Dear December,

You just about killed me. That is all.

Sincerely,

Amy

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December was exhausting. We had a million and one parties to go to.  With four kids, the parties add up quick. It seems we had more than one event every day. By the time school was out, I wanted nothing more than pajamas, and cuddles, and movies.

It wasn't just our schedule that wore me out. It seems that December just has the ability to do that. There is so much wrapped up in that last month of the year. So much of the heart: there's much to celebrate, lots to grieve, so much yummy, feelings of loneliness, lots of laughter, followed by tears, good, hard, ugly, and beautiful. I remember asking my mom on the phone one day, "why can't Christmas just be fun?" There's so much fun, and we had it, but in my heart this year there was much more.

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I read a blog post about how life as an expat is like always having a low grade fever that sometimes spikes. December spikes my fever. December brings lots of memories...family we are not with, fun Christmases with just our little family, that one Christmas before our first international move, wonderful childhood Christmases, listening to the funeral of my grandfather on the phone because I couldn't be there, wonderful gifts given from hearts full of love, traditions - old and new, magic in the eyes of my kids, visitors at Christmastime, special sweet time with my man. It brings so many emotions...grief, glee, happiness, sadness, love, loneliness, closeness, excitement. Its just a roller coaster ride!!

Now, please don't get me wrong.  We had a wonderful Christmas time with our family. Our house was full every Sunday with wonderful friends, celebrating the Advent season with us. We had yummy treats, went on dates with each of my kids, and went to the oldest Christmas market in our country. Two of my kids really got it this year - what Christmas is all about. It really was magical.

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But that's the thing about the heart. It can feel so much at once, and you don't know when it will hit you.

So, as I sat there on Christmas morning, watching the magic in the eyes of my family it hit me. I don't have to keep it all together because Jesus came -- right into the midst of the pieces of my heart and He holds them all together, because He loves me and wants to. That's what Jesus came to do -- heal our broken hearts, and hold them together with his love when they break again. I decided that its only right to feel the way I did this December. Its an appropriate month to feel torn apart, because that's when we celebrate being put back together and finding our way back to Him!

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As I'm coming out of my pajama coma (Yes, I'm back to wearing real clothes again), my body feels more rested, the calendar is filling up, and the world is fresh with the wonder of a new year. I feel deep down in my soul a love that fills every crack in my heart and holds the pieces together. I feel it begin to rise up...HOPE. Hope has come and lives inside of me. See you next year, December.

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