In the States, we had our Christmas traditions.
Tree farm... tractor ride... hot cocoa... music in the background as we decorated the tree and the house... Christmas lights plastered all over the house... dinners with family and friends... church Christmas plays...
In the States, Christmas was everywhere. It was anywhere. It was in the smell of the air. The sights. The sounds. The feel. Christ's birth. Something really worth celebrating and celebrating big.
We had just arrived on the field.
Two weeks later, Thanksgiving was here and gone and the Christmas season was upon us. But something I didn't realize... something I neglected to bring... something we would miss dearly...
The Christmas atmosphere.
I know, I know.
Christmas isn't trees and presents and food...
I know it's about Christ's birth. Our family knows it, too. But oh how we enjoy making a huge celebration out of His birth! We want to shout it from the mountain tops! It's an exciting event that made our salvation possible! It SHOULD be celebrated! But there is a problem...
Let me show you what Christmas looks like here.
This first picture is what it looks like here on a typical day here...
The time has come.
My 20th high school reunion. I cannot attend because I live in Asia! But, nevertheless, the reunion definitely has me reflecting... reflecting on the old me. I am not sure that many people from high school would really recognize me. Oh, they would know my face and my name, but I am not the same person at all.
I know what you are thinking. Everybody changes. They mature. That's true, but that's not what I am talking about.
You see, in high school I wasn't really a Christian. I carried the title of Christian around. I even went to church. When I was 9 years old I even said a prayer and was baptized. But I had no idea of how to really become a Christian.
And that's why there was no change in my life.
When I was younger, I was so shy and insecure. I tried to mask it by pretending to be confident and outgoing, but inside was a different story. I was hurting. I hated life. I hated myself. My family was falling apart, and I had no joy. I was pretty good at pasting on a smile.
High school was actually very difficult for me. No, not the academic part... though Pre-Calculus threw me for a loop! I actually made great grades for the most part.
But while I was in high school, I didn't understand my value.