Whew! I almost got hot today! I think it may have hit 82 in the sunshine! But it wasn’t too bad since we had a little breeze while we worked. Oh, wait, I forgot for a moment that it is only going to get to 40 in Gassville this week. Hmmm. Do I feel bad for flaunting it? Nah! You guys get to see each other and laugh and sing Christmas carols and drink hot cocoa, and…. We just got good weather. I don’t feel too bad!
Actually we have a lot more than good weather to be thankful for. God is so good to us. We are healthy, enjoying Yari’s company full time now, and it is a blast to watch her excitement over Christmas. We ask her to make our ‘Nacimiento’ (nativity scene) – our first ever. It is a tradition here to create the manger scene, with all the animals, the shepherd, Mary, Joseph, and the wise men. Using moss from the trees to make the ground, the manger and animals are placed first, then each day someone or something new is added, or moved closer until the 24th when Jesus is placed in his crib. Then throughout the next week the wise men make their way to the baby until finally arriving on January 6th (King’s Day here in Panama). On that day all Christmas trees are set out in the ditches and burned. Not sure of the significance of the tree burning part. Then everything is put away until next year. I love that everyone is focused on the story of Jesus’ birth for at least this few weeks. The family always moves the characters together so that everyone is involved. We three sit each night to enjoy the scene after Joseph and Mary move a little closer to the stable for a few minutes before going to bed. Good time together.
Yari has gotten to go shopping for gifts, plan what we will do on Christmas, and of course put up lights. Last night while watching the lights on the Nacimiento, she asked Lynn just like she was a seven year old, “Can’t we put up a few lights along the roof of the house out front?” He had already told me no emphatically, but when she asked, he thought a moment and said, “I guess we could if you want”. A very sweet, neat moment for this old girl, I’ll tell you!
Not sure why but I am missing my mom a lot right now. It has been 16 years since she left this world for a better one. You would think I would be accustomed to losing her by now, but alas, here I am, crying yet again because I cannot share little things with her, or see her smile. I expect there are many like me out there, missing someone special. I pray that God will give us both comfort, and a satisfaction in knowing that they have completed this journey, with nothing but blue skies (and golden streets) ahead!
This photo is of most of the gifts we have bought for the children of Santa Marta. We will be going in to see them tomorrow. We want to say a special thank you to DeDe Stephens for making the beautiful stockings. All the kids here have raved about them, and as you can see, they are absolutely wonderful! Thanks to all of you for giving to make Christmas a brighter occasion for the children in this remote community!
Have a blessed Christmas!