This morning when I opened my eyes a twinge of sadness hit me.
Christmas morning 2013 has come and gone and that makes me a little sad. As I rested in bed thinking about this, it dawned on me how this “day after” sadness felt very much like another “day after” sadness. Each time I arrived home from mission trips to the Dominican Republic (DR), I experienced a twinge of sadness the next morning too. I realized today how similar the two feelings were to me.
Yet, as I thought more about it, it made perfect sense. Christmas and mission trips are seasons of love, generosity, giving and serving and I don’t want seasons like that to come to an end. And, you know what the beautiful thing is? Those seasons don’t have to end. They shouldn’t end.
Just like the lesson I learned from mission trips, the giving, serving and loving others, doesn’t end when you return home a week later. It goes on. We live it out and take it with us wherever we go.
As I thought about all this, a post I wrote after returning from my second trip to the DR came to mind. Here’s an excerpt from Unpacking.
God can use our gifts of serving others and turn those gifts around to completely bless the giver too. This year, I am still amazed at how God is able to accomplish this. We step out and give and God steps in and blesses! Beautiful.
Similar to last year, I did not require much sleep while I was there. I was eagerly up before the sun every morning. I was so excited to start the journey for the day. As I sat drinking my coffee one morning before the rest of my team awoke, I tried to articulate in my mind how this experience made me feel. The closest thing I could equate it to was this.
Every morning while we were there serving others, felt like Christmas morning to me. I couldn’t wait to experience it. I was eager to jump out of bed to see what gifts were under the tree that day. I couldn’t wait to share the gifts that our team had brought with us. Not only material gifts, but also the gifts of time, of love and of compassion. I also couldn’t wait to receive the gifts that God had there waiting for each of us….gifts I am still having trouble unpacking and putting into words.
Christmas. It’s not over today. In fact, it begins again today. Today you and I have the opportunity to share the gift of Christmas with everyone who crosses our path. Today, there are beautiful gifts waiting for you under the tree. Don’t miss them!
PS As I searched for a picture to include in this post, I realized this circular evergreen wreath says it all. It stays green all year round and the circle goes on and on.