{Grieving the Familiar}

I come from a family that thrives on tradition. We do things because we have always done them that way. Particularly around the holidays, there is a deep sense of joy that comes from the familiar ways that we celebrate. I am not as much of a stickler about this as I used to be (it is not worthy of great punishment if you listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving day, although I will still frown at you).

For some reason it hit me today that I would not be home for Christmas. For the first time EVER. I won’t have snow or be able curl up under a blanket, cozy with hot chocolate and a long-awaited book, savoring the quiet of time away from work (or school). I won’t be there for our sibling Christmas-eve slumber party, or to laugh over our family gifts to each other. I will miss singing familiar carols at my home church, united in spirit and worship of our Savior. And all the other things that have meant Christmas to me.

So what will I get? Probably joy-filled celebrations with my Cambodian brothers and sisters. Discovering new traditions with Kristin. Maybe a cup of homemade hot chocolate next to Kristin’s fireplace screen saver and a new book on my Kindle. Knowing that Jesus left His home to come to our world, a much more painful transition than I could imagine, knowing He did that for me. How can I not be obedient, even if that means giving up the familiar, giving up the sweet fullness that comes when we are altogether as family? I am so thankful for His grace as I walk this path, learning to lean on Him more and more. 


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