It’s weird to be in a place where the months and seasons move without any noticeable change. We don’t really even have a distinct rainy season here in our town, so it’s just always between 80-95 F with a mix of rain and wind on occasion.
The consistent, unchanging temperature makes life feel very linear, which makes my heart ache for the refreshment of the cycles of seasons that I always knew growing up in Michigan. I find myself trying to do things to trick my brain into feeling the distinctions by decorating, which is something I’ve never had to do because nature always did it for me.
I did’t really care much to celebrate things early on during our time overseas, but I seem to be getting more sentimental as time goes by. I think we also get a little more homesick as more holidays pass by without family. Maybe another part of it is that Finn is actually super conscious of things now. And like any 2.5 year old, he’s all over any excuse to celebrate. So, thanks to Finn, my sentimentality has somewhat returned, and I have been able to contemplate this season of thanksgiving and the birth of Christ with new eyes.
Lately, Finn has been so ripe for learning and remembering things that I felt compelled to do something to introduce him to the Christmas story in a meaningful way. I found a DIY Nativity set that I could make out of clay. I found something that resembled clay and was able to put something together.
I also found an advent reading to go along with it. Finn has been super excited to celebrate Jesus’s birthday, but is still kind of confused as to why He won’t show up for the party. The other day, Finn kept telling me “Jesus is coming soon!” I was kind of confused until I realized that he was talking about Jesus coming for the celebration. He doesn’t seem to understand why Jesus wouldn’t come down from heaven for it. I had to explain that Jesus still wants us to remember and celebrate until He comes again. I read something the other day about how this month of all things for believers shouldn’t be a war against materialism, but instead a celebration of salvation. I want Finn to associate this season with Joy and Good Tidings, not just a miserly rejection of presents or a frantic rush to find ways to give. I want him to anticipate and be excited about Jesus. It’s been sweet to watch things through Finn’s eyes and revisit things afresh as we all anticipate the birth of the King.
Diane Paton says
I know what you mean about life feeling linear without changing seasons. There weren’t really seasons when we lived in Quito, and I found it harder to remember when things had happened. I didn’t realize how much I tied events to seasons. For example, one time Hannah got hit by a swing on a playground and needed a couple stitches. If that had happened “at home” in IL, I would remember approximately what time of year it occurred, based on whether it was hot or cold. But since it happened in Quito, it could have been any time. A small thing, really, but something I noticed.
Lynn Stroud says
I loved this post! You may not remember me…I volunteered at NTBI-Jackson in the front office. (Bethany Potter is my daughter).
We are all now serving at HQ in Sanford. They asked me to become a member about 2 yrs. ago!
What an honor, I am now “retired”, but still work 4 hrs. a day. I get to read all prayer letters as I edit pictures out (they take too much space!). As I do this I am able to pray as G. leads. Then I transfer them to the members files. May I post this recent update?
We recently celebrated the 75th Anniversary of
E 360. Thanks for the part you are of the team around the world!
Joel directs all social media for E 360, and B is home keeping the 6 of us organized and well fed!
I will be praying for you 3!