The other day I was in my kitchen cooking breakfast while Christmas music played in the background. When the song "Here with Us" came on, I suddenly found myself in a full blown worship session as I was flipping french toast. The words of this song stirred me so deeply as God reminded me that He is here with us.
I also couldn't help but be thankful for a Christmas season here in Uganda where there isn't all the hype and distractions that come with Christmas in my home country. There was no crazy Black Friday shopping, no Santas, and no pressure to have the most beautifully decorated house or cookies. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with those things. But those things can detract from what Christmas is truly all about.
Instead, this year, all we have is a simple Christmas tree and Advent Calendar. For our Advent reminder each day we have a reading we're doing together every morning after breakfast and then in the little box is a piece of paper that has a family Christmas activity to do for the day. Some examples are: bake Christmas cookies, sing Christmas carols by candlelight, or drink hot cocoa while sharing past Christmas memories.
Please understand. I'm not trying to say our Christmas "traditions" are better than anyone else's. But I've had several American friends tell me this Christmas that they're jealous of me because I'm not caught up in the chaos and flurry of the Christmas season. And it hit me. So often missionaries really struggle during Christmas time because they miss the snow and cold weather, or the Christmas shopping and of course the family. And yes we do miss our family and friends especially deeply during this season. BUT what a special gift to be able to focus on the TRUE MEANING of Christmas and marinate in that rather than all the hustle and bustle.
Click on the link below to listen to the beautiful song I love called "Here With Us"