A big temptation in the blogosphere is to pretend or portray the right information. So... here goes. We love being here. It's hard being here. We know this is where we are called to live and serve, but we miss the people and places we have served alongside in the past. We are not suffering, but there are real costs involved in living away from family and close friends. We see God at work, around us, and sometimes painfully within us. Many days can be discouraging. We see our children thriving. We know their grandparents are missing them. For things that used to be familiar, like face to face family gatherings, easy to find gift wrapping paper or shredded coconut for cookies --- on the altar they go, in one humble, yet steady reply, "Yes Lord, walking in the way of your truth, we wait for you, for your name and your renown are the desires of our soul." [Isa. 26:8].
Hope in Christ NEVER disappoints. NEVER.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. [Romans 5].
Tonight, I took the boys on a bike ride (and Luke in his red push car). We had a great time. April was at home finishing last minute gift wrapping. We had the best time. I took them to get cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes [McDonalds just moved in, replacing the cat restaurant] We got back home. Quick baths for them. Put Luke in bed. Then, roasted chestnuts and hot chocolate with Josh, Caleb, and April. We talked about what we are thankful for. Drew pictures. Izzy slobbered on us. We prayed together. Josh suggested we all pray one long prayer together. Wow. Read the Christmas story. We sang "Go Tell It On The Mountain". They opened a few gifts. Then, they went to bed. I walked to the grocery store to get more flour. I looked at the faces I was passing. Prayed. Surrendered again.... And now we're in the kitchen. Norah Jones is singing familiar songs. We are laughing. Experiencing real joy from Him. Cinnamon rolls anyone?