Hello friends! I hope your week has been a real treat.This week, Tuesday to be exact, was my last day of teaching for the semester, meaning final exams are in full swing, and after next Tuesday, I’m home free until late January. Remember, this far south it’s “summertime” or dry season, when you northerners are up to your knees in snow. Perfect time for vacation, if you ask me!
When teacher duties ended this week, Husband and I managed to skip town for a night and enjoy a relaxing and much-needed stay at our honeymoon hotel. In four years the place had really grown, and had added a gorgeous pool. We suited up, ready for a dip, only to find the water sent chills up our spines, it was so very, very cold. I couldn’t be too disappointed though, as in our room a jacuzzi was begging me to jump in.We’ve cemented our holiday plans. For months we’ve known that Husband would be leading a group into the indigenous communities of Costa Rica to share gifts with the children in these poor areas and to impart the love of Christ. After lots of time praying, we determined that I’d stay back with Summer Elizabeth, though the details were blurry. Would we fly north to visit my family? Stay in our little house alone for Christmas? The decision is that the baby girl and her mommy will be staying right here in our own comfy home enjoying the warm sunshine and taking a couple lazy weeks to plant a vegetable garden in the front lawn.
To be honest, I’m really excited about it. I love getting my hands dirty planting seeds, watching them grow tall, and harvesting fresh produce. Food seems to taste even better when you’ve put the work into cultivating it.
Another reason I’d rather stay put is that in the US, Christmas is more exploited than it is here. It loses it’s meaning on so many levels, levels that I’d rather not expose Summer Elizabeth to until she’s old enough to have grasped the true meaning of the season from year after year of honoring Jesus’ birth through family traditions of Bible reading and activities centered around our Savior’s coming. Costa Rica isn’t lacking Santa, holiday lights, or candy canes, but I do feel that many aspects of Christmas, the ones that count the most- Jesus and spending time celebrating him with family, are still deeply rooted into the culture. I like that.
I hope your season is merry and full of joy.
That same night, in amongst the other stars, suddenly a bright new star appeared… It blazed in the night and made the other stars look pale beside it.
God put it there when his baby Son was born- to be like a spotlight. Shining on him. Lighting up the darkness. Showing people the way to him.
You see, God was like a new daddy- he couldn’t keep the good news to himself. He’d been waiting all these long years for this moment, and now he wanted to tell everyone.
–Excerpt from The Jesus Storybook Bible