I thought Christmas day was going to be one of the hardest days so far in Cambodia. However, I kept my spirits up and knew that if it was going to be a good day, I had to make it a good day. So that's what we did. We slept in, made breakfast, opened stockings, and then opened presents. (Pictures are of Christmas morning.) This year we decided to set a $25 dolor limit on our Christmas gifts. We had to go to the market and only spend $25. We want to buy a moto so we decided to save money on gifts to save up for a moto. Everyone gets around here via motos and we are running the bank dry having to take tuktuks everywhere. So with our limit we bought the best stuff we could. Surprisingly you can get so much for only $25.
After being lazy all day we then showered and got ready to go to the Dobsons. There we ate a great dinner, played games, and opened some more presents. I am so thankful for the people here in Cambodia. Our missionary family here has been so gracious to us and has accepted us into their families.
The 26th we woke up at 6am, 3pm Seattle time, to Skype with our families. My family put us in the corner of the room on an iPad and we got to see everyone open presents. It was fun seeing them open scarfs and gloves, things they are needing in Seattle now but things that we would never use here. Gavin and Adele were so cute with all their toys and my sisters are looking more beautiful with their baby bumps. We also got to talk with Lee and Joan and see how their Christmas was. It was great seeing everyone.
On the way to the Dobsons I had an aw-ha moment. I was trying my best to have a good attitude about everything but to be honest, I just wanted Christmas to be over. (And if you know me, this should be surprising.) I was missing my family terribly and I didn't want to have to remind myself that everyone was there but me. But while riding in the back of a tuktuk I spent time to look at people we passed on the road. It was Christmas, why weren't the stores closed, why was everyone going about their day like it's nothing special, why were the Westerners the only people making Christmas special? Then it hit me, I have the hope of the holiday living inside me and these people have no idea what Christmas is let alone why we celebrate. These people don't know, and need someone to tell them about why we celebrate Christmas, not what we are celebrating but who we are truly celebrating. Then I decided, I am willing to sacrifice being with my family in order to tell everyone I can about the hope that I have. I will be sad on birthdays, baby births, or holidays, in order to tell these lost souls about Jesus. Their eternal salvation is more important to me than my our comfort. Now, that does not mean I don't miss my family, but it just means that when I think about them and all the activities they are doing I can remember why God has me here, and why for this season in my life I am missing moments with them.
I miss everyone like crazy and I think I wrote this so that I can remind myself that missing family events isn't the end of the world it's just part of being a missionary. I am thankful that God has entrusted Jesse and I to do His work with these people for this season in our lives.
Love you all so much, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!!