Greetings! We pray your Christmas was full of joy and peace as you celebrated the birth of our precious Jesus!
In the Phils, Christmas is a very big deal...despite the humidity and the intense heat from the rays of the very bright sun, Christmas is celebrated with snowmen, sleighs, and of course, the winter nativity scene complete with snow banks and a very swaddled Jesus. I'm not sure what the climate was like in Bethlehem during the birth of Jesus, but I can almost guarantee that the shepherds were not watching their flocks by night on snowshoes and sleighs.
We were blessed to have Tim's brother over Christmas this year and he played the "spoiling uncle" by purchasing two beautiful sundresses and copious amounts of stuffed animals for our Lady Bird. Promise seemed quite happy to stick whatever part of the stuffed monsters she could into her mouth. The pictures tell it all. Tim and I decided not to give her any presents this year as we knew she probably wouldn't remember not receiving any from her parents and she has been oh so spoiled already without our contribution. :) In addition to the gift-giving going on, the four of us had homemade eggnog (Promise had to get it through me!) and watched the traditional Christmas films on the computer...."A Christmas Story" (we all contributed to the script the portions memorized...."RALPH-EEEE" and "Frageeelay.....must be Italian....", "no, honey, I think that says, 'Fragile'") and then there was the "Charlie Brown Christmas Special", "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" and my favorite, "It's a Wonderful Life". Christmas morning began with Tim, Promise and Me reading the REAL Christmas story of Jesus' birth from both the book of Matthew and of Luke. This was followed by German Pancakes and coffee with Jeff and then presents....game-playing....eating too many sweets...and visiting our friends, Jenn and Joe. It was a peaceful day and we ended it with "A Child's Christmas in Wales".
This week has been the first week in over a year that I haven't had assignments, shift work, clinic, or constant baby checks to attend to....it's the first year where tim and I actually made a conscious effort to slooow down, enjoy Promise's first Christmas, and just relax in the presence of good company. What a gift.
And now with the new year approaching, the stress level is beginning to rise once more. I am headed into a month of class 5 days a week, shift two times a week and large quantities of homework. Tim is headed into countless planning meetings for the water filter project. We're so thankful for the busy schedule as it means there's good progress happening, but we're also very overwhelmed. But we expect the Lord to be faithful as He has always been in the passed.
I also have three continuity patients due in January followed by three more in February and March. My patients are amazing and I sooo look forward to meeting their new additions.
Thank you all for the many Birthday wishes and prayers for the new year! We'll post again very soon as Tim has much to share!