Monday, December 12, 2011

the gift of famliar...

there are days when i can almost forget we're in Africa.  and other days when it's glaringly obvious.  the traffic.  the stench of burning trash.  the tropical birds (who needs an alarm clock?).  the loud parties blasting Celine Dion late into the night.  the heat. in December.

And so it was such a gift last week to gather with a few other families (and tons of kids) to drink wassail, eat Christmas cookies, and make ornaments together.  it felt normal.  and normal is so good sometimes.

Counting the gifts of the familiar, and the uncomfortable this week:

#5215.  making cookies with my little man.
#5216.  my mom's recipe, a taste of home
#5217.  letting him do it himself, going at his pace.
#5218.  joy in just being together

#5219.  food.  more than enough.  even though it brings the ants.

#5220.  packages from home
#5221.  birthday celebrations extending for weeks
#5222.  love from Grammy and Poppy, and from our champions!

#5223.  first set of LEGOs!
#5224.  seeing my men "work together and figure it out!"
#5225.  joy leaping into my throat
#5226.  this passage into boyhood

#5227.  little boys not too big for crafts yet!
#5228.  Christmas carols playing, mamas chatting, kids crafting
#5229.  a mug of wassail in my hand- "Christmas in a cup!" (recipe below)
#5230.  the joy of opening our home, and giving other families a taste of familiar.

#5231.  You, our true home
#5232.  You, our common bond across continents and cultures
#5233.  You, the reason we celebrate!

#5234.  You, who help me see the glitter in the midst of the mess
#5235.  You, who take the scraps of life and make something beautiful.

Winter Wassail Recipe 
(Or Christmas in a Cup)

Mix in a crockpot (on low):
18 oz. pineapple juice
8 oz. lemon juice
32 oz. orange juice
32 oz. cranberry juice
1 quart water

Simmer on the stove:
1 quart boiling water
5 decaf tea bags
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cloves
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Once the tea and spices have steeped, strain and pour into the crockpot mixture.  Simmer and serve!   Enjoy!


  1. So far away from home and yet you are home in Him. Lovely list of blessings! So thankful to be able to visit other bloggers who appreciate those everyday blessings. And how awesome to go across the globe from my computer. :)

    Blessings and love,

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed some "normal" Christmas cheer! I've often wondered what it would feel like to be somewhere warm for Christmas. I'm so glad you've found Him even outside of the "norm"!

  3. He is the one who binds us as sisters and gives us reason to celebrate no matter where we call home. I'm glad you were able to find joy and normalcy. A very Merry Christmas to you all. :)

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog, leaving a lovely comment :-)
    You are at home away from home? I was too for many years,and one does familiar things to connect "your worlds" ... and it works, allmost allways :-)
    Thank you for bringing me here!

  5. "seeing the glitter in the mess".....oh, how I need Him to show me that as well.

    Lovely little family and mission you all have. Have a blessed Christmas!


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