Friday, January 06, 2006

Christmas Letter

Our family friend Bill read my Christmas letter to various people over the phone! This was funny to me, since I had such a tough time figuring out what to write. Typically, they're either A. about who has died or fallen down the stairs (my grandma's letter) or
B. bragging about every trip and accomplishment their family has done in the last year (some over-achievers I know)

Hence, I was grumpy about writing my letter. I didn't want it to be about either.

Canada Post seems to have eaten some of my Christmas cards. Some people haven't received them yet, so for you, here is the letter...

December 2005

Great little One! whose all-embracing birth

Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to Earth.

~Richard Crashaw

Heaven is literally stooping to earth in Waterloo. The familiar strains of “May all your Christmases be white” never actually made a lot of sense to me before now! Looking out my window right now, snow is softly falling (really, it is!), my car is covered with the gentle sheen of salt and sand, and I’m realizing that yes – I am in Ontario! I have to say, it is still really weird to listen to Christmas songs and actually see snow on the ground instead of green trees and peering to see if there might be snow on the mountains!

Here’s a brief overview of the probability of a white Christmas (where I’ve been at Christmas for the past 8 years):

Waterloo, ON – 74%
Nanaimo, BC – 9%
Waynesboro, GA – 4%
San Salvador, El Salvador – less than 1%

This year I’m slightly more prepared for my second ever real Canadian winter:

· When temperatures sank to -10 Celcius yesterday, I just buttoned up my coat, thought “I’m so glad it’s not -27” and continued Christmas shopping at an outdoor shopping plaza. Last year, everyone laughed at me when it reached +6 and I stated ominously “Oooh… winter is definitely here!”

· Today I’m confidently (perhaps foolishly though) wearing boots with a 4” heel and haven’t fallen on the snow or ice (yet). Last year, I considered wearing my ice skates to get from my back door to the car.

· I now know what a snow brush is for. I also now own a snow brush. I also own a car seat warmer (odd, but true).

· I now know that wearing fur is a practical thing and not a glamour thing. (Sorry PETA members, but there really is a reason that you see fur on Eskimos)

· I now know that I won’t actually die if I go outside when it is below -20 C. I’ll just be really, really cold. (This was a concern I had last year)

All that to say, we really are given all that we need when we are where we are supposed to be – even when it is a place we never would have chosen on our own. The last couple of years have been a huge lesson for me. It is tough sometimes to believe that God really does have all the details worked out, and that if we’ll believe Him and wait for Him to act, He really will! I never cease to be amazed at how full my life here in Waterloo is. Despite a heavy travel schedule which takes me away half the year or more, friendships have flourished, I am part of a small group that I love, I feel like I really ‘live’ here, and I’m happy and satisfied.

I hope that wherever you’re at, you’re able to know that Heaven has come to Earth, whether you see snow or not… and that it shows how much you’re loved by God.

No comments: