Entries by Shauna Blaak

Day 10 – Finding that ‘Home for the Holidays’ Feeling when Everything is Different

I remember the first time I saw Santa Claus in a swimsuit. Not a pretty sight. It was our first Christmas in South Africa, and we were walking through a local mall. There before us was a Christmas display showing Santa on a surfboard with board shorts and sunglasses. [gasp]

SOOO wrong on so many levels.

Erwin and I looked at each other and said, “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.”

We were about to experience a VERY DIFFERENT Christmas.

SHOCK #1 – SWELTERING HEAT
What a shock to experience a HOT Christmas on this side of the planet. We’d only ever known the snowy, cold Christmases in Canada—freezing temperatures, warm fires in the fireplace, ice skating and tobogganing, and hot apple cider to warm up afterward.

Snow wasn’t an inconvenience—it was our friend.

Day 9 – Connecting in the Busyness (Come Back to Me)

Have you ever gotten the feeling that the person you’re sitting with isn’t REALLY present? I mean, they’re physically present, but they’ve checked out mentally and emotionally?

“Hellooooooo?” … I’m here.

“Where did you go?” … Nowhere. I’m here.

“Come back to me, honey.” … What are you talking about? I’m here!

Except Elvis has left the building.

Yeah, I think we’ve all ‘checked out’ at one point or another. I know I’m guilty of it, especially when my kids are trying to get my attention and I’m focused on my ‘to do’ list. You know, those days when even “Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom,” doesn’t cut through the noise in your head.

Can you relate?  

When was the last time to offered your undivided attention to someone for longer than a few minutes? When was the last time you put your phone down and engaged in meaningful conversation with your child, or your spouse, or even God?

No, this isn’t a guilt trip. It’s only natural to become distant and distracted during seasons of high-pressure when our minds struggle to stop spinning.

But may I say this… DISCONNECTION IS OUR ENEMY whether it be disconnection with each other or disconnection with our Father.

As we enter this holiday season, it’s even more important to…

Day 8 – When Happy Hearts Hurt, FIND a Reason to Celebrate!

“Hey, Shauna! Did you remember that the Queen of Games is leading a game tonight at our year-end celebration? Are you ready?”

I cringed. That’s the last thing I wanted to do. There are sometimes in life when, despite my best intentions, those old familiar feelings of sadness and depression sneak up and bite me in the butt.

This week has been one of those times. Some of our closest friends moved back to their home nation of Sri Lanka, and our hearts are sore. Don’t get me wrong. We are honestly and legitimately thrilled for them! They are ready and capable, and it’s THEIR time to fly.

But my heart is struggling to get on board. The Rajapakses have become our ‘adopted family’ over the last decade, and we’ve lived life together—babies, birthdays, and teenagers… Christmas parties, curry nights, and worship times together… ten years of laughter, tears, and countless pots of coffee.

How can one person be so torn in their emotions?

Am I losing my mind? Happy one minute, sad the next.

But isn’t that just the irony of loving people? Just like the emotional rollercoaster that mothers and fathers experience when they see their children blossom into adulthood and move away from home. Happy because they are becoming who God has made them to be, and sad because they are no longer running around our house.

My happy heart hurts.