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Contrasts at Christmas

We went up to Gullbotn on my husband’s birthday and stayed there for six days. It was such a great joy to have all family gathered. Our children live far away from each other so it was a big event for them too. I was so grateful to God for this special time having 21 family members around the table during Christmas: children, in laws and grandchildren from 10 months and up to 9 1/2 years. I was moved to tears and praising God every day; just to look at them filled my heart with joy.

But it was so obvious how they enjoyed it themselves being together. The cousins played so very well together. They got new toys and games for Christmas, they built Lego and new train set, hugged dolls and soft teddies, and they made a joyful noise when they were running through the big halls. They went out and had a lot of fun in the snow. Praise God for prayers answered! I had done a lot of planning and preparation beforehand; much food were needed for 21 people with good appetite. I did all the cooking, but had many helpers, and Hanna had made a duty list. I thought it worked well. It was peace, joy and harmony in the house; how privileged we are with such a family! The second Christmas Sunday we invited my sister and her husband for dinner. We had a nice time with them. Later that Sunday we were hearing the shocking news about the terrible earthquake and the tsunami that hit South East Asia, followed by the heartbreaking pictures from the affected areas. The following days afterwards it dawns more and more to us what a tragedy and catastrophe this is, even if we cannot really understand it. Tears have been running, and my heart is filled with sadness and pain, thinking of the great loss, the sorrows and pain from people who have lost their loved ones, hearing and seeing people telling heart breaking stories. I saw a man that lost 20 family members when the wave hit his place, and I read about a 7 year old boy looking for his parents and young brothers. My thoughts are going to our happy days being 21 of us together at Gullbotn. I feel so helpless, but one thing I can do, I can pray for those who are mourning and for those who are engaged to help, and I can contribute with support to the help organisations. We know the Lord cares and we will care for our families as well as for others with our contributions and prayers.