Friday, December 23, 2011
Best and Hardest Time to be Here
Christmas. Yes that is a reality that is becoming more real to me every minute. I am going to spend Christmas in Africa away from Chad, Sadie, and Nolen. To think about that is hard and painful. It hurts to think about them decorating cookies for Santa, reading the Christmas story, and spending the day together without me. It is emotionally painful to the point that it is physical. I have seen photos of six stocking hanging from my mantel and a Christmas ornament with all of our names on it. It is difficult to see these because they make it more real to me. I know they miss me, I miss them. But everyday I spend here in Uganda, away from them is another lesson I am learning, another day I am becoming closer to my heavenly Father, and another day I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.
Why is this the best time to be here? I think if I was in Uganda any other time of the year I would learn the lesson of just how blessed my family is. We have a nice home, cars, and most importantly food to eat. But being here during Christmas makes the extras in my life more apparent. Christmas gifts are all but ignored here. People just don't have the resources to buy any. After talking to many Ugandans it is a special treat for kids to get a pair of shoes for Christmas. What would my kids think if they got a pair of shoes for Christmas? Would they be grateful or disappointed? More than likely they would be disappointed. That is not what I want. I would love for them to learn just how blessed they are. They got to see glimpses of it while here. If I was in Tennessee this holiday season I would and should struggle greatly to be buying an abundance of unneeded items for my kiddos when there are kids here that are literally starving to death.
Families here celebrate Christ's birth and nothing else. There are no gifts to distract from that. You see a few decorations as a reminder but these are very scarce. Christmas is spent together as a family. It is very nice to see people celebrating without all the commercialization.
To help us attempt to get into the Christmas spirit Heather and I decorated a few Christmas trees and reindeer that she brought with her. It is just hard to get into it when it is very hot. Yesterday we were at the grocery store and they were playing "Walking in A Winter Wonderland." This was very amusing because the sun was shining and it was 90 degrees.