Monthly Archives: December 2004

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Christmas… a season of traditions?

It´s amazing how we are creatures of habit. Even those of us who love change & adventure! Not being in the blistering midwest cold adorned in a wool sweater & socks with the familiar Christmas tunes repeating in the background everywhere just makes it difficult to realize the season we´re in. When I stop to think about it, maybe being somewhere completely different from the ¨norm¨ for a holiday supposedly celebrates the birth of our Lord (along with all the cultural & pagan things we mix in) truly helps to strip away all that this celebration is not really about.

Jesus, Emanuel – God with us, wasn´t born on December 25th necessarily! Did he grow up celebrating his birthday in snow with chestnuts roasting on an open fire with jingle bells all around? My guess is no. Don´t get me wrong, I´m not condemning tradition, I´m just currently in a place where with those traditions stripped, I´m drawn to reflect more on what we celebrate as well as how.

I´m struck this year by the profound truth that Jesus is also named as I previously wrote, Emmanuel – God with us. I feel at a loss of words as I desire to understand more than I ever have what that means & pray it may sink in.

It´s mere days before Christmas & I´m down in Santo Domingo, the capital, spending some time with family down here (my mom´s cousin Kirk, his wife Melisa & their daughter Iandra Marie). Last week up in the mountains was quite rainy & chilly- there´s no real weather man around to say the temperature of how ¨chilly¨it actually is, but i piled on layers & layers of clothes at night & in the morning until it warmed up mid-day. Now down on the coast, it´s more than easy enough to be warm & entering the air conditioned mall where I´m using the internet for the first time in almost a week, it´s a refreshing change from the heat of midday here. For those of you enjoying all those traditions I grew up with & who are maybe in the middle of a little too much cold, may your holidays & time with family be filled with the warmth of the Carribean in your hearts! Love & prayers to you as we celebrate with great joy that God is with us!

Now known as the local “fotografa”! What’s in a name really?…

In the newsletter I recently finished I wrote about feeling like I’m in a place where I’m blessed to be able to grow & flourish in who God’s made me to be. Well… I never expected that to include becoming known as the photographer of the art movement that’s starting here in Jarabacoa! Part of my personality (ENFP for all those who know Myers-Briggs personality types 🙂 is that I don’t like to be put in a box or to put people in a box. In which, I feel humbled to be known as an artist as I sit & draw in the art school helping with classes there, known as the photographer (now with the assigment to shoot the paintings of the real artists around the area & my friends wedding this Saturday), & then again, I don’t know anyone who lives as an ex-patriot from their home country who likes to be known by where they come from or the color of their hair (gringa, norteamericana, rubia, etc. are words I often hear as I walk down the street). I like to be known as a child of God, simply because that’s all I can ever be sure of!

Life in the DR has been good this last month though! Ups, downs, all-overs, but where can you go to escape that universal reality? As I’ve been slowed down more than one would expect with the temporary loss of my computer currently being repaired in the States, I feel like there’s so much to share (& so many pictures I wish I would be able to post…) that I’ll just have to take it all as a lesson in patience & share as circumstances allow.

This weekend starts our vacation time over the holidays. As I already mentioned, a friend of mine is getting married on Saturday (she’s one of the students at the art school & I have more to share with you about dear Nila at another time), and then I will be going on Sunday to spend a few days with my cousin & his family in the capital, Santo Domingo before returning to Jarabacoa right before Christmas & the New Year.

Happy Holidays & know you are in the thoughts & prayers of this daughter of the King who goes by so many different names 🙂