Gleðileg Jól!

This week has been fabulous, full with unexpected surprises and “pure goodness.”
The Christmas spirit overtook us all when our outreach team went caroling to raise money for our upcoming Kenya trip. Þorgils (one of our team members who is from Iceland) told us that people were going to think we were crazy because no one Christmas caroled in Iceland. We soon found out that the response was just the opposite, we brought smiles to the houses we visited and we were shown such favor—we raised close to $100 and we only went to a few houses! After a couple houses it was late and everyone was freezing but we decided to stop at one more house. When we knocked on the door the lady who answered the intercom said we could sing to her inside. She had us each put our faces to the camera that was attached to the intercom and then allowed us inside. We sang to her in her kitchen and then she was so kind to offer us coffee or hot coco. We were all a little unsure because we weren’t really prepared to be in someone’s home and she was so persistent there wasn’t really an option to say no. So we all made ourselves comfortable in her living room. Come to find out she was just recently out of the hospital & she is trying to get sober. She had been sober for 3 days, but that night she had a drink just before we had arrived. She let us pray for her and her sister-in-law (who was there as well). It was so powerful, just speaking worth, life and destiny into this woman’s life. It was so beautiful to see the hope in her eyes after we left. Praise the Lord for divine appointments, right?

Thursday was a beautiful site (or scary depends on where you’re standing). Christmas eve, eve. The main street in Iceland (Laugavegur) is closed to traffic and opens up for shopping! People flooded the street for their last minute shopping. There were Red Cross stands at every corner handing out free hot chocolate and to top it off it started snowing! Now normally I’m not the biggest fan of snow (except for a pretty view out a window where I’m sitting all cozy with hot coco) but it was pretty magical. I spent some lovely time with Miss Michelle McEverrr eating yummy sushi—AND at the sushi bar they gave us some delicious chocolate desert sushi! After sushi dinner I went back to the cafe to find a package from my momma had arrived (!!) filled with all kinds of goodies! Later Ariel and I ventured back out into the shopping craziness—she bought me the most incredible Icelandic sweater ever….and then we all watched Pride & Prejudice together :)

Christmas eve we all served food at the Salvation Army—it was so amazing. Just to see peoples faces light up, especially getting to sit a listen to a few stories. We also participated in the Icelandic tradition of dancing around the Christmas tree–ahhh so fun.

Christmas morning Tyler and I cooked—-we made pancakes, bacon, frittata, oh there were strawberries (!!!), bananas, and mandarins—hot coco, chocolate syrup & banana muffins—eating like kings. MmMmmm. We exchanged gifts with our Secret Santa’s and then we were all surprised to hear that there was a bag full of presents sitting at the doorstep. The beautiful Hannah Lisa had dropped off gifts for each one of us—such a wonderful surprise! The day went as most Christmas days do, full of movies, games and sleeeep. At dinner time we got all fancied up, put on our Sunday’s best and had a fiesta dinner! We ended the night all holding candles and reading the real Christmas story, the birth of Jesus.

Cheers to the best Christmas I could’ve imagined not being at home with family…

Hope you found yourself being taken away by the beauty of Christmas as much as I was :)


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