Christmas J.O.Y.

I get this wistful feeling thinking about the exhausted wise men sitting cross-legged on the sand, looking at the stars the night before they met the Christ child. Did they want to give up? Did they have this little feeling that they were so, so close to the treasure they sought? Or were they just going in blind faith with nothing but calculations, always hoping they were on track to meet their King? I get this wistful feeling thinking about the shepherds who got to witness the glorious light and singing from their places in the fields. They were humans after all, so maybe one was having a frustrating day, or forgot his lunch, or had left home in rush that morning, and never would they have known what a thing they would experience. I get this wistful feeling thinking about the excited angels who had the most absolutely astonishing news that they got to tell the world. I can’t imagine the pure joy of knowing that the message you were going to bring would light the way for the hopelessness of humanity. Did they treasure the news and carry it carefully to those shepherds and then with all of their might, shout the message? I think so. Then I think of where we are now, here at the end of 2020. Like wise men, we go forward every day in blind faith and sometimes exhaustion, trusting we are on track to meet the King. Like shepherds, we humbly serve, each in our quiet place, and undeserving of the glorious lives we have been given. Like angels, every day we shine and spread joy for Jesus. I want to be the hope to the world that the angels were that night.

view from the front

annnnnnnd, WE MOVED INTO OUR BUS. Yes. We are stunned too. It’s part of the reason this post is so late. So yes we moved in the 5th. Jon&Alicia helped us kind of finish stuff up and Dan&Natalie and the boys helped us move in. Well, the boys opened boxes anyway, while we made the bed and organized and put stuff in drawers. It was quite fun. So we have been living in it for two weeks now and we love it. SO much. And we have had so many people through it already and we love having it full of people we love even though it gets pretty cozy with more than four. No one has complained so far !

Mostly everything we needed to fit in the kitchen cupboards fits fine. Our big Ninja blender is the only thing we’ll have to replace and buy something smaller. Our clothes fit in our under-bed closet, although our big coats we have with our winter stuff at Mom’s. So when we take our bus up in the mountains or go somewhere cold, we’ll stick our skis and skates either in our outside storage box “garage”, or on the back deck, which we still have to build after the New Year. Morgan has been working on an outdoor shower setup so that will be cool to have ready to go. Our little stove keeps it warm part-way through the night but when we wake up its 32* outside and maybe inside too, so we bought a tiny heater that makes it very toasty when combined with our little woodstove. It warms up pretty fast by around 10 in the morning and I like having windows and the door open for fresh air so that cools it down abit. We are going to paint the outside, put up solar panels, and build our back and rooftop decks after the New Year so we have been just relaxing and living it up! Last night the youth came caroling and we woke up with them outside our window so I opened it and it was so cool to be caroled to in our house/bus! I loved it. Our meals are fun to eat cuz we eat at our counter on barstools, and if we need anything , it’s all in arm’s reach from our seat. We’re enthused about spring when it’s warm enough to be outside for the evenings because we’ll be able to have a lot more company. And I realize it’s “not cold” here but it IS too cool some of these evenings to have people to sit around a fire even. Come see for yourselves.

I think my mom wants to have a little “bus-warming” evening sometime in January for people to stop by the bus and drink hot cocoa and sit at the fire so we are looking forward to that. We’ve had lots of people just stop in since we’re in a central spot (we literally live on Central Ave. haha) so we try to keep coffee on in case you decide to stop in! We love it, and are looking forward to more friends coming by this Christmas!

I’ve received some Christmas cards and a letter or two which I’ve loved reading. It seems like cards are something people aren’t doing as much anymore which I think is sad because it is so cool to get a little note card in the mail. Or maybe I actually like sending them more. Mine were handmade and sealed with wax this year and I almost made one for myself just so I could open it so I’m hoping they were a success. For Christmas this year, we are doing what a lot of you probably are and staying home. Madison got home last night and Uncle Marshall’s and our Smith “family” arrive this week and it will be a very happy time around our places. Friday night Alicia and I made Christmas goodies at Moms while the guys made a crab and steak supper that was probably some of the better food I’ve eaten this year.

Now that we’re stocked up on candy, we’re ready for Christmas! We are planning to have a couple game nights sometime, and doing some Christmas light drives.

Mom and Madison are driving Levi, Morgan, and I to the airport in LA the 28th. We have our Covid tests next Saturday and will hopefully have the results in time for our departure on Tuesday the 29th. We are going to LA on Monday if we don’t have the results by then so we can take the test they have available with results in 24 hours at the airport for travelers. It’s so scary not knowing if we will be flying to Mozambique Tuesday, or changing our tickets to Thursday because of a false positive. We know we had covid already and that we don’t have it now, but the what if’s are many this travel time. Please PRAY that we can have negative tests and be able to visit Dillon’s in Mozambique for their sake, and ours. It’s also really hard on me that Madison and Mom aren’t able to come now because of school so think of them while we are there also. I plan on posting quite a bit on our trip there so stay tuned!

I hope each of you stays safe this Christmas. Love your families. Drop goodies off at a shelter. Send a little money to those with less. Make someone else’s Christmas blessed besides your own. And most of all, pray for the people who have lost someone this year, or who have a sick family member, or are spending last days with a loved one. Christmas is a happy time for those with no losses. Christmas is a difficult time for those missing family who used to be here. My dad’s birthday is Monday and it’s not always an easy day for us. Thank you for following our lives. And thank you to the people who have helped Mom, Madison, Dillon’s, or us this year whether in prayer, or money, or love from afar. You know who you are. And we love each of you. A very Merry Christmas to all of you.

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