17 December, 2013

Merry Christmas?

   It's warm. We're barefoot. Short sleeves. No evergreens. No wreaths. No big family christmas dinner.....no grandma or grandpa to hug and say Merry Christmas. And we have to go to church on Christmas morning.

  Worst of all, no Hadassah.

  I don't feel like celebrating. I'd rather sit home and pity myself. I don't feel like Merry Christmas at all. So i thought we would do as little as possible and maybe Christmas could kind of slip by unnoticed.

  Until i found out that our family has to give a 5-10 minute program at church Christmas morning. What?!?!? Church was bad enough but we have to figure out something to SHARE?????

  I went along to Tenwek hospital yesterday with Marlin and some Kenyans. One was a mother of 9 who has a badly broken hip and the other a pastor who has throat ulcers. It was an exhausting day. I was unprepared for the emotional wave that took over, and by the end of the day my heart hurt so bad i felt physically sick from seeing all the places that i saw while having Hadassah. All i wanted to do was curl up in a corner and cry. Forget Christmas, it wasn't even on my radar. I visited with Stephanie Kelly for a bit and saw the christmas projects that they are doing with their children and my heart smote me. But not bad enough to think of doing anything about it.

  So now i'm forced to think on Christmas since i have to figure out what we're going to sing or share on Christmas day at church. Marlin is busy going to orphan programs and i know the responsibility of planning it falls on me. Oh yes, God knows exactly what He's doing.

  First of all, i need to repent of my selfish, self pitying heart. Add complaining to that. Instead of complaining about going to church on Christmas day, i will choose to thank God for the opportunity to share Christmas with the Kenyans. Deep breath....."God, thank you that i can go to church on Christmas. And while i'm at it i choose to thank you for those hard, backless benches."

  And next? Well, my time is limited so i'm not sure what's next. Christmas cookie baking will happen during the school holiday since the children want to be a part of it. I don't have any Christmas decorations, but that's ok. It's all about the heart after all. The children will be delighted to make snowflakes to hang and we can still have our peppermint hot chocolate on Christmas day morning. A Christmas plate for each child with an apple, an orange and a handful of candy. A birthday cake for Jesus to eat with our hot chocolate......perhaps a pink layer to symbolize that Hadassah gets to celebrate Christmas with Jesus, although we so badly wish she could celebrate it with us. But yet an opportunity for another choice. "Thank you Jesus that Hadassah is now celebrating with you."

   So we will celebrate christmas in our hearts. It's not about the snow, the candles, the nativity scenes, the hot chocolate, the carols, altho that is all a beautiful part of it. It's about Jesus and choosing life and joy.

  Life is about choices, is it not?

He looks like he deserves Christmas, don't you think?


  1. (((HUGS)))
    Oh, Darla! I pray that the Prince of Peace will visit you! and I know He will.

    I know that on Christmas morning the light of Christ will shine out through all the cracks of your broken heart and many will see and taste that the Lord is good!

    And in the mean time, I know that there will be laughter in your home, and excitement as you give the gift of Christmas to those adorable, beautiful, handsome children of yours!

  2. A blessed Christmas to you Darla- you do not know me. I stumbled onto your page accidentally just a few days before Haddassah left your family to live with Jesus. I so empathized with you that I bookmarked your page and have been following you. You have been in my prayers often.
    Your comments of not celebrating Christmas and wanting to curl up and forget it are part of the normal grieving process. After our son, 17, died unexpectedly- I did not feel like holidays. Celebrations always had been a big thing at our house. All of the children and I would go all out to decorate and cook special food for b-days and any special day. We loved celebrating! And when Paul died, something in my heart "died" too and celebrating has become much harder. Oh we still do it- the rest of the children need it- and maybe I need it too. But it is much harder for me to get into the fun of it.
    One thing that has helped me a good bit in my grieving the first Christmas - was to realize that Christmas- was when God shared his Son with me so that I could find life. Of course I knew it all along but when I was missing my son- and knew that he was with God, I somehow could identify even more with the coming of the Saviour. God gave everything He had for me. And I so badly wanted to hold on to one of my children when He wanted him. Maybe this will make sense to you - I hope it does. But some days when my heart is breaking it helps me to remember that no pain or trouble will ever touch that one - he is safe!
    Praying for you in your grieving. A friend from PA- Rachel Weaver

  3. Awww, Darla :( God DOES know what He's doing but it certainly doesn't always feel cozy and warm...you are in my heart and on my mind a lot these last few weeks. Hadassah will never know anything but the perfection of being with Jesus in person...and this Christmas, Mom gets to be with Jesus and the first granddaughter that she welcomed to her new home! Ahhh...the gift of eternal life :) So I pray for the Father's peace and joy in your heart and home this Christmas.

    Merry Christmas! Lori

  4. Dear Darla,
    Thinking of you lots. May the joy of the Lord be your strength today and always.
    Sending a hug across the many miles! (((((((((((((((())))))))))))))))))))))))


  5. I know my comments probably sound and look strange after everyone else's, but since I found your blog a year late . . . Anyway, your testimony through it all has been such a blessing to my heart. I love that you keep on making conscious choices.


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