Every day, or at least almost every day, I have to go on bit of a trek to pick up Jackson at the bus stop. In order to get to him I have to cross six lanes of traffic and dodge the stray dogs that seem to be around every corner here. It is truly a test of faith for me!

Anyway, lately I have been getting a ride to the bus stop from my neighbor who has her kids in the same school and over the course of a few weeks we have gotten to be friends. She’s a national who has lived in the States before, so at least she sort of knows where I’m coming from and that’s been very nice.

This week we have started talking about Christmas, for obvious reasons, and we came to the subject of Christ’s birth and the real reason we (my family) celebrate Christmas. The whole conversation lasted for about ten minutes but during that time we covered a lot of theological ground and decided that though we did not agree on many points regarding the person of Christ, it was a good conversation and that we should continue it some other time.

It has been so neat to see how our friendship has developed since we’ve moved her. She and her family have been very kind and generous to us because she knew this was a tough transition. I wondered if anyone had done the same for her when she was in the States as a mother of three small children living in a strange country. She has never indicated that that was the case at all–what a shame.

But in lieu of all our neighbors having another faith, this year we are toying around with the idea of using Christmas as a time to invite some of our them over for dessert Christmas evening. It stresses me out a little to be honest because in the back of my mind I have the idea that Christmas is all about me resting, relaxing, eating a big ham and being alone with my family–and having people over doesn’t allow for that. But here, among other believers, I sense that they see Christmas as a time to share Christ (the one whose birth we are celebrating) with others. Quite different than what my Christmas days have traditionally looked like.

So we’ll see how things progress in the coming days. This Christmas is definitely unlike any other–but that doesn’t mean it has to be a negative thing. I’m trying to make a mental shift from being anxious just to get the holidays over with, to wondering what will develop over the next few days. To see what the Lord would have us do here so make this Christmas a true celebration.


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