As we were decorating the Christmas tree last night I kept looking at our ornaments and thinking of the stories behind them. Since there are four more Fridays until Christmas, I thought I would share my favourite ornaments with you each Friday this month!
Since we were young my mom has given my sister and I an ornament every year for Christmas. She started when we were little so that once we left the house someday, we would have something to decorate our own trees with!
Now that we are older, she does this every year for each person in our family. She thinks about each person carefully and tries to select an ornament to represent them in some way. I always love the ornaments she picks, but last year was the first year I have ever started to cry over an ornament. I tried to hold it back because I felt kinda dumb! This ornament might not be the most beautiful, but it is definitely the most special one I have.
When we moved to Malta in 2011 we moved there with no plans to leave. We sold our house, our SUV and almost all of our belongings and landed there with a duffel bag and backpack each. I never cried because I missed Canada (sorry, Canada! I do love you!) and we bonded with our new country in a way that still surprises me. Chloe started school there, Aimee learned to snorkel there, Anson took up scuba diving there and I learned to drive on the other side of the road on the skinniest streets I have ever seen. We made friends that quickly became like family and when we flew back to Toronto in 2013 for a visit, we didn’t expect to stay here. But we did and I hated it. I fought it and lived in denial for a very long time. I became angry and depressed over it.
It took me until sometime during 2015 to feel at peace with not going back. I still miss it there. Sometimes I still miss driving with the “he who is most aggressive wins” rule in the back of my mind and sometimes I cry when I see things going on there that I am missing out on. But more than that, I am grateful for the two years I was privileged to live there. I’m grateful for the people who changed my life for the better! I’m grateful God allowed me to grow in ways that I never would have grown here in Canada. He knew I needed those two years and that somehow they would be enough.
When I pulled out this ornament from it’s bubble wrap last Christmas, my eyes welled with tears. I knew instantly that it was Malta. Last night it was as if I was hanging a tiny piece of my heart on our Christmas tree. Thank you, Mom, for giving me such a special gift.