WHAT.  Hebrews 13:8- Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

I’m not sure what changes you might be going through or what the Lord has asked you to let go of and your really struggling to let it go. All I know is that when we walk in obedience to Him that He will be faithful to give us the grace to walk out whatever it is. I’m not sure what tomorrow looks like but I do know that His grace is sufficient for today.

Lord I thank you for your Word today that reminds me that no matter what happens, you always stay the same. I know your ways are higher than my ways and that through these transitions you are not only making me who you want me to be but that my children are also learning to lean and walk and rely on You. Fill me with joy in spite of my circumstances, for joy comes from you and you alone- regardless of what’s happening around me. Help me to always hold the things of this world lightly and with an open hand. I love you Lord, and I want to walk this out faithfully. At the end of my journey, if intimacy and closeness with you is gained, then nothing- absolutely nothing was done in vain.  amen.

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.