Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2014

Well, I hope it is not too late to say this to you:

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!

…Okay, it might be a little late for Christmas but it is still January 2…and I think New Year period goes on until everyone is all back to work or to school, which could be a week after. 😉

Anyway, first things first – I am fully funded for my two-year study in New Zealand! Praise be to the Lord for His provisions and blessings through friends and family. I have both people whom I have known for quite a while and strangers whom I have never met before supporting me, which makes me stand in awe of God’s handiwork. Thank you for your prayers, honesty and encouragement. Your thoughts and words have lifted me up as well as allowed me to see my circumstances from all angles. Thank you.

Christmas was eventful and heart-warming. I am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate Jesus with my family and friends at church. This year’s celebration involved watching the Hobbit late at night at a theater with my mom and sisters; brewing and drinking my own coffee at home; admiring all the lights and colors of Christmas trees at home and all over the city; eating mom’s cooking; baking a lot of cookies and cakes; spending time with the Word and looking for His presence in everyday’s life.

One thing I had learned over Christmas was being present. In the flurry of Christmas preparation and activities, Jesus stilled my soul with stunning sunset one evening as I rode a truck back from seeing a doctor at a local clinic. I was spent with flu and tired from the visa work. Then I looked out the truck’s window, and the fiery orange sky captivated my attention. God spoke to me, “Be still, my child. And be present. Linger just a little longer, and you will realize how rich an experience with Me you can get…just being present.”

And I prayed,

“Lord, this Christmas, You have taught me how to be present. Thank You for giving me the beautiful glimpse of Yourself through the sunset. And I wanted it to stay just like that. I lingered in the moment, appreciating You. Then I remembered all the fun I usually have when I am all in the present with no other worries in my mind…like when I was working with the world racers for three weeks or traveling in Burma for two weeks. At those times, I realized I could not do anything else regarding work or visa, except to leave everything at Your feet. And I was there – ALL there for the people and the experiences. Those were the best times of my life.

So this Christmas I want to be ALL here with my family and You. I know that many churches are busy with programs and activities. Lead us, Lord, to Your rest…that we would not be caught up in the services and forget to be present before You.”

My prayer is still the same for New Year. To all of us, who love to make resolutions and take matters into our own hands, be present before the Lord each day. Linger long, and press into His presence because of who He is and not because of what we want Him to do for us. We will be amazed at how much He reveals Himself to us if we seek Him for Him.

To end this post, in order to replace my loss for words these days, I am posting some pictures from home for you to enjoy. May your year be blessed! Thank you for following me on this blog. I wanted to post more pictures but it is almost midnight. And I have to see my doctor for a follow-up blood test for my visa application tomorrow morning (which I will come around to tell of the story soon). So I had better go to bed.

Merry Christmas to you!

Merry Christmas to you!

My first time of baking peanut butter cookies. They turned out quite well. :)

My first time of baking peanut butter cookies. They turned out quite well. 🙂

Merry Christmas from our family!

Merry Christmas from our family!

My two beautiful sisters - Mai and Mo.

My two beautiful sisters – Mai and Mo.

Mom and Mai with their Christmas drinks at church

Mom and Mai, my sister, with their Christmas drinks at church

Christmas program at church

Christmas program at church

christmas at home

Me, my family and one of our friends from church around the Christmas tree

Church members came to sing carols at our house and fellowship over God's word, warm noodle soup and baked desserts.

Church members came to sing carols at our house and fellowship over God’s word, warm noodle soup and baked desserts.

My mom and Auntie Pat, our neighbor, who hosted the night
My mom and Auntie Pat, our neighbor, who hosted the night.

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About Mink Gough

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9 View all posts by Mink Gough

2 responses to “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2014

  • Juli Jarvis

    I loved reading this post because my Word of the Year for 2014 is “presence!” I also want to be more aware of God’s presence at all times. I love how you put it — for us to learn how to be present with Him. Thanks so much — I will write many of these phrases down in my journal.

  • Juli Jarvis

    Oh, and if you click my name it should take you to my blog post today which also happened to be all about “presence!” Thanks again Mink — and you’re going to LOVE New Zealand! Chris & Sarah both did school exchanges there and we visited both of them in different years. It’s a beautiful place with wonderful people, too! I recently put pics of our trips up on Facebook; perhaps you saw them already…

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