Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Traditions

So the last few weeks I've been thinking about Christmas traditions.  Most families have them, and they are SO much fun and unique to each situation.  This will me our first Christmas together, and, as usual, it will be a bit different.  (We will be staying with the Walkers (Cindy & Tommy) Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and we are SO looking forward to it.) Chris and I laugh at the fact the we have yet to have a "normal" relationship and a "normal" marriage.  Today we celebrate our 11 month "anniversary," and so much has happened in that 11 months.  We got married, Chris graduated from seminary, I moved out of a church staff position, we found out we were pregnant, AND we moved to Africa.  Yes...all in the 11 months of marriage.  So my thoughts have been:  What if this IS normal for the Walkers?  We will bring a precious little one into the world in 5 months, so I've been thinking about traditions...especially holiday traditions.

I have some very creative family members and friends, so I figured I could ask you guys.  What are some ideas for Christmas/holiday traditions that can be celebrated no matter where we are located?  Next year we could be in our own home, at one of our parent's home, or we could be overseas.  We've quit guessing what God will do with us from month to month.  So if you have any ideas, PLEASE feel free to share them.  I am open to whatever.   I love the holiday season, and I'm excited to hear what you guys say!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

This is our home in Ruston. 
My brother and sister-in-love are staying there while we are away, and I thought I would brag on Kim's creative ability!  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We'll Be Home for Christmas...

WOW!!  It has been three of the craziest months of our married life (yes, we've only been married for 11 months...but still), and it has also been three of the most blessed months.  We came to Mozambique about 6 weeks pregnant, and we will arrive in the States 20 weeks pregnant.  SO much has happened and changed for us these past few months, and it blows our minds.

Here are some of the things God has taught us OR we have learned about each other:

Dependence:  Nothing teaches you dependence upon God like being in another country, pregnant, and wondering how to get used to both of them at the same time.  There were days here where I definitely wondered if I would make it. Then my amazing husband would remind me of God's faithfulness, His call on our life, and that I only had to make it through THAT day.  I would go to sleep and wake up with such a peace that can only come from our Father.  We also learned dependence upon each other.  When everything around you seems strange (including the rapid changes going on in your body), you learn to depend upon each other.  There were days where we couldn't find things that I needed (think morning sickness days), and my husband was there to encourage me, pray over me, and then make me laugh.

Trust:  In many ways, the first two go hand in hand...the more you depend, the more you trust.  We have come to know and trust our Heavenly Father in a way we wouldn't have if we hadn't experienced these last three months.  I learned to trust Him with our baby's health, realizing that HE made him/her, and our baby was in HIS watchful care.  We also learned to trust each other.  Chris reminded me countless times that everything was OK, and I learned to trust in the truths he spoke over me.

Thankfulness:  It is so easy to get caught up in the stress of life that you forget to be thankful for the incredible blessings that God has given you.  God grew thankfulness in both of us, and HE taught us how to be even more thankful for the gift of marriage.

Love:  Before I got married I heard people talking about loving their spouse more as the days passed.  I didn't understand that until these past 11 months.  We have watched our love for God deepen in incredible ways, and then we have seen our love for each other deepen as we've experienced life together.  On top of that, God expanded our hearts to love a child that we have yet to meet.  We were both overcome with the instant love and care we felt for this little one.  It's amazing to see how God's love can teach you how to love another.

SO...during this Christmas season, think back through the year and see what God has given and taught you.  HE came, lived the life we live, and died in order that we might experience life, REAL life, in HIM.  For those who have prayed over us during these last few weeks, know you have NOT wasted a prayer on us.  Each one of you have been part of this journey, and we love you dearly!!  We are looking forward to being home for Christmas!!!  See you in 5 days!!