Friday, December 23, 2011

A Different Christmas

Two more days until Christmas, peeps. Can you believe it is here already?

To say that this Christmas is going to be different from all the others is a gross understatement. We have added a new family member (what up, Carr?) and my dad is now indefinitely detained. It is amazing how you can write such huge life changes in just one sentence. The profound impact and meanings are not lost, however, no matter what a few simple words are able to express.

I must admit that I struggle with change. Or maybe I should say that I struggle with change that I don't have control over, that comes out of the blue. For instance, when I am ready for a new hair cut, by all means, give me a new hair cut. I have control over that. But heaven help me if I am ever the victim of my hairdresser's bad day and end up looking like Dorothy Hamill. That's the kind of change that smacks you upside the face (literally).

It's the change that you can't control that is often the hardest. For the past 30 years, my Christmases have been pretty much the same: pajamas, presents, brunch, dancing in the kitchen, watching movies, hanging out with family if they are close by, and spending it with my siblings and parents. I love knowing what to expect and knowing my role in all of it (which means I am usually in charge of all baked-goods).

But this year, it can't help but be different. My mom and I will spend Christmas eve and Christmas morning with my dad and 100 other campers who may or may not have family coming to see them. Sam and Noah will be spending time with Noah's mom and family and Claire will be holding down the fort while Carr is on call at the hospital. Such is the life of a Navy chaplain. On the evening of Christmas day, we should all be back together, minus my dad, where we will open presents and eat steak and cheesecake. Not a bad way to end the day. But definitely not the way I would have planned it.

In an effort to replace the moping I have done these past two months, I have been praying that I will see Jesus working, and if I am open and willing, perhaps I can be a part of his work too. My dad told me a few weeks ago, "Sarah, it is not a mistake I am down here in Alamosa. God is using me here." If he can have that attitude, the one who is being locked-up and limited, the one who has been slandered and persecuted, then I for sure should be able to embrace this holy hiccup in our lives and open my eyes to the bigger picture. I pray that I see the bigger picture.

On Monday, I rediscovered Hebrews 13:3:

"Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering."

Shoot fire, I am pretty sure He was speaking directly to me.

So, instead of pj's and brunch, I am going to put on my big girl pants (I can't say "panties." I hate that word) and fully embrace the strict rules and regulations of Camp Alamosa and love on my dad as much as possible. And I will chat with the men who have now become my friends and hear about all the wonderful cards you have sent them. And I am going to line my pockets with wax paper in hopes that I can get at least a half a pan of fudge through the doors without being detected.

Whatever you are doing this Christmas, whether it is relishing in old traditions or hesitantly embracing new ones, I pray that you see Jesus working too.

Merry Christmas, my friends.


  1. Your Dad is a wise man. However, that doesn't change the fact that things change. I am with you, I like to be in control of change but after several years of working Christmas Eve and Day or being deployed, I learned that even if I don't like certain changes they happen anyway. I know your family will get through this. I hope you all have a blessed Christmas.

  2. I think that this is a fantastic post. I have a hard time with change too ;). What a great attitude God has given you through all of this crappiness. I love you sister. Merry Christmas.


  3. "Holy Hiccup" I love that. Praying for you, Sarah, and as I've been praying for y'all this week, I can't help but think about how Mary and Joseph must have been feeling as they anticipated the birth of their son, and how brave they were in the face of uncertain times. I see so much of that in you and your family during your own journey through uncertainty. So brave, so strong. Much love to all of you!

  4. I hope the wax paper works and you're able to carry in a pound of fudge to share! -Heather

  5. Merry Christmas, Sarah - and special greetings to your Dad and the other campers from their friends here in India who are getting to know them all through your posts. Praying extra blessings for you and yours this season.

    with lots of love....

  6. Merry Christmas, Sarah! As much as we love traditions (and I love traditions) change is good. New memories are good because we focus on what really matters - that Jesus came to earth to save us from sin. May you feel this in a new way this year. While I spent the day with Mike and Sarah, I missed my birth family. Life takes us to different places and God works in all of them. Love to you, friend!