What began in '07 as a December 23rd last minute request, "Babe, please make this go on the Internet for me" - has turned into a tradition we all really (mostly) enjoy.
The things is, even when a bit odd or time consuming or even a little stressful, family traditions have a way of creating something that feels safe and reliable and stable in a world that doesn't often feel that way.
We love traditions because they are something we can count on, am I right?
If the tradition stops bringing joy, it is time to change it up. Until then, we bask in the simple pleasure and routine of "Yep, this is what we do for fun in December".
We so hope you all get a chance to enjoy your own traditions this season.
Like Noah said, it is pretty evident that we are a world hurting and in need of a little rest.
We are aching for redemption, aching to be made new.
May the gift of God's son and the hope He brings be something so real and near to us this year.
May unusual peace settle in on us.
To those that pray for our kids/family, the work of Heartline Ministries, the McHouls, Beth Johnson, the Maternity Center, our teachers, our friends and co-workers - we cannot possibly make you understand or believe what that means to us.
If you were standing here, we'd grab your shoulders (or maybe even your cheeks) and squeeze you in a spazzy (somewhat violent) Lydia kind of way and say, "THIS SO MATTERS. THANK YOU!!"
To those that shell out hard earned cash to help us pay our rent and buy diesel and feed and educate and raise these goofy kids, your generosity allows us to be here doing work we love - what an amazing gift.
To Britt and Paige and Chris and Michael and Graham, our "TX kids" - We love you so much and we think of you every.single.day. This was meant to make you smile; we hope we achieved our goal.
Troy and Tara and Tribe
The sadness that comes with celebrating holidays abroad really isn’t that different from the sadness that comes with any kind of celebrating. The reason love terrifies us is because it is so intimately intertwined with pain. The reason gratitude makes us cry is because it hurts. It hurts to be thankful for people who aren’t present. It hurts to be thankful that when I’m lonely, my local friends love me well. Celebrations of holidays sting because the celebration ends, the families go home, we can’t hold onto it forever. We can’t keep our children in our arms and under our roofs forever.
-Rachel Pieh Jones