Well, goodnessPosted: December 17, 2010
The Christmas season is upon us here in Asia and, just like at home, we are busybusybusy. This is definitely our most hectic season: we’ve got Christmas parties to throw, friends to meet with before they head home, oh, and exams to prepare for. Here the holiday break comes in mid-January through mid-February for the local New Year’s (also known as Spring Festival), so for now we’ve got to keep pushing on through with class, which has been rather hard these last few weeks. The motivation to keep studying hard wanes as the semester continues on…we have so many other things on our plate as well! Thankfully, we have heat in our classroom (last time I lived in Asia I was not so lucky) so I don’t think anyone will end up with frostbitten fingers (this did not happen to me but did happen to an acquaintance!). Anyway, I think our Thai classmates might not make it if we didn’t have heat in the classrooms… chilly temps is one thing they are not used to.
Right now I’ve found the time to catch up on blogging (along with e-mails and reading) because I’m stuck in bed sick. Again. I’ve always been kind of proud of what I believed was my healthy immune system but this year has really shown that belief was ill-placed! I’ve spent more time sniffling, sneezing, or nursing an aching stomach than ever before, and I don’t like it at all, not one bit. I thought before coming over that I might spend a good bit of time taking care of Michael (who regularly got sick the last time he was in Asia) but I never expected that I would be the one with a shoddy record. Just goes to show, I guess. Oh well. I’m resting up today and am grateful that, as not-fun as this is, it’s just a simple cold and this, too, shall pass.
Amidst the general busyness of the month, we are trying to pause and fix our eyes on Emmanuel. Perhaps more this year than ever before, I have been loving Advent as it reminds me of the hope and the longing of this time as we mark the season in a place where Christmas is not widely observed. Here is what it says on the guide we have been following this year:
“The first candle we light is the candle of Prophecy. This draws attention to the hope of the coming of a Messiah as it weaves its way through Old Testament history. As God’s people were abused by power- hungry kings, they longed for a true king: great David’s Son who would be greater than David himself, who would shepherd them as his flock and who would have the healing and renewing power of God in his hands.
This year, we chose the themes of Peace, Joy, and Love for our second, third and fourth candles, respectively. While the prophecy, peace, and love candles are purple, the pink candle symbolizes our joy at Christ’s coming. It brings to mind the joy of the proclamation made to them in the fields and the joy they felt as they knelt before the Child in the manger.”