I just spent my first Christmas away from my family and friends. In another country. I wasn't sure how it would be...I definitely missed my dear family and friends and the traditions we always had fun doing. I knew this year would be very different. And yet, as my aunt reminded me, "You're being showered with gifts one could never purchase anywhere!" So true. I treasure these moments.
My kids in small group decorated little paper ornaments Christmas Eve. We went over Christmas vocabulary. When I got to the nativity scene, I asked who was the baby in the manger. Yoyo, a bright 10-year-old with a deep voice, excitedly piped up:
And yet so profound.
Then little Kevin came running up to me after 8 AM class and gave me a big hug. He's one of three boys from an orphanage. My heart hurts for him. He's without parents and he's broken and sad inside. He needs Christ to come take those pieces and make him new, whole. I pray that our week together will be a seed planted in him that will bear fruit for eternity.
I thank God for this opportunity to see Yoyo's face break into a huge smile as he proclaimed that Jesus is God. I thank God for the opportunity to hug little orphan Kevin and ruffle his hair. I thank God for hearing Mickey, our taxi driver friend, ask why we celebrate Christmas and if it's all about Jesus.
That's a bit of what my Christmas was like.
And I begin to see anew that what my aunt said is true. When Christmas is all about Christ, rejoicing in Him, and sharing Him with others, you are showered with precious gifts that you could never ever buy.
So when I miss my parents and siblings, when I wish I could teach Sunday school at my church in the States, when I wish I could go on adventures with dear friends, I remind myself that He's worth it.
- We have revamped a few things with the blog schedule and we have now crowned Wednesdays to be the official "book day" around here. Every Wednesday we'll feature book reviews or host a book giveaway. And today we're starting with a book giveaway! - If you'd like to enter to win an autographed copy of Paperdoll: What Happens When an Ordinary Girl Meets an Extraordinary God by Natalie Lloyd , please follow the instructions below. - 1. Leave a comment on this post and tell us how your family celebrates Easter! - 2. If you'd like to be thrown in the batch a second time for a greater chance of winning, subscribe to the blog (see button at right) and let us know that you did so in your comment. If you're already subscribed, let us know and we'll add you a second time as well. - 3. And if you'd like to be thrown in the batch a third time, post about the giveaway on your blog and make sure to leave us a link to your post. - One entry per p
- We're excited to announce that we're having another book giveaway today! Details below . . . - If you'd like to enter to win a copy of A Young Woman's Walk With God by Elizabeth George, please follow these instructions: - 1. Leave a comment on this post and tell us the title of the last book you've read. - 2. By leaving a comment, you'll already be thrown in the batch once, but if you'd like to be thrown in the batch a second time for a greater chance of winning, subscribe to the blog (see button at right) and let us know that you did so in your comment. If you're already subscribed, let us know and we'll add you a second time as well. - 3. And if you'd like to be thrown in the batch a third time, post about the giveaway on your blog and make sure to leave us a link to your post. - That's it! One entry per person, please. Comments will be closed this Sunday at midnight and the winner be announced on Monday. -
- This post is for our longtime readers who are probably wondering what happened to the old blog and the old posts that no longer appear. Here's what's going on: - With the start of school and the changes that entail from switching from summer back to schedules, we've also began some changes with bloom! -- both the magazine and the blog. As most you of you probably know, because of time and financial issues, we have cut back the last few issues of the magazine into a mini-magazine. And now, because of these same issues, we have decided to temporarily suspend the magazine publication and switch to more of a webzine format. We hope this is temporary and that the magazine will return to publication sometime in the future. - But for now, we are very excited to announce the new blog and some changes that we're making here. Instead of the posts you previously found by Megan, Joanna, and myself, we will be mostly publishing more of the type of articles you would have found in